"No employee, director, officer, or agent of the lender, or any other third party acting as joint venture partner, independent contractor, appraisal management company, or partner on behalf of the lender, shall influence or attempt to influence the development, reporting, result, or review of an appraisal through coercion, extortion, collusion, compensation, instruction, inducement, intimidation, bribery, or in any other manner..."
Despite the multitude of problems associated with the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), its opening sentence is exactly what appraisers have dreamed of for decades. In crystal clear language, it lays out what's expected of all appraisals for loans being sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in short, appraiser independence. If you've been following the developments of our new 3.0 version of Mercury Network, you know that we're adding a slew of new features designed specifically to assist lenders and appraisers in working together while maintaining that critical element of appraiser independence.
Using cutting-edge technologies like the Intelligent Selection System, Double-Blind Communication and Universal Appraisal Review Rules, Mercury 3.0 not only streamlines the entire appraisal ordering and delivery process, it also provides the safeguards that preserve appraiser independence and enable both the lender and appraiser to comply with the HVCC. Mercury 3.0 provides smaller lenders who can't establish absolute lines of independence because of their smaller size or limited staff "prudent safeguards" to isolate their collateral evaluation process from influence by their loan production staff. With Mercury, lenders have a valid alternative to outsourcing their appraisals to an AMC and they can maintain a level of control over the collateral valuation process.
As evidence that the transaction and resulting appraisal report was handled in a manner consistent with requirements of the HVCC, where appraiser independence was maintained, and the resulting opinion of value represents a true, accurate and unbiased result of the appraisal process, lenders will be able to request that any product delivered through Mercury Network include the new "Appraiser Independence Certification Addendum". This new form is exclusive to Mercury Network users and will be included in an upcoming WinTOTAL update. It will allow appraisers to affix their signature certifying appraiser independence through the use of Mercury Network process.