Honorable Governor Chris Christie is on the side of the consumer, shown by his veto of S.B. 2551

Aug 30, 2013, 11:00 ET from American Guild of Appraisers/OPEIU Guild 44

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Guild of Appraisers (AGA) applauds New Jersey's Honorable Governor Chris Christie's actions on behalf of consumer protection as shown by his veto of S.B. 2551. The AGA has been working closely in conjunction with the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) and the New Jersey State AFL-CIO to provide Governor Christie and other New Jersey legislators with information regarding this important decision that impacts consumers.

S.B. 2551 would have permitted "broker price opinion" (BPO) or "comparative market analysis" to be used by realtors in estimating NJ Real Estate value. Currently, New Jersey's Real Estate Appraisers Act mandates that appraisals of various real properties situated in New Jersey must be performed by state licensed or certified appraisers.

In his veto, Governor Christie said, "While I appreciate the desire to facilitate additional business for real estate licensees in the State of New Jersey, I am concerned about potential consumer confusion. This bill would explicitly differentiate both "broker price opinions" and "comparative market analyses" from appraisals, so that real estate licensees who are not licensed appraisers could perform these other services.

Determining the precise value of real estate is a complex process, crucial to the sale of a residential home. This bill will unwisely introduce confusion into that process, with sellers struggling to determine when and why to use broker price opinions, comparative market analyses, or appraisals...[U]psetting our State's traditional method of home appraisals demands a clear necessity, and a compelling justification. This bill falls short ..., and accordingly, I herewith return Senate Bill No. 2551 (First Reprint) without my approval."

AGA National President, Peter Vidi commented, "The insightful conclusion that Governor Christie made that S.B. 2551 would confuse the consumer is exactly on point.  The role of the professional appraiser has been to protect consumer interests as one of the only impartial opinions of the value of real estate.  By definition, appraisers are NOT advocates, but, rather objective, highly trained professionals who are licensed to render an opinion of value. Passing S.B. 2551 would have exposed the public to harm and potentially undermined the systems currently in place with the New Jersey Board of Appraisers to enforce federal and state laws designed to protect consumers."

OPEIU International President, Michael Goodwin said, "We have worked closely with AGA and the New Jersey State AFL-CIO to get the message out that this is bad legislation for consumers."

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.

ABOUT OPEIU - The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), AFL-CIO represents more than 105,000 members 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 nurses, pharmacists, chiropractors, appraisers, podiatrists, clinical social workers, minor league baseball umpires, teachers and helicopter pilots.

SOURCE American Guild of Appraisers/OPEIU Guild 44