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Obligation to Transfer Appraisal

Joyce Pollison
May 04, 2017
The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center is calling on the federal government to create a liquidity vehicle for mortgage servicers

Question: In a situation where a borrower switched from Lender A to Lender B and an appraisal was previously performed for Lender A, can Lender B accept that appraisal? Is Lender A under any obligation to transfer the appraisal to Lender B?
 
Answer
If the situation involves an FHA/VA/FHA/Federal Housing Authority loan, Lender A must, at the borrower’s request, transfer the case to the Lender B. Note that FHA does not require that the client name on the appraisal be changed when it is transferred to another lender.
 
If the situation involves a conventional loan, Lender A would have to release the appraisal (which it is under no obligation to do), and certify compliance with the Appraiser Independence Requirements.  
 
Note that in accordance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), a lender is not permitted to request that the appraiser change the name of the client within the appraisal report unless it is a new appraisal assignment.
 
To effect a client name change, the Lender B and the original appraiser may engage in a new appraisal assignment wherein the scope of work is limited to the client name change. A new client name should include the name of the client (lender). As it is a new assignment, the appraiser is entitled to charge another fee.
 
Below are some FAQs from Fannie and Freddie on the topic.
 
Fannie Mae: Appraiser Independence Requirements Frequently Asked Questions
November 2010 (Reposted April 2017 for formatting)

Transfer of the Appraisal
Q37. May an appraisal be transferred to a lender from a correspondent lender and, if so, under what circumstances?
Yes. A lender may accept an appraisal from a correspondent lender that complies with AIR.
 
Q38. A mortgage broker submits a loan to lender A, which orders an appraisal. The broker later decides to submit the loan to lender B because it is offering better terms, or for another reason. May the appraisal obtained by lender A be used by lender B (assuming the mortgage broker has no control over or involvement in the assignment)?
Yes. A lender may accept an appraisal transfer from a different lender. However, the lender delivering the loan to Fannie Mae makes all representations and warranties that the loan complies with the requirements of the Fannie Mae Selling Guide and related documents. Lender A must be named as client on the appraisal report.
 
Q39. Lender A (an approved Fannie Mae Seller/Servicer) originates and closes a loan in its name, but sells it to lender B (another Fannie Mae approved Seller/Servicer), which in turn sells that loan to Fannie Mae. Is lender B under any obligation to obtain a new appraisal?
No. Lender B may buy a closed loan from Lender A and sell the loan to Fannie Mae without a new appraisal if Lender B can represent and warrant that any appraisal conducted in connection with the loan conforms to AIR.
 
Freddie Mac:  Appraiser Independence Requirements FAQs
November 2010

27. Can lenders accept appraisals transferred from another lender?
A lender may accept an appraisal from a different lender if the appraisal is obtained in a manner consistent with AIR, and the lender receiving the transferred appraisal determines that the appraisal conforms to its own requirements and is otherwise acceptable.
 
28. Can lenders accept an appraisal from an AMC specifically authorized by a different lender to act on its behalf? 
Yes. If the lender receiving the transferred appraisal determines the appraisal was obtained in a manner consistent with AIR that the appraisal conforms to the lender's requirements and is otherwise acceptable.
 
29. May an appraiser update an appraisal for another lender?
Yes. An appraiser is permitted to perform an update of an appraisal for another lender.
 
30. What documentation is required during an appraisal transfer to demonstrate that the lender transferring the appraisal is complying with AIR?
Each lender must develop its own documentation requirements to ensure compliance with AIR, based on its business model and processes.
 
31. AIR allows Lender B to originate a loan using an appraisal transferred by Lender A if Lender B determines that the appraisal with written assurances that the appraisal was obtained in a manner consistent with AIR, conforms to Lender B's requirements for appraisals and is otherwise acceptable. Will Freddie Mac hold Lender B liable for remedies if it is discovered after the transfer that Lender A did not obtain the appraisal in a manner consistent with AIR?
Yes. As with all other representation and warranties under the Guide, Freddie Mac will hold Lender B, the lender who sold the loan to Freddie Mac, fully responsible for any violations of AIR and our Guide requirements.

Joyce Wilkins Pollison is director of Legal & Regulatory Compliance for Lenders Compliance Group.

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