Agencies Remind Banks of Appraisal Waiver Process

With financial institutions — especially those in rural areas — facing a critical shortage of qualified appraisers that is slowing down closing times, the federal banking agencies today issued a reminder of two existing approaches they said institutions can use to ease the crunch.

The first approach, temporary practice permits, allows state-certified or licensed appraisers to provide services in other states. The second involves a temporary waiver request. A financial institution facing documented scarcity of appraisers that has led to “significant delays” in appraisals on federally related transactions in a specific geographic area may apply to the Appraisal Subcommittee for a temporary waiver of the requirement to use a state-certified or licensed appraiser. (Other appraisal requirements, such as those calling for appropriate valuation education or experience with the type of property being appraised, would still apply.)

The agencies said they will work through their representatives on the ASC and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, which must also approve waiver requests, to “streamline the process” for submitting requests. The ASC is required to issue decisions on waiver requests within 15 days after the close of a 30-day public comment period.

The American Bankers Association has been working closely with regulatory agencies, Congress and the Appraisal Qualifications Board to obtain meaningful relief from stringent appraisal requirements and will continue to seek further improvements. For more information, contact ABA’s Sharon Whitaker.