AIMS 4.3 Delivers Loan-Program-Specific Workflow to Bridge Gaps and Conform to the Variety of Appraisal Independence Standards

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FHA 09-28, HVCC, Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines, Reg Z…they all have some sort of reference to Appraisal Independence. AIMS 4.3 pivots appraisal operations around the loan program to ensure lenders have greater controls at their disposal to conform to the evolving regulations and the variety of loan programs.

Appraisal Independence Certifications

With AIMS 4.3, lenders can refine each workflow to produce quality appraiser identification that matches the characteristics of the subject property and the requirements of the loan.

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The loan program elected by the borrower triggers loan-program-specific appraisal independence standards. Even regulations that seem unrelated to collateral valuation seem to carry some sort of reference to Appraisal Independence. HVCC remains the most debated of the appraisal independence standards, but there are plenty others that carry a different emphasis or unique requirements.

The Proposed Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines have completed the comment period (Jan 20th 2009) and will publish the revised guidelines. We can expect the revisions to be published in the not too distant future.

FHA’s Appraisal Independence Standards are slated to be effective January 1st and call for some provisions similar to HVCC; but FHA has introduced some unique provisions too.

Other requirements are tucked in many lender regulations and programs in explicit and implicit forms.

Managing Appraisal Independence holistically has become a table-stakes requirement for all lenders. The pervasive call for the demonstration and warranting of Appraisal Independence raises the status of appraisal operations into the Core Competency category for lending operations. The efficiencies gained by an optimized appraisal workflow paired with a network of great appraisers leads to lower underwriting costs, greater predictability in the loan processing activities, and reduces the risk of loan buy-back.

Baldy WIlliams, AIMSdashboard's Compliance Officer, points out, "With AIMS 4.3, lenders can refine each workflow to produce quality appraiser identification that matches the characteristics of the subject property and the requirements of the loan." Loan-program-specific workflows are needed to help lenders conform to appraisal independence standards required by their upstream lenders and oversight agencies. Pivoting around the loan program removes the need to homogenize the requirements of the appraisal processes. Lenders simply configure AIMS to match the lender’s policies relative to the loan program. As the lender generates an appraisal request, AIMS will electronically enforce the lender’s configured policies and the Appraisal Independence standards of the specific Destination Loan Program as candidate appraisers are electronically identified.

Manually Selected Appraiser Candidate Pool
For the Portfolio and FHA programs, the AIMS workflow allows the election for the manual selection of an appraiser pool of any size. For lenders with strong knowledge of appraiser competencies within their market, AIMS unleashes that knowledge though the manual selection of the candidate pool, and then randomly selects one of the appraisers. Lenders gain the benefit of local appraiser knowledge while clearly meeting appraisal independence standards.

The workflow for FHA introduces case # capture, FHA-Approved appraiser filtering, and accompanying documentation. As FHA’s appraisal Independence standards go into effect, we will offer specific certification to meet the revised standards announced in the HUD Mortgagee Letter 2009-28.

AIMS 4.3 introduces Portfolio as a destination loan program with the option for manual candidate pool selection. Depository institutions can use AIMS to better standardize portfolio valuation processes.

Exception Handling
AIMS pushes the exceptional cases (hard to find an appraiser to accept, special circumstances based on the subject property, etc.) into a documented manual processing mode. If Exception Handling is elected, AIMS 4.3 assists the lender in documenting the manual assignment process, captures the events that occurred before the exception surfaced, and delivers the documentation in the typical ARC Certificate.

About AIMSdashboard, LLC:
AIMSdashboard runs an online appraisal independence management system (software), AIMS, enabling mortgage lenders to achieve independent collateral valuations while maintaining business controls and direct relationships with appraisers. Lenders use AIMS as a collateral valuation workflow framework to: 1) comply with appraisal independence standards across their internal and business partner operations; and 2) automate and document the enforcement of lenders’ policies. As a software product and not an AMC, AIMS strengthens appropriate direct professional relationships within the mortgage industry, such as those between appraisers and lenders, while it supports the development of high quality collateral valuations (appraisals) important to mortgage investors and borrowers alike.


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Chris Williams
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