Thursday, November 01, 2007

Some welcome news in the appraisal world

I do not often post about the many varied issues that are important to the appraisal world, as I use my blog as a personal place to share family stories and photos with friends near and far. However, today is a big day for appraisers nationwide, so I'm going to make an exception and celebrate in print just a little.

Dane had an orthodontist appointment this morning, so it was late morning before I reached my desk. One of the first things to hit me from my computer was today's headline that New York's Attorney General is pursuing a lawsuit against a LARGE business group, with some evidence that they have been pressuring appraisers to fraudulently inflate market values.

Virtually every appraiser in the United States has been subject to, at one time or another, pressure to state a market value above or below a certain range. Regardless of who has applied that pressure, it is a stressful component of a profession that, by sheer nature, needs a reputation for ethics and honesty. Unfortunately, many appraisers have fallen prey to that pressure. I myself have dealt with pressure and spent many a sleepless night staring at the ceiling and wondering if, by holding my ground, I have alienated enough clients that I will need to apply at McDonalds next week.

The current mortgage mess in this country can be at least partly blamed upon greedy lenders, greedy consumers, and greed at every other level of the transaction. Those of us that have steadfastly refused to fraudulently inflate values are excited to see some progress being made to regain professional appraiser independence. WAHOO!!! Its going to be interesting to watch this case as it progresses, and the "ripple effect" on the mortgage industry as a whole could be enormous.

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