Friday, July 22, 2011

New software to ease appraiser woes

I was pleased to see that at least one provider of professional appraisal software realizes that the new changes required under the former GSE’s UAD initiative will not be simple. These are not trivial changes and an update to their appraiser’s form-filling software is not likely to ensure their success going forward.

Realizing this, Bradford Technologies has released its UAD Power User interface, which the company says will allow appraisers to produce UAD-compliant appraisal reports.

“The old adage ‘You get what you pay for’ most definitely applies to UAD compliant software,” the company said in an e-mail alert. “Asking appraisers to learn and understand UAD is not productive, and unlike the competition, Bradford Technologies felt the burden of compliancy should rest with the software, not the appraiser.”

Definitely a step in the right direction. Sadly, the burden will ultimately fall to the appraiser and those that cannot guarantee compliance will be moved out of the industry. While tools like Bradford’s are likely to help, the only way appraisers will be certain that they are in full compliance is to ensure that adequate quality control is performed on each appraisal report. That’s not something that appraisers have been responsible for in the past, but it will likely be a requirement in the future.

That’s why I was pleased to see Quality Mortgage Services (QMS) making its new ADDP appraisal quality control software available to appraisers for a low per-transaction price. QMS has been offering outsourced QC services to lenders for years, but recently rolled out its ADDP software to do a better job of checking appraisal reports for completeness, compliance and lack of other defects.

“Federal regulators are very serious about ensuring the quality of the valuations our industry uses to make loans, and appraiser performance history is one way the government plans to oversee this process,” said Tommy A. Duncan, President of Quality Mortgage Services. “This, at first, appeared to be a significant burden to lenders and their Appraisal Management Company partners but is now made easy by our software.”

QMS says that appraisers who use the ADDP software to deliver reports to QMS customers will know what their compliance score will be before they deliver a report to the lender, giving them time to repair any defects in the report before it negatively impacts their performance history with the lender or AMC.

The new compliance rules are not trivial. Appraisers serious about remaining in the business in the future owe it to themselves to investigate the software tools that are available to help them remain successful.

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