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Appraisal Institute applauds Congress for passing housing billMortgagePress.comAppraisal Institute, HR 3221, GSEs, FHA The nation's largest organization of professional real estate appraisers, the Appraisal Institute, applauded enactment of House Resolution 3221 (HR 3221), a law passed by Congress last weekend and signed by President Bush, that contains several large housing related initiatives, including the housing regulatory overhaul of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and a modernization of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). In addition, HR 3221 contains provisions that reinforce the importance of competently prepared real estate appraisals to the mortgage lending process. "We applaud Congress for turning to highly qualified real estate appraisers to handle critical real estate valuation questions facing homeowners and financial institutions in todays mortgage market," said Bill Garber, director of government and external relations for the Appraisal Institute. "Our organization believes that quality valuations performed by competent and ethical appraisers are an essential part of government guaranteed loans and were delighted that Congress has taken steps to ensure the governments lending policies are safeguarded." HR 3221 is notable in that its provisions require and recognize the benefit of highly competent and qualified appraisers. The bill's foreclosure prevention program calls for using appraisals to write down loans to their current market value. Furthermore, the bill raises the bar to become an FHA-approved appraiser by requiring all appraisers who perform valuations for FHA-backed loans to be state certified or professionally designated and to have demonstrated verifiable education in FHA appraisal requirements. Thirdly, the bill strengthens the existing FHA single family appraisal program by prohibiting coercion of appraisers by all parties involved in a real estate transaction, including lenders, brokers, appraisal management companies and others. "From modernizing the FHA, to helping neighborhoods hit by the foreclosure crisis, HR 3221 is a strong response to the current housing crisis," noted Garber. "We look forward to working with FHA, other federal agencies, consumers and lenders on its swift implementation." For more information, visit www.appraisalinstitute.org.