Solidifi Announces CoverageMAX and CoveragePLUS Appraisal Warranty Insurance Programs

Jun 02, 2010, 10:48 ET from Solidifi Inc.

New coverages for Solidifi appraisals protect lenders and investors from default losses, including repurchase expenses, resulting from valuation errors

CHICAGO, June 2 /PRNewswire/ - Solidifi U.S., the national leader in "full fee" appraisal services, today announces the Solidifi CoverageMAX and Solidifi CoveragePLUS insurance programs to provide mortgage lenders and their investors unprecedented assurances of appraisal quality and value accuracy. The new programs are designed to specifically address weaknesses in previous appraisal insurance coverage concepts that have been tried without significant success in protecting lenders and those who buy their loans.

Working with A.M. Best 'A' (Excellent) rated insurer, Companion Specialty Insurance Group, and Wells Fargo Special Risks, Inc., Solidifi has created two flexible representation and warranty programs that address the risk mitigation concerns of mortgage lenders and their investors. The process starts with the highest possible quality appraisal, enabled by Solidifi's renowned approach of paying full fees to its appraisers and attracting the most qualified professionals to perform the valuations. Then a coverage level is selected based on the needs of the lender and its investors:

    -   Solidifi CoverageMAX protects lenders against loss incurred on
        foreclosures and most repurchase requests caused by valuation
        inaccuracies, and is available for virtually all loan types at
        various levels of LTV, credit score and loan amount.
    -   Solidifi CoveragePLUS protects lenders against losses incurred on
        repurchases and foreclosures similarly, but with some limitations and
        lower premiums.

Solidifi's new coverages are portable, so investors and other assignees are protected. Most of the other appraisal warranty programs in the U.S. market today are self-insured or non-transferable to the holders of the security after origination. Solidifi CoverageMAX and Solidifi CoveragePLUS are also designed to reduce the barriers in claiming losses that have made previous insurance programs all but irrelevant. "When you look at the other appraisal insurance concepts out there, you realize that they leave investors with little or no coverage at all," says Griff Straw, president of Solidifi U.S. "These highly affordable programs have the combined result of protecting lenders from losses caused by faulty appraisals and covering those who buy their loans, too," he notes. "They provide new levels of confidence in mortgages to the capital markets system, and will help bring greater liquidity to the industry."

Straw also points out that the introduction of these two products serves to validate Solidifi's philosophy of paying full fees to the best appraisers rather than assigning work to the lowest bidder, a consistent sore point for lenders using appraisal management companies to comply with appraiser independence mandates. "Our quality is measurable and quantifiable as demonstrated in recent benchmarks with national appraisal management companies," he explains. "This is a validation of something we've been saying for a long time, that paying the appraiser his full fee creates tangible quality improvements that are recognized by the industry."

Response to these new programs has been enthusiastic, particularly as new signs of life are being seen in the conventional mortgage-backed securities arena. Lenders remain concerned that investors will force them to repurchase loans based on appraisal valuation errors and have been known to result in up to 70% losses on transaction values. "These new programs are unique in that they cover repurchase and special claims losses in the event of default," Straw says. "Having a highly-rated specialty insurance company working with Solidifi to offer these important coverages brings needed credibility and real protection for the mortgage industry."

About Solidifi Inc.

Solidifi is a leading provider of property valuation, collateral risk management and data analytic services to the North American financial services industry. Solidifi provides customers with a flexible service platform for procuring collateral valuation, data solutions, and other real estate services from marketplace vendors and appraisers, with complete transparency and data to make "incredibly smart decisions". Solidifi currently serves leading global financial institutions and is located in Chicago and Toronto. Additional information about Solidifi is available at

SOURCE Solidifi Inc.