WASHINGTON, April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Guild of Appraisers/Guild 44 of the Office and Professional Employees International Union, AFL-CIO met with Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) on April 14 to discuss the Guild's concerns with the Federal Reserve Board's Interim Final Rule (Rule) regarding Appraiser Independence.
With the implementation of the Rule issued April 1, 2011, the Federal Reserve has introduced faulty regulation that implicitly fails to capture Congressional intent to reform the appraisal process and Appraiser Independence and the necessity to promote the use of market driven, Reasonable & Customary (R&C) fees for various valuation assignments. By injecting a skewed "safe harbor" under Presumption One in section 42(f), the Rule has unwittingly given license to appraisal management companies (AMCs) to use their own internal, non-market, fee schedules to disproportionately justify Reasonable and Customary fees directly in opposition to the Congressional mandate throughout the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act (MRAPLA) to have such fees excluded from Reasonable and Customary fee surveys.
Guild National President Peter Vidi requested that Rep. Frank write a letter to the Federal Reserve regarding the Rule, pointing out its significant deviation from the intent of MRAPLA. "Congressional intent to restate the market survey for Customary and Reasonable Fees was not to include fees paid by appraisal management companies," said Vidi.
Vidi also requested that Rep. Frank write a similar letter to Elizabeth Warren and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stressing the need for Appraiser Independence as a means to help safeguard public interest.
"Congressman Frank expressed an interest in doing so," said OPEIU Director of Organization and Field Services Kevin Kistler, "but has asked his staff to do additional research and report back to him with a recommendation before he makes a final decision as to whether to send a letter, as well as the substance of the letter."
Also in attendance at the meeting was Michael Dalnekoff, treasurer of the Maryland Chapter of AGA who said, "Even with the day-to-day dealings that Congressman Frank oversees, he continues to be well versed in the appraiser section of the Dodd-Frank Act. He seemed very concerned about the information we provided."
"I was very impressed with the depth of knowledge that Rep. Frank had of the issues affecting real estate appraisers and the intricacies of the mortgage business," said Kistler. "I left the meeting feeling that he will help address the concerns expressed by the Guild."
"The American Guild of Appraisers would like to thank Congressman Frank for making the time to meet with us and allowing us the opportunity to share our concerns," said Vidi. "We look forward to working with him in achieving the appropriate corrections regarding this matter."
ABOUT THE AMERICAN GUILD OF APPRAISERS/OPEIU GUILD 44
The American Guild of Appraisers/OPEIU Guild 44 seeks to represent the interests of appraisers, developing a strong presence before the U.S. Congress and each of the state legislatures. By working closely and exchanging dialog with other like-minded organizations, the AGA works to educate consumers about the appraisers' non bias, independent role in the value process, while ensuring the accountability of both the appraisal profession and the financial institutions with which the appraiser provides services.
The Office and Professional Employees International Union represents more than 110,000 members (representing 125,000 employees) in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. OPEIU represents employees and independent contractors in banking and credit unions, insurance, higher education, shipping, hospitals, medical clinics, utilities, transportation, hotels, administrative offices and more.
Professional organizations and Guilds affiliated with OPEIU are a diverse group that includes physicians, pharmacists, chiropractors, appraisers, podiatrists, clinical social workers, hypnotists, teachers and helicopter pilots.
SOURCE Office and Professional Employees International Union, AFL-CIO (OPEIU)