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What You Need to Know About HVCC Guidelines

What You Need to Know About HVCC Guidelines


What You Need to Know About HVCC Guidelines

by Crystal Guthrie

Planning to purchase a home or to refinance the home that you already own? As the new rule of Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) guidelines could have a significant impact on the entire process is is better you know about it.

The HVCC was designed in order to protect property appraisers from being pressured into overvaluing the property in order to help get the mortgage or refinancing loan approved. The HVCC guidelines aren't a law. They are guidelines that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have put into place. Since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ultimately purchase about 80% of mortgages in the United States, however, these guidelines essentially govern the entire mortgage market. Under HVCC guidelines, mortgage brokers and lenders cannot hire their own appraisers to determine the value of a property. They generally must go through an appraisal management company to assign an appraiser per se.

There are various reasons for the implementation of the HVCC guidelines, though the biggest reason is because extravagant appraisals have been largely blamed for the overblown housing prices that helped create our current economic situation. To ensure that these problems do not crop up again, the HVCC guidelines were put into place. Apparently reasonable, these guidelines have lead to a multitude of complaints from appraiser, real estate agents and mortgage brokers.

It is a fact that the HVCC guidelines slow down the entire approval process and this is the main complaint. During a time when we are trying to kick-start the economy, slowing down the loan approval process is not acceptable to most people.

HVCC guidelines result in an increase in fees that consumers have to pay for their appraisals and this forms another complaint. At one time appraisals used to cost about $200 to $300 to complete, they now cost $400 or more because mortgage brokers and lenders have to pay the appraisal management company for its services.

They also force lenders and real estate agents to work with appraisers who are not as skilled as independent appraisers according to some critics of the HVCC guidelines. In addition, they claim that appraisal management companies are hiring appraisers from other regions, which means they are not familiar with the local markets and are giving undue weight to distressed properties and foreclosed properties when determining their appraised values. Hence, they are actually getting more inaccurate appraisals by being forced to work through appraisal management companies. As a result, they say more sales are failing to close.

The bottom line for you someone who wants to refinance your home or as a buyer is that you may find yourself spending more on your appraisal than you would have prior to the HVCC guidelines being put into place. In addition, the process of getting your loan will likely take about a week longer than it used to. You should also be aware that, although you and the lender cannot select the specific appraiser that you want, you do have the right to insist on receiving one who is properly qualified to assess the particular property you are interested in financing. Exercise this right in order to get the best results possible.

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