Sunday, May 31, 2009

HVCC Sucks

Recently New York Attorney General, in an effort to raise his image, fight corruption and save the American consumer from themselves, went to Fan/Fred and created the Home Valuation Code of Conduct that all mortgage originators (big and small) must abide by. On the surface, it sounds great. Greater appraiser independence, less commissioned individual involvement. Without going into how Mr. Cuomo decided that appraiser's were blameless in the recent fraudulent housing sales (it seems that every fraud ring includes at least one), the fact that the one party, the Loan Officer, who knows everyone in the transaction is completely (and I mean completely) removed from the coordination of the appraisal is crazy. Who do you think everyone, buyer, seller, seller's attorney, buyer's attorney, buyer's agent, seller's agent and even in house operations staff is going to call when the appraisal hasn't been scheduled in a timely manner? You got it...the Loan Officer. The one person who literally can do nothing. The one person who doesn't know who the appraiser is, what is their email address or telephone number or any other information. And the one person that the 3rd party vendor (owned by the banks) won't speak to or include in the process even as a spectator.

The break down is in the logistics. Loan Officers are the 3 monkeys in this case (see no, hear no, speak no). And we are the only party who's sole job is the coordinate all the players in the process. I guess Mr. Cuomo didn't think that through went he ran to Fan/Fred with his brave new idea.

Another aspect to the HVCC, is if there is a mistake on the appraisal, say for instance the appraiser noted that the unit appraised was 4B when it should have been 4FB or E4B. We cannot make a quick call to have it changed, nor can we contact the 3rd party vendor to have it changed, no the (currently overworked, can you say refi boom?) operations staff is the only one who can have it changed. And who fields all of the complaints when this isn't done for 3 weeks? You guessed it, the Loan Officer.

I agree with the gist of the HVCC, Loan Officers (including Mortgage Brokers) shouldn't have leverage over appraisers on the valuation of the home. Appraisers have licenses that can be held over their heads (not to mention felony charges) on these issues. But for the Loan Officer not to have access to even the 3rd party vendor to make a correction, make sure the correct phone is on the order, follow up on a order that is taking 4 weeks, is lunacy. Now the pendulum has swung too far to the other side. If we, as consumers, want to have our purchase and refinance transactions close within our lifetimes, we're going to have to have some Loan Officer input.