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Archive for August, 2013

Chris Christie Vetoes BPOs

August 26th, 2013

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Vetoes Proposed Bill Expanding The Use of BPOs

Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie surprised many with his veto of Senate Bill No. 2551 which would have expanded the use of BPOs in his state. 

We have written for years about the numerous attempts to end these scurrilous, feeble appraisal substitutes known as BPOs and are quite impressed with the letter accompanying Governor Christie’s veto.  His letter to the Senate makes a strong case against BPOs and we feel that it is so important we are reproducing it in its entirety.  Hopefully other elected officials (are you listening, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo?) will follow the New Jersey governor’s lead.  Please note that we are not advocating that the New York governor follow many of the other positions taken by his New Jersey counterpart. 

Here is the letter by Governor Christie to the State Senate from last Monday:
To the Senate:

Pursuant to Article V, Section I, Paragraph 14 of the New Jersey Constitution, I am returning Senate Bill No. 2551 (First Reprint) without my approval.

This bill permits licensed real estate brokers and brokersalespersons to prepare a “broker price opinion” or “comparative market analysis.” As defined by this bill, these two different terms cover seemingly same the service: an estimate that details the probable selling price of a particular piece of real property. Currently, New Jersey’s Real Estate Appraisers Act mandates that appraisals of various real properties situated in New Jersey must be performed by State licensed or certified appraisers. The bill seeks to distinguish both “broker price opinions” or “comparative market analyses” from real estate appraisals.

While I appreciate the desire to facilitate additional business for real estate licensees in the State of New Jersey, I am concerned about potential consumer confusion. This bill would explicitly differentiate both “broker price opinions” and “comparative market analyses” from appraisals, so that real estate licensees who are not licensed appraisers could perform these other services.

Determining the precise value of real estate is a complex process, crucial to the sale of a residential home. This bill will unwisely introduce confusion into that process, with sellers struggling to determine when and why to use broker price opinions, comparative market analyses, or appraisals. At a time when New Jersey’s residential home sales are rebounding, and many first-time buyers and sellers are entering the real estate market, upsetting our State’s traditional method of home appraisals demands a clear necessity, and a compelling justification. This bill falls short on both, and accordingly, I herewith return Senate Bill No. 2551 (First Reprint) without my approval.

Chris Christie

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AppraiserNews is a FREE publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers support and grow their businesses. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we and our sponsors have to offer.

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AMC Background Checks

The following email went out to many appraisers last week from a large AMC:

As you know, we’ve recently brought aboard a new customer, one of the top five lenders in the country, who requires all contractors completing reports for them to pass a criminal background check. We anticipate that this relationship will generate additional opportunities for all those with a background check so this is a great opportunity to start or deepen your relationship with (unnamed AMC). We urge you to complete the background screening before Friday, August 23, to be eligible for this new volume.”
We assume that lenders are also now doing more thorough background checks on the AMCs with whom they contract after the collapse of fraudulent AMCs such as ES Appraisal Services?

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Refinance Appraisals Continuing To Decline

As indicated below in “Rates & Dates”, the projected decline in mortgage refinance appraisals may be accelerating.

We have been encouraging appraisers to diversify their appraisal practices for a very long time, now is the time for appraisers to “jump start” their private appraisal practices before it is too late.

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Rates & Dates

Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Brokers Association (MBA) and HSH Market Trends all reported increases in mortgage interest rates in their most recent surveys. 

On August 22nd, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.58% from the previous week’s rate of 4.40%. They also noted that last year at this time the 30-year rate was at 3.66%.  A link to a graphical depiction showing the movement of interest rates during the past year is found here: Freddie Mac PMMS

The MBA in its most recent Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released August 21st for the week ending August 16th, reported that 30-year rates with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) rose to 4.68% from 4.56% during the previous week.   The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) increased to 4.74% from last week’s 4.57%.  Rates for FHA backed mortgages moved upward to 4.40% from 4.25% the previous week. 

In their press release of August 21st, the MBA reported a decline of 4.6% in mortgage applications with refinance applications dropping to 62% of all applications. 

On August 23rd, HSH Market Trends reported in their news release titled “Mortgage Rates Higher, Affecting Home Sales” that 30-year mortgage rates rose to 4.75% from the 4.59% the previous week.  This was the highest rate since the week ending July 29, 2011.  Rates for FHA-backed mortgages also rose to 4.36% from 4.25% the previous week.  HSH projects little movement in rates during this coming week but notes “We seem poised to close August with some of the highest mortgage rates in years”.

Additional information from Freddie Mac can be found by going to: Primary Mortgage Market Survey PMMS – Freddie Mac

Additional information from the Mortgage Bankers Association can be found by going to their site at: Research and Forecasts – Mortgage Bankers Association

Additional information from HSH can be found by going to: HSH.Com

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Ask Angie

We would first like to congratulate our most recent winner: Huntington Beach, California appraiser Julie Holman.  Julie covers Orange County in southern California and has been appraising for 25 years.  She was the first to answer correctly that Henry James was the author of the quote “Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language”; John Lubbock noted that “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time”; and that the quote " People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy” is attributed to Anton Chekhov.  Today’s Questions:

Today’s questions:

1. Who Said: "Even Castles made of sand fall into the sea eventually"

a) Jimi Hendrix
b) Joni Mitchell
c) Judy Collins
d) Donald Trump
e) None of the above

2. Who said: “A beach house isn’t just real estate. It’s a state of mind."

a) Barbara Corcoran
b) Douglas Adams
c) Anna Quindlen
d) Conrad Hilton
e) None of the above

3. Who said: "The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude."

a) Norman Vincent Peale
b) Albert Einstein
c) Oprah Winfrey
d) Tony Robbins
e) None of the above

The first person to respond with the correct answers wins a choice of one of the following:

One Free Regular Listing on

A Free Copy of the Directory of Appraisal Management Companies (Available to Members of and FREE!)

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Tell us what you think!

We invite your responses to any of the issues raised in this newsletter. Please e-mail us at: with your thoughts!

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We really hope you find our newsletter to be informative!  If you have any input on future topics for discussion, please email me your questions and I will do my best to address them in the next issue.  If you want to look back at past issues you can see our archive at


Bill Collins, Appraiser Help Inc.

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