Appraisal News and Business Tips

12-21-17 Newz//: AMC appraisal fraud, Fannie Appraiser Update, CoStar vs Xceligent

The Three Most Fascinating Homes In 2017

Just For Fun!!

Very unusual… and two are very low priced ;>
You just gotta see this 2 minute FUNNY video!!
Death and Breakfast, House with Big Cave, and Very Old Historic House

The Appraisal Standards Board has issued new Q&As for December 2017, dated 12/19/17:

Note: personal property and M&E not included in the list below
– Communicating Assignment Results Without an Appraisal Report
– Workfile Requirements When Communicating Assignment Results
– Adding an Intended User
– Assignment Conditions versus Client Conditions
– Proposed Construction Employing an Extraordinary Assumption
– Proposed Construction Employing a Hypothetical Condition

Costar vs. Xceligent

Excerpt: Real estate data firm Xceligent, which has been embroiled in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit with CoStar Group, shut down operations last Thursday and filed for Chapter 7 liquidation, according to a source familiar with the matter.

CoStar sued Xceligent last December, alleging copyright infringement and claiming the rival commercial property database stole its images. Xceligent hit back in June, filing an antitrust lawsuit against CoStar.

My comment: FYI, Costar is a national commercial sales, listing, and lease database that started over 25 years ago as a commercial sales database. An appraiser I know who follows the commercial data issue says that the Appraisal Institute/CCIM’s Site To Do Business used Xceligent data engine. The web site is down. Xceligent web site also down. For lots more info, google Xceligent. There are a few other commercial data services. I used Loopnet for many years. It was purchased by Costar in 2011. Some of the features I liked are no longer available in Costar. On the plus side, Costar’s fees are down.
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Coming in the January  2018 issue of the paid Appraisal Today

2018 Mortgage forecasts: compare and contrast all the forecasters. How much business will we have… maybe?
How to connect with appraisers online. What’s the best way for you? Blogs, podcasts, email discussion groups, Facebook,, Linkedin. I have been subscribing to all of them since they started and let you know what they are like.
Use a smartphone app for accurate, audit proof mileage records – start now for 2018!! I started using mine 2 months ago – very, very easy to use. For the very first time I will have accurate mileage…

And more…

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If you are a paid subscriber and did not get the December 2017 issue, emailed December 1, 2017, please send an email to  and we will send it to you!! Or, hit the reply button. Be sure to put in a comment requesting it.

Illinois mortgage brokers accused of using their own AMC to create fraudulent appraisals

Allegedly used handpicked appraisers to generate phony appraisals

Excerpts: Two Illinois mortgage brokers stand accused of fraudulently operating a supposedly independent appraisal management company and using that AMC to create fraudulent property appraisals that were used to defraud financial institutions.

Court documents allege that the Garcia brothers fraudulently caused unnamed lenders to fund mortgages brokered by American Financial by falsely representing that independent appraisers performed the supporting property appraisals.

The Garcias allegedly accomplished this by selecting the appraisers, managing the appraisal process, influencing property valuation, and paying the appraisers directly.

FBI press release
Post your comments here:
My comment: Hmmm. These guys got caught because of their scam. But how many AMCs use appraisers that give them what they want? I wonder if the appraisers on this scam got more than $250 per appraisal? None were named by the FBI, as usual, because they don’t make much money. But, they could be named later. Remember, innocent until proven guilty…
Coming in the January or February 2018 issue – appraiser license stealing is increasing again. Appraisal liability update. 

Fannie Appraiser Update, December 20, 2017

Learn about disaster relief policies, PIWs, tips for appraisers, and more

We’re back with the newest issue of the Fannie Mae Appraiser Update, a newsletter providing periodic updates for residential appraisers serving Fannie Mae lender customers. As 2018 approaches, we review the progress we’ve made in 2017 and look at what the future of the appraisal industry holds. Embracing technology and analytics not only improves the field appraiser’s operational efficiency, but increases transparency and produces more reliable results.

Our December 2017 issue features disaster relief policy questions, the impact of Property Inspection Waiver (PIW) offers, CU stats, tips for appraisers, and more

Worth reading. Click here to download

My comment: Sorry, just got it yesterday and did not have time to read it but has good topics.

New edition of Fannie Mae Selling Guide dated December 19, 2017

My comment: Sorry, just got it and did not have time to look for appraiser info.

Is this a new trend, sending out stuff at the end of the year?? This year Fannie and ASB…
HOW TO USE THE NUMBERS BELOW. Appraisals are ordered after the loan application. These numbers tell you the future for the next few weeks. For more information on how they are compiled, go to 
Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my paid monthly newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to or send an email to . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 7AM to noon, Pacific time.

Mortgage applications decreased 4.9 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 20, 2017) – Mortgage applications decreased 4.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 15, 2017.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 4.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 6 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 3 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 6 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 9 percent compared with the previous week and was 1 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 53.9 percent of total applications, its highest level since December 2016, from 52.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 5.6 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 11.3 percent from 11.8 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 10.9 percent from 10.3 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.7 percent from the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) decreased to 4.16 percent from 4.20 percent, with points decreasing to 0.35 from 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100) increased to 4.14 percent from 4.11 percent, with points increasing to 0.30 from 0.28 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 4.11 percent from 4.13 percent, with points increasing to 0.41 from 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.60 percent from 3.61 percent, with points decreasing to 0.39 from 0.44 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.49 percent from 3.42 percent, with points increasing to 0.52 from 0.48 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

If you would like to purchase a subscription of MBA’s Weekly Applications Survey, please , contact or click here.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.

Please Note:
MBA Offices will be closed Friday, December 22, 2017 and will reopen on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Results for the week ending December 22, 2017 will not be released on December 27, 2017. Release of the survey will resume on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at 7:00 a.m. with results for the two weeks prior.
Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA
Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today
2033 Clement Ave. Suite 105
Alameda, CA 94501 Phone 510-865-8041
Fax 510-523-1138

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