FDIC Approves Joint-Agency Appraisal Rule for Higher-Risk Mortgages

Posted on January 19th, 2013 in Federal Issues, Mortgages By BuckleySandler

On January 18, the Federal Reserve Board, the OCC, the FDIC, the NCUA, the FHFA, and the CFPB issued a final rule to implement Dodd-Frank Act amendments to TILA that require creditors to meet certain appraisal conditions before making a higher-risk loan. The rule uses the term “higher-priced mortgage loan,” which covers: (i) a loan for which the APR exceeds the average prime offer rate (an average market rate) by 1.5 percent for a first-lien loan, (ii) 2.5 percent for a first-lien jumbo loan, and (iii) 3.5 percent for a subordinate-lien loan. For such loans, the final rule requires that a creditor obtain a written appraisal from a certified or licensed appraiser that is based on a physical property visit of the interior of the property. During the application process, the creditor must issue a disclosure stating (i) the purpose of the appraisal, (ii) that the creditor will provide the applicant a copy of any written appraisal, and (iii) that the applicant may choose to have a separate appraisal conducted at his or her own expense. The creditor must provide the borrower with a free copy of any written appraisals at least three business days before closing. Additional appraisal requirements apply under certain circumstances. As did the proposed rule, and consistent with the statute, the final rule exempts loans that are considered “qualified mortgages,” as recently defined by the CFPB, as well as reverse mortgages, loans secured by manufactured homes, and certain other loans.

On the same day, the CFPB issued a related rule to implement a Dodd-Frank Act provision that adds similar appraisal requirements to ECOA. The final rule generally mirrors the rule as proposed and requires that for any loan to be secured by a first lien on a dwelling, a creditor must (i) notify applicants within three business days of receiving an application of their right to receive a free copy of written appraisals and valuations and (ii) provide applicants a free copy of all written appraisals and valuations promptly after receiving them, but in no case later than three business days prior to closing on the mortgage. The rule prohibits creditors from charging additional fees for providing a copy of written appraisals and valuations, and allows applicants to waive the three day requirement, provided a copy of all written appraisals and valuations are provided at or prior to closing. Together, the revisions to TILA and ECOA, as implemented by these rules, require creditors to provide two appraisal disclosures to consumers applying for a higher-risk loan secured by a first lien on a borrower’s principal dwelling. The rules take effect January 18, 2014.

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