MBA Urges House Support of Bill Expanding Appraiser Practices

The Mortgage Bankers Association sent a letter this week to House leadership, urging support for legislation that would allow more appraisers practicing in the field today to become eligible to conduct real estate evaluations on properties subject to mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

H.R. 3008 , the Homebuyer Assistance Act of 2021, would amend the National Housing Act to authorize state-licensed appraisers to conduct appraisals in connection with mortgages insured by the FHA and to require compliance with the existing appraiser education requirement.

The bill, introduced by Reps. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., and Van Taylor, R-Texas, corrects a flaw in the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which prohibited state-licensed residential appraisers from continuing to participate in FHA-insured transactions by limiting evaluations to only certified appraisers.

MBA Senior Vice President for Legislative and Political Affairs Bill Killmer note while HERA was designed to protect FHA during a time of significant economic stress, it had a negative effect on residential markets over the longer term, especially in difficult-to-access rural areas, which H.R. 3008 addresses.

“In the current market, the lengthy processing times and high costs due to a lack of appraisers reduce the efficiency of the loan origination process for FHA-insured loans,” Killmer said. “Rising appraisal costs in recent years have largely been attributed to appraiser shortages in certain locations, especially rural areas. This legislation would allow lenders to address supply shortages by expanding their appraiser pools, which in turn will reduce consumer costs and shorten delays that have occurred in many markets.”

More broadly, Killmer added, the Homebuyer Assistance Act of 2021 “could create a more efficient residential mortgage market for lenders and consumers by expediting valuations and lowering closing costs.”