Fannie’s decision to use real estate agents as appraisers is risky

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What’s up with mortgage expenses? Jeff Lazerson of Mortgage Grader in Laguna Niguel supplies us his take.

Rate info summary

From Freddie Mac’s weekly survey: The 30-year mounted charge averaged 4.06%, up 2 basis components from closing week. The 15-year mounted charge averaged 3.56%, down 1 basis components from closing week.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported a crushing 18.6% enhance in mortgage software program amount from the sooner week.

Bottom line: Assuming a borrower will get the everyday 30-year mounted charge on a conforming $484,350 mortgage, closing yr’s charge was $90 better than this week’s charge of $2,335.

What I see: Locally, well-qualified debtors can get the following fixed-rate mortgages at zero stage worth: A 15-year FHA (up to $431,250 throughout the Inland Empire, up to $484,350 in Los Angeles and Orange counties) at 3.250%, a 30-year FHA at 3.50%, a 15-year typical at 3.375%, a 30-year typical at 3.875%, a 30-year FHA high-balance (from $484,351 to $726,525 in L.A. and Orange counties) at 3.75%, a 15-year typical high-balance (moreover $484,351 to $726,525) at 3.75%, a 30-year typical high-balance at 4.125%, a 15-year jumbo (over $726,525) at 4.0% and a 30-year jumbo at 4.625%.

What I imagine: Mind you, for a lot of Americans, our properties act as shelter and our most important family wealth-building tools. Yet, Fannie Mae is now relying on real estate agents (not licensed appraisers) to measure and take pictures to determine property values for some mortgage refinances.

The ramifications are ominous. But first I am going to make clear the potential real estate agent involvement.

The mortgage officer or mortgage processor runs your mortgage file by the use of Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter for a credit score rating decision and an appraisal decision via Fannie’s Collateral Underwriter engine. You might acquire a PIW (property inspection waiver), which means Fannie is assured throughout the property value and also you’re good to go together with out having to pay for a property inspection.

Or Fannie Mae would possibly choose to have an appraisal administration agency get measurements and photos by sending a real estate agent to study the property. That costs $185.

Fannie might conclude the price based totally on the real estate agent’s report. Or it could identify for a $250 appraiser desk analysis for an entire worth to you of $435.

Or, you might need none of these picks, whereby case you will pay spherical $650 for an appraisal inspection and report by a licensed appraiser.

It’s laborious to understand why Fannie is collaborating in such risky enterprise via the use of agents.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any data or information to provide at this time,” talked about Fannie Mae spokesman Matthew Classic.

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac symbolize about 66% of the nation’s 6.6 million residential loans, totaling $1.68 trillion in 2017, federal information current.

Fannie’s Collateral Underwriter and Freddie’s Loan Collateral Advisor are fastidiously guarded secrets and techniques and methods. The opaque processes and conclusions are troubling — notably since their market share and picks can merely improve or stifle your neighborhood property values.

Is Freddie going to do the an identical issue? Who is conscious of? Freddie did not reply to plenty of requests for comment.

Appraisal necessities and its licensing course of are there for lots of causes — most importantly to defend customers and property householders, mortgage merchants and most of all taxpayers.

“It’s horrible,” talked about Lance Siegel, president of HVCC Appraisal Ordering, an appraisal administration agency. “It sounds easier than it is. If you don’t know how to measure a house, it will be a debacle.”

How will Fannie have the flexibility to detect flawed data? Will Fannie broaden this real estate agent inspection service to purchase loans? Do flawed information and knowledge get embedded into Fannie’s collateral library, creating an eventual residence of taking part in playing cards?

Most worrisome to me is the inherent battle of curiosity that occurs when real estate agents participate in what is supposed to be an neutral property valuation course of. The better the prices, the bigger the agent commissions when properties promote.

May 1 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct laws, which largely prevented crooked mortgage officers, crooked mortgage corporations and their crooked real estate agent buddies from steering appraisal enterprise to appraisers who agree to hit an inflated appraisal value.

Housing stakeholders can’t afford to return to these shenanigan days. Congress, are you learning this?

Mortgage vendor Jeff Lazerson could also be reached at 949-334-2424 or His site is

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