Thursday, October 22, 2009

CNBC's Olick: Could Home Valuation Code of Conduct Be History??

by Calculated Risk on 10/22/2009 07:02:00 PM

From Diana Olick at CNBC: Could HVCC Be History??

The House Financial Services Committee has just passed an amendment to the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act to sunset the HVCC [Home Valuation Code of Conduct].
Now before all you realtors and mortgage brokers get all excited, remember this is just a committee vote. ... The bill will be voted out of committee later today and then have to go to the House floor in some form and then of course there's the Senate, etc.
I can understand fixing problems with the HVCC, but I can't understand going back to agents ordering appraisals. That was part of the systemic problem - some agents and appraisers abused the system.

From David Streitfeld at the NY Times in August: In Appraisal Shift, Lenders Gain Power and Critics
Mike Kennedy, a real estate appraiser in Monroe, N.Y., was examining a suburban house a few years ago when he discovered five feet of water in the basement. The mortgage broker arranging the owner’s refinancing asked him to pretend it was not there.

Brokers, real estate agents and banks asked appraisers to do a lot of pretending during the housing boom, pumping up values while ignoring defects. While Mr. Kennedy says he never complied, many appraisers did, some of them thinking they had no choice if they wanted work. A profession that should have been a brake on the spiral in home prices instead became a big contributor.