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PRESS RELEASE


Appraisal Valuation Fraud Meeting

Foundation holds first symposium to discuss fraud solutions

 
WASHINGTON--(Nov. 6, 2006)--The Appraisal Foundation, (www.appraisalfoundation.org) the Congressionally authorized source of appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications, held its first symposium on Valuation Fraud in Washington on Oct.

12. The Valuation Fraud Symposium was designed to find specific solutions to the increasing fraud problems plaguing both the appraisal and mortgage industries. The conference focused on building awareness of valuation fraud and providing an interactive platform for discussion of possible solutions.

"The Appraisal Foundation is pleased to provide this essential outreach in the interest of public trust," said Lee Hackett, chairman of the Board of The Appraisal Foundation. "The Foundation wants to do everything that it can to limit the impact of mortgage fraud on public trust in valuation."

Statistics from a soon to be released FBI report indicate that valuation fraud is an ever-increasing problem; losses totaled more than $1 billion in 2005. According to the FBI, that number will be exceeded in 2006 (Jan. 1-June 30, losses are estimated at $545 million).

The program, which hosted more than 250 attendees, centered on three panels: Valuation Fraud and the Lender; Valuation Fraud and the Appraiser; and Valuation Fraud and the Regulatory Community. John D. Arterberry, executive deputy chief at the United States Department of Justice, delivered the keynote address.

The 13 speakers from various appraisal organizations, lenders, state regulatory agencies and the federal government urged appraisers to remain vigilant in their business practices and not succumb to pressures applied by lenders. Solutions or advice offered included:

  • Increasing awareness of identity theft,
  • Utilizing the state regulatory complaint process
  • Recognition of red flags on an appraisal
  • Reporting overvaluation requests to lenders and regulatory agencies
  • Creating educational opportunities for appraisers and consumers to avoid valuation fraud, and,
  • Finding ways to deter lender pressure on appraisers.

The presentation materials from the symposium will be available on the Foundation's Web site (www.appraisalfoundation.org) soon. In addition, the Appraisal Foundation will produce a four-hour DVD of the presentations, to be available in the months ahead.

SOURCE: The Appraisal Foundation

 
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