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§ 1026.42 Valuation independence.

This version is the current regulation

(a) Scope. This section applies to any consumer credit transaction secured by the consumer's principal dwelling.

1. Open- and closed-end credit. Section 1026.42 applies to both open-end and closed-end transactions secured by the consumer's principal dwelling.

2. Consumer's principal dwelling. Section 1026.42 applies only if the dwelling that will secure a consumer credit transaction is the principal dwelling of the consumer who obtains credit.

See interpretation of 42(a) Scope in Supplement I

(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

(1) “Covered person” means a creditor with respect to a covered transaction or a person that provides “settlement services,” as defined in 12 U.S.C. 2602(3) and implementing regulations, in connection with a covered transaction.

1. Examples of covered persons. “Covered persons” include creditors, mortgage brokers, appraisers, appraisal management companies, real estate agents, and other persons that provide “settlement services” as defined under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and implementing regulations. See 12 U.S.C. 2602(3).

2. Examples of persons not covered. The following persons are not “covered persons” (unless, of course, they are creditors with respect to a covered transaction or perform “settlement services” in connection with a covered transaction):

i. The consumer who obtains credit through a covered transaction.

ii. A person secondarily liable for a covered transaction, such as a guarantor.

iii. A person that resides in or will reside in the consumer's principal dwelling but will not be liable on the covered transaction, such as a non-obligor spouse.

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(b)(1) in Supplement I

(2) “Covered transaction” means an extension of consumer credit that is or will be secured by the consumer's principal dwelling, as defined in § 1026.2(a)(19).

1. Principal dwelling. The term “principal dwelling” has the same meaning under § 1026.42(b) as under §§ 1026.2(a)(24), 1026.15(a), and 1026.23(a). See comments 2(a)(24)-3, 15(a)-5, and 23(a)-3.

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(b)(2) in Supplement I

(3) “Valuation” means an estimate of the value of the consumer's principal dwelling in written or electronic form, other than one produced solely by an automated model or system.

1. Valuation. A “valuation” is an estimate of value prepared by a natural person, such as an appraisal report prepared by an appraiser or an estimate of market value prepared by a real estate agent. The term includes photographic or other information included with a written estimate of value. A “valuation” includes an estimate provided or viewed electronically, such as an estimate transmitted via electronic mail or viewed using a computer.

2. Automated model or system. A “valuation” does not include an estimate of value produced exclusively using an automated model or system. However, a “valuation” includes an estimate of value developed by a natural person based in part on an estimate of value produced using an automated model or system.

3. Estimate. An estimate of the value of the consumer's principal dwelling includes an estimate of a range of values for the consumer's principal dwelling.

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(b)(3) in Supplement I

(4) “Valuation management functions” means:

(i) Recruiting, selecting, or retaining a person to prepare a valuation;

(ii) Contracting with or employing a person to prepare a valuation;

(iii) Managing or overseeing the process of preparing a valuation, including by providing administrative services such as receiving orders for and receiving a valuation, submitting a completed valuation to creditors and underwriters, collecting fees from creditors and underwriters for services provided in connection with a valuation, and compensating a person that prepares valuations; or

(iv) Reviewing or verifying the work of a person that prepares valuations.

(c) Valuation of consumer's principal dwelling

(1) Coercion. In connection with a covered transaction, no covered person shall or shall attempt to directly or indirectly cause the value assigned to the consumer's principal dwelling to be based on any factor other than the independent judgment of a person that prepares valuations, through coercion, extortion, inducement, bribery, or intimidation of, compensation or instruction to, or collusion with a person that prepares valuations or performs valuation management functions.

1. State law. The terms “coercion,” “extortion,” “inducement,” “bribery,” “intimidation,” “compensation,” “instruction,” and “collusion” have the meanings given to them by applicable state law or contract. See § 1026.2(b)(3).

2. Purpose. A covered person does not violate § 1026.42(c)(1) if the person does not engage in an act or practice set forth in § 1026.42(c)(1) for the purpose of causing the value assigned to the consumer's principal dwelling to be based on a factor other than the independent judgment of a person that prepares valuations. For example, requesting that a person that prepares a valuation take certain actions, such as consider additional, appropriate property information, does not violate § 1026.42(c), because such request does not supplant the independent judgment of the person that prepares a valuation. See § 1026.42(c)(3)(i). A covered person also may provide incentives, such as additional compensation, to a person that prepares valuations or performs valuation management functions under § 1026.42(c)(1), as long as the covered person does not cause or attempt to cause the value assigned to the consumer's principal dwelling to be based on a factor other than the independent judgment of the person that prepares valuations.

3. Person that prepares valuations. For purposes of § 1026.42, the term “valuation” includes an estimate of value regardless of whether it is an appraisal prepared by a state-certified or -licensed appraiser. See comment 42(b)(3)-1. A person that prepares valuations may or may not be a state-licensed or state-certified appraiser. Thus a person violates § 1026.42(c)(1) by engaging in prohibited acts or practices directed towards any person that prepares or may prepare a valuation of the consumer's principal dwelling for a covered transaction. For example, a person violates § 1026.42(c)(1) by seeking to coerce a real estate agent to assign a value to the consumer's principal dwelling based on a factor other than the independent judgment of the real estate agent, in connection with a covered transaction.

4. Indirect acts or practices. Section 1026.42(c)(1) prohibits both direct and indirect attempts to cause the value assigned to the consumer's principal dwelling to be based on a factor other than the independent judgment of the person that prepares the valuation, through coercion and certain other acts and practices. For example, a creditor violates § 1026.42(c)(1) if the creditor attempts to cause the value an appraiser engaged by an appraisal management company assigns to the consumer's principal dwelling to be based on a factor other than the appraiser's independent judgment, by threatening to withhold future business from a title company affiliated with the appraisal management company unless the appraiser assigns a value to the dwelling that meets or exceeds a minimum threshold.

See interpretation of 42(c)(1) Coercion in Supplement I

(i) Examples of actions that violate paragraph (c)(1) include:

1. Applicability of examples. Section 1026.42(c)(1)(i) provides examples of coercion of a person that prepares valuations. However, § 1026.42(c)(1)(i) also applies to coercion of a person that performs valuation management functions or its affiliate. See § 1026.42(c)(1); comment 42(c)(1) 4.

2. Specific value or predetermined threshold. As used in the examples of actions prohibited under § 1026.42(c)(1), a “specific value” and a “predetermined threshold” include a predetermined minimum, maximum, or range of values. Further, although the examples assume a covered person's prohibited actions are designed to cause the value assigned to the consumer's principal dwelling to equal or exceed a certain amount, the rule applies equally to cases where a covered person's prohibited actions are designed to cause the value assigned to the dwelling to be below a certain amount.

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(c)(1)(i) in Supplement I

(A) Seeking to influence a person that prepares a valuation to report a minimum or maximum value for the consumer's principal dwelling;

(B) Withholding or threatening to withhold timely payment to a person that prepares a valuation or performs valuation management functions because the person does not value the consumer's principal dwelling at or above a certain amount;

(C) Implying to a person that prepares valuations that current or future retention of the person depends on the amount at which the person estimates the value of the consumer's principal dwelling;

(D) Excluding a person that prepares a valuation from consideration for future engagement because the person reports a value for the consumer's principal dwelling that does not meet or exceed a predetermined threshold; and

(E) Conditioning the compensation paid to a person that prepares a valuation on consummation of the covered transaction.

(2) Mischaracterization of value

(i) Misrepresentation. In connection with a covered transaction, no person that prepares valuations shall materially misrepresent the value of the consumer's principal dwelling in a valuation. A misrepresentation is material for purposes of this paragraph (c)(2)(i) if it is likely to significantly affect the value assigned to the consumer's principal dwelling. A bona fide error shall not be a misrepresentation.

1. Opinion of value. Section 1026.42(c)(2)(i) prohibits a person that performs valuations from misrepresenting the value of the consumer's principal dwelling in a valuation. Such person misrepresents the value of the consumer's principal dwelling by assigning a value to such dwelling that does not reflect the person's opinion of the value of such dwelling. For example, an appraiser misrepresents the value of the consumer's principal dwelling if the appraiser estimates that the value of such dwelling is $250,000 applying the standards required by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Standards but assigns a value of $300,000 to such dwelling in a Uniform Residential Appraisal Report.

See interpretation of 42(c)(2)(i) Misrepresentation in Supplement I

(ii) Falsification or alteration. In connection with a covered transaction, no covered person shall falsify and no covered person other than a person that prepares valuations shall materially alter a valuation. An alteration is material for purposes of this paragraph (c)(2)(ii) if it is likely to significantly affect the value assigned to the consumer's principal dwelling.

(iii) Inducement of mischaracterization. In connection with a covered transaction, no covered person shall induce a person to violate paragraph (c)(2)(i) or (ii) of this section.

1. Inducement. A covered person may not induce a person to materially misrepresent the value of the consumer's principal dwelling in a valuation or to falsify or alter a valuation. For example, a loan originator may not coerce a loan underwriter to alter an appraisal report to increase the value assigned to the consumer's principal dwelling.

See interpretation of 42(c)(2)(iii) Inducement of Mischaracterization in Supplement I

(3) Permitted actions. Examples of actions that do not violate paragraph (c)(1) or (c)(2) include:

(i) Asking a person that prepares a valuation to consider additional, appropriate property information, including information about comparable properties, to make or support a valuation;

(ii) Requesting that a person that prepares a valuation provide further detail, substantiation, or explanation for the person's conclusion about the value of the consumer's principal dwelling;

(iii) Asking a person that prepares a valuation to correct errors in the valuation;

(iv) Obtaining multiple valuations for the consumer's principal dwelling to select the most reliable valuation;

(v) Withholding compensation due to breach of contract or substandard performance of services; and

(vi) Taking action permitted or required by applicable Federal or state statute, regulation, or agency guidance.

(d) Prohibition on conflicts of interest

(1)

(i) In general. No person preparing a valuation or performing valuation management functions for a covered transaction may have a direct or indirect interest, financial or otherwise, in the property or transaction for which the valuation is or will be performed.

1. Prohibited interest in the property. A person preparing a valuation or performing valuation management functions for a covered transaction has a prohibited interest in the property under paragraph (d)(1)(i) if the person has any ownership or reasonably foreseeable ownership interest in the property. For example, a person who seeks a mortgage to purchase a home has a reasonably foreseeable ownership interest in the property securing the mortgage, and therefore is not permitted to prepare the valuation or perform valuation management functions for that mortgage transaction under paragraph (d)(1)(i).

2. Prohibited interest in the transaction. A person preparing a valuation or performing valuation management functions has a prohibited interest in the transaction under paragraph (d)(1)(i) if that person or an affiliate of that person also serves as a loan officer of the creditor, mortgage broker, real estate broker, or other settlement service provider for the transaction and the conditions under paragraph (d)(4) are not satisfied. A person also has a prohibited interest in the transaction if the person is compensated or otherwise receives financial or other benefits based on whether the transaction is consummated. Under these circumstances, the person is not permitted to prepare the valuation or perform valuation management functions for that transaction under paragraph (d)(1)(i).

See interpretation of 42(d)(1)(i) In General in Supplement I

(ii) Employees and affiliates of creditors; providers of multiple settlement services. In any covered transaction, no person violates paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section based solely on the fact that the person:

1. Employees and affiliates of creditors. In general, a creditor may use employees or affiliates to prepare a valuation or perform valuation management functions without violating paragraph (d)(1)(i). However, whether an employee or affiliate has a direct or indirect interest in the property or transaction that creates a prohibited conflict of interest under paragraph (d)(1)(i) depends on the facts and circumstances of a particular case, including the structure of the employment or affiliate relationship.

2. Providers of multiple settlement services. In general, a person who prepares a valuation or perform valuation management functions for a covered transaction may perform another settlement service for the same transaction, or the person's affiliate may perform another settlement service, without violating paragraph (d)(1)(i). However, whether the person has a direct or indirect interest in the property or transaction that creates a prohibited conflict of interest under paragraph (d)(1)(i) depends on the facts and circumstances of a particular case.

See interpretation of 42(d)(1)(ii) Employees and Affiliates of Creditors; Providers of Multiple Settlement Services in Supplement I

(A) Is an employee or affiliate of the creditor; or

(B) Provides a settlement service in addition to preparing valuations or performing valuation management functions, or based solely on the fact that the person's affiliate performs another settlement service.

(2) Employees and affiliates of creditors with assets of more than $250 million for both of the past two calendar years. For any covered transaction in which the creditor had assets of more than $250 million as of December 31st for both of the past two calendar years, a person subject to paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section who is employed by or affiliated with the creditor does not have a conflict of interest in violation of paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section based on the person's employment or affiliate relationship with the creditor if:

1. Safe harbor. A person who a prepares valuation or performs valuation management functions for a covered transaction and is an employee or affiliate of the creditor will not be deemed to have an interest prohibited under paragraph (d)(1)(i) on the basis of the employment or affiliate relationship with the creditor if the conditions in paragraph (d)(2) are satisfied. Even if the conditions in paragraph (d)(2) are satisfied, however, the person may have a prohibited conflict of interest on other grounds, such as if the person performs a valuation for a purchase-money mortgage transaction in which the person is the buyer or seller of the subject property. Thus, in general, in any covered transaction in which the creditor had assets of more than $250 million for both of the past two years, the creditor may use its own employee or affiliate to prepare a valuation or perform valuation management functions for a particular transaction, as long as the conditions described in paragraph (d)(2) are satisfied. If the conditions in paragraph (d)(2) are not satisfied, whether a person preparing a valuation or performing valuation management functions has violated paragraph (d)(1)(i) depends on all of the facts and circumstances.

See interpretation of 42(d)(2) Employees and Affiliates of Creditors with Assets of More than $250 Million for Both of the Past two Calendar Years in Supplement I

(i) The compensation of the person preparing a valuation or performing valuation management functions is not based on the value arrived at in any valuation;

(ii) The person preparing a valuation or performing valuation management functions reports to a person who is not part of the creditor's loan production function, as defined in paragraph (d)(5)(i) of this section, and whose compensation is not based on the closing of the transaction to which the valuation relates; and

1. Prohibition on reporting to a person who is part of the creditor's loan production function. To qualify for the safe harbor under paragraph (d)(2), the person preparing a valuation or performing valuation management functions may not report to a person who is part of the creditor's loan production function (as defined in paragraph (d)(5)(i) and comment 42(d)(5)(i)-1). For example, if a person preparing a valuation is directly supervised or managed by a loan officer or other person in the creditor's loan production function, or by a person who is directly supervised or managed by a loan officer, the condition under paragraph (d)(2)(ii) is not met.

2. Prohibition on reporting to a person whose compensation is based on the transaction closing. To qualify for the safe harbor under paragraph (d)(2), the person preparing a valuation or performing valuation management functions may not report to a person whose compensation is based on the closing of the transaction to which the valuation relates. For example, assume an appraisal management company performs valuation management functions for a transaction in which the creditor is an affiliate of the appraisal management company. If the employee of the appraisal management company who is in charge of valuation management functions for that transaction is supervised by a person who earns a commission or bonus based on the percentage of closed transactions for which the appraisal management company provides valuation management functions, the condition under paragraph (d)(2)(ii) is not met.

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(d)(2)(ii) in Supplement I

(iii) No employee, officer or director in the creditor's loan production function, as defined in paragraph (d)(5)(i) of this section, is directly or indirectly involved in selecting, retaining, recommending or influencing the selection of the person to prepare a valuation or perform valuation management functions, or to be included in or excluded from a list of approved persons who prepare valuations or perform valuation management functions.

1. Direct or indirect involvement in selection of person who prepares a valuation. In any covered transaction, the safe harbor under paragraph (d)(2) is available if, among other things, no employee, officer or director in the creditor's loan production function (as defined in paragraph (d)(4)(ii) and comment 42(d)(4)(ii)-1) is directly or indirectly involved in selecting, retaining, recommending or influencing the selection of the person to prepare a valuation or perform valuation management functions, or to be included in or excluded from a list or panel of approved persons who prepare valuations or perform valuation management functions. For example, if the person who selects the person to prepare the valuation for a covered transaction is supervised by an employee of the creditor who also supervises loan officers, the condition in paragraph (d)(2)(iii) is not met.

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(d)(2)(iii) in Supplement I

(3) Employees and affiliates of creditors with assets of $250 million or less for either of the past two calendar years. For any covered transaction in which the creditor had assets of $250 million or less as of December 31st for either of the past two calendar years, a person subject to paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section who is employed by or affiliated with the creditor does not have a conflict of interest in violation of paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section based on the person's employment or affiliate relationship with the creditor if:

1. Safe harbor. A person who prepares a valuation or performs valuation management functions for a covered transaction and is an employee or affiliate of the creditor will not be deemed to have interest prohibited under paragraph (d)(1)(i) on the basis of the employment or affiliate relationship with the creditor if the conditions in paragraph (d)(3) are satisfied. Even if the conditions in paragraph (d)(3) are satisfied, however, the person may have a prohibited conflict of interest on other grounds, such as if the person performs a valuation for a purchase-money mortgage transaction in which the person is the buyer or seller of the subject property. Thus, in general, in any covered transaction in which the creditor had assets of $250 million or less for either of the past two calendar years, the creditor may use its own employee or affiliate to prepare a valuation or perform valuation management functions for a particular transaction, as long as the conditions described in paragraph (d)(3) are satisfied. If the conditions in paragraph (d)(3) are not satisfied, whether a person preparing valuations or performing valuation management functions has violated paragraph (d)(1)(i) depends on all of the facts and circumstances.

See interpretation of 42(d)(3) Employees and Affiliates of Creditors With Assets of $250 Million or Less for Either of the Past Two Calendar Years in Supplement I

(i) The compensation of the person preparing a valuation or performing valuation management functions is not based on the value arrived at in any valuation; and

(ii) The creditor requires that any employee, officer or director of the creditor who orders, performs, or reviews a valuation for a covered transaction abstain from participating in any decision to approve, not approve, or set the terms of that transaction.

(4) Providers of multiple settlement services. For any covered transaction, a person who prepares a valuation or performs valuation management functions in addition to performing another settlement service for the transaction, or whose affiliate performs another settlement service for the transaction, does not have a conflict of interest in violation of paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section as a result of the person or the person's affiliate performing another settlement service for the transaction if:

(i) The creditor had assets of more than $250 million as of December 31st for both of the past two calendar years and the conditions in paragraph (d)(2)(i)-(iii) are met; or

1. Safe harbor in transactions in which the creditor had assets of more than $250 million for both of the past two calendar years. A person preparing a valuation or performing valuation management functions in addition to performing another settlement service for the same transaction, or whose affiliate performs another settlement service for the transaction, will not be deemed to have interest prohibited under paragraph (d)(1)(i) as a result of the person or the person's affiliate performing another settlement service if the conditions in paragraph (d)(4)(i) are satisfied. Even if the conditions in paragraph (d)(4)(i) are satisfied, however, the person may have a prohibited conflict of interest on other grounds, such as if the person performs a valuation for a purchase-money mortgage transaction in which the person is the buyer or seller of the subject property. Thus, in general, in any covered transaction with a creditor that had assets of more than $250 million for the past two years, a person preparing a valuation or performing valuation management functions, or its affiliate, may provide another settlement service for the same transaction, as long as the conditions described in paragraph (d)(4)(i) are satisfied. If the conditions in paragraph (d)(4)(i) are not satisfied, whether a person preparing valuations or performing valuation management functions has violated paragraph (d)(1)(i) depends on all of the facts and circumstances.

2. Reporting. The safe harbor under paragraph (d)(4)(i) is available if the condition specified in paragraph (d)(2)(ii), among others, is met. Paragraph (d)(2)(ii) prohibits a person preparing a valuation or performing valuation management functions from reporting to a person whose compensation is based on the closing of the transaction to which the valuation relates. For example, assume an appraisal management company performs both valuation management functions and title services, including providing title insurance, for the same covered transaction. If the appraisal management company employee in charge of valuation management functions for the transaction is supervised by the title insurance agent in the transaction, whose compensation depends in whole or in part on whether title insurance is sold at the loan closing, the condition in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) is not met.

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(d)(4)(i) in Supplement I

(ii) The creditor had assets of $250 million or less as of December 31st for either of the past two calendar years and the conditions in paragraph (d)(3)(i)-(ii) are met.

1. Safe harbor in transactions in which the creditor had assets of $250 million or less for either of the past two calendar years. A person preparing a valuation or performing valuation management functions in addition to performing another settlement service for the same transaction, or whose affiliate performs another settlement service for the transaction, will not be deemed to have an interest prohibited under paragraph (d)(1)(i) as a result of the person or the person's affiliate performing another settlement service if the conditions in paragraph (d)(4)(ii) are satisfied. Even if the conditions in paragraph (d)(4)(ii) are satisfied, however, the person may have a prohibited conflict of interest on other grounds, such as if the person performs a valuation for a purchase-money mortgage transaction in which the person is the buyer or seller of the subject property. Thus, in general, in any covered transaction in which the creditor had assets of $250 million or less for either of the past two years, a person preparing a valuation or performing valuation management functions, or its affiliate, may provide other settlement services for the same transaction, as long as the conditions described in paragraph (d)(4)(ii) are satisfied. If the conditions in paragraph (d)(4)(ii) are not satisfied, whether a person preparing valuations or performing valuation management functions has violated paragraph (d)(1)(i) depends on all of the facts and circumstances.

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(d)(4)(ii) in Supplement I

(5) Definitions. For purposes of this paragraph (d), the following definitions apply:

(i) Loan production function. The term “loan production function” means an employee, officer, director, department, division, or other unit of a creditor with responsibility for generating covered transactions, approving covered transactions, or both.

1. Loan production function. One condition of the safe harbors under paragraphs (d)(2) and (d)(4)(i), involving transactions in which the creditor had assets of more than $250 million for both of the past two calendar years, is that the person who prepares a valuation or performs valuation management functions must report to a person who is not part of the creditor's “loan production function.” A creditor's “loan production function” includes retail sales staff, loan officers, and any other employee of the creditor with responsibility for taking a loan application, offering or negotiating loan terms or whose compensation is based on loan processing volume. A person is not considered part of a creditor's loan production function solely because part of the person's compensation includes a general bonus not tied to specific transactions or a specific percentage of transactions closing, or a profit sharing plan that benefits all employees. A person solely responsible for credit administration or risk management is also not considered part of a creditor's loan production function. Credit administration and risk management includes, for example, loan underwriting, loan closing functions (e.g., loan documentation), disbursing funds, collecting mortgage payments and otherwise servicing the loan (e.g., escrow management and payment of taxes), monitoring loan performance, and foreclosure processing.

See interpretation of 42(d)(5)(i) Loan Production Function in Supplement I

(ii) Settlement service. The term “settlement service” has the same meaning as in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.

(iii) Affiliate. The term “affiliate” has the same meaning as in Regulation Y of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 12 CFR 225.2(a).

(e) When extension of credit prohibited. In connection with a covered transaction, a creditor that knows, at or before consummation, of a violation of paragraph (c) or (d) of this section in connection with a valuation shall not extend credit based on the valuation, unless the creditor documents that it has acted with reasonable diligence to determine that the valuation does not materially misstate or misrepresent the value of the consumer's principal dwelling. For purposes of this paragraph (e), a valuation materially misstates or misrepresents the value of the consumer's principal dwelling if the valuation contains a misstatement or misrepresentation that affects the credit decision or the terms on which credit is extended.

1. Reasonable diligence. A creditor will be deemed to have acted with reasonable diligence under § 1026.42(e) if the creditor extends credit based on a valuation other than the valuation subject to the restriction in § 1026.42(e). A creditor need not obtain a second valuation to document that the creditor has acted with reasonable diligence to determine that the valuation does not materially misstate or misrepresent the value of the consumer's principal dwelling, however. For example, assume an appraiser notifies a creditor before consummation that a loan originator attempted to cause the value assigned to the consumer's principal dwelling to be based on a factor other than the appraiser's independent judgment, through coercion. If the creditor reasonably determines and documents that the appraisal does not materially misstate or misrepresent the value of the consumer's principal dwelling, for purposes of § 1026.42(e), the creditor may extend credit based on the appraisal.

See interpretation of 42(e) When Extension of Credit Prohibited in Supplement I

(f) Customary and reasonable compensation

(1) Requirement to provide customary and reasonable compensation to fee appraisers. In any covered transaction, the creditor and its agents shall compensate a fee appraiser for performing appraisal services at a rate that is customary and reasonable for comparable appraisal services performed in the geographic market of the property being appraised. For purposes of paragraph (f) of this section, “agents” of the creditor do not include any fee appraiser as defined in paragraph (f)(4)(i) of this section.

1. Agents of the creditor. Whether a person is an agent of the creditor is determined by applicable law; however, a “fee appraiser” as defined in paragraph (f)(4)(i) is not an agent of the creditor for purposes of paragraph (f), and therefore is not required to pay other fee appraisers customary and reasonable compensation under paragraph (f).

2. Geographic market. For purposes of paragraph (f), the “geographic market of the property being appraised” means the geographic market relevant to compensation levels for appraisal services. Depending on the facts and circumstances, the relevant geographic market may be a state, metropolitan statistical area (MSA), metropolitan division, area outside of an MSA, county, or other geographic area. For example, assume that fee appraisers who normally work only in County A generally accept $400 to appraise an attached single-family property in County A. Assume also that very few or no fee appraisers who work only in contiguous County B will accept a rate comparable to $400 to appraise an attached single-family property in County A. The relevant geographic market for an attached single-family property in County A may reasonably be defined as County A. On the other hand, assume that fee appraisers who normally work only in County A generally accept $400 to appraise an attached single-family property in County A. Assume also that many fee appraisers who normally work only in contiguous County B will accept a rate comparable to $400 to appraise an attached single-family property in County A. The relevant geographic market for an attached single-family property in County A may reasonably be defined to include both County A and County B.

3. Failure to perform contractual obligations. Paragraph (f)(1) does not prohibit a creditor or its agent from withholding compensation from a fee appraiser for failing to meet contractual obligations, such as failing to provide the appraisal report or violating state or Federal appraisal laws in performing the appraisal.

4. Agreement that fee is “customary and reasonable.” A document signed by a fee appraiser indicating that the appraiser agrees that the fee paid to the appraiser is “customary and reasonable” does not by itself create a presumption of compliance with § 1026.42(f) or otherwise satisfy the requirement to pay a fee appraiser at a customary and reasonable rate.

5. Volume-based discounts. Section 1026.42(f)(1) does not prohibit a fee appraiser and a creditor (or its agent) from agreeing to compensation based on transaction volume, so long as the compensation is customary and reasonable. For example, assume that a fee appraiser typically receives $300 for appraisals from creditors with whom it does business; the fee appraiser, however, agrees to reduce the fee to $280 for a particular creditor, in exchange for a minimum number of assignments from the creditor.

See interpretation of 42(f)(1) Requirement to Provide Customary and Reasonable Compensation to Fee Appraisers in Supplement I

(2) Presumption of compliance. A creditor and its agents shall be presumed to comply with paragraph (f)(1) of this section if:

1. In general. A creditor and its agent are presumed to comply with paragraph (f)(1) if the creditor or its agent meets the conditions specified in paragraph (f)(2) in determining the compensation paid to a fee appraiser. These conditions are not requirements for compliance but, if met, create a presumption that the creditor or its agent has complied with § 1026.42(f)(1). A person may rebut this presumption with evidence that the amount of compensation paid to a fee appraiser was not customary and reasonable for reasons unrelated to the conditions in paragraph (f)(2)(i) or (f)(2)(ii). If a creditor or its agent does not meet one of the non-required conditions set forth in paragraph (f)(2), the creditor's and its agent's compliance with paragraph (f)(1) is determined based on all of the facts and circumstances without a presumption of either compliance or violation.

See interpretation of 42(f)(2) Presumption of Compliance in Supplement I

(i) The creditor or its agents compensate the fee appraiser in an amount that is reasonably related to recent rates paid for comparable appraisal services performed in the geographic market of the property being appraised. In determining this amount, a creditor or its agents shall review the factors below and make any adjustments to recent rates paid in the relevant geographic market necessary to ensure that the amount of compensation is reasonable:

1. Two-step process for determining customary and reasonable rates. Paragraph (f)(2)(i) sets forth a two-step process for a creditor or its agent to determine the amount of compensation that is customary and reasonable in a given transaction. First, the creditor or its agent must identify recent rates paid for comparable appraisal services in the relevant geographic market. Second, once recent rates have been identified, the creditor or its agent must review the factors listed in paragraph (f)(2)(i)(A)-(F) and make any appropriate adjustments to the rates to ensure that the amount of compensation is reasonable.

2. Identifying recent rates. Whether rates may reasonably be considered “recent” depends on the facts and circumstances. Generally, “recent” rates would include rates charged within one year of the creditor's or its agent's reliance on this information to qualify for the presumption of compliance under paragraph (f)(2). For purposes of the presumption of compliance under paragraph (f)(2), a creditor or its agent may gather information about recent rates by using a reasonable method that provides information about rates for appraisal services in the geographic market of the relevant property; a creditor or its agent may, but is not required to, use or perform a fee survey.

3. Accounting for factors. Once recent rates in the relevant geographic market have been identified, the creditor or its agent must review the factors listed in paragraph (f)(2)(i)(A)-(F) to determine the appropriate rate for the current transaction. For example, if the recent rates identified by the creditor or its agent were solely for appraisal assignments in which the scope of work required consideration of two comparable properties, but the current transaction required an appraisal that considered three comparable properties, the creditor or its agent might reasonably adjust the rate by an amount that accounts for the increased scope of work, in addition to making any other appropriate adjustments based on the remaining factors.

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(f)(2)(i) in Supplement I

(A) The type of property,

1. Type of property. The type of property may include, for example, detached or attached single-family property, condominium or cooperative unit, or manufactured home.

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(f)(2)(i)(A) in Supplement I

(B) The scope of work,

1. Scope of work. The scope of work may include, for example, the type of inspection (such as exterior only or both interior and exterior) or number of comparables required for the appraisal.

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(f)(2)(i)(B) in Supplement I

(C) The time in which the appraisal services are required to be performed,

(D) Fee appraiser qualifications,

1. Fee appraiser qualifications. The fee appraiser qualifications may include, for example, a state license or certification in accordance with the minimum criteria issued by the Appraisal Qualifications Board of the Appraisal Foundation, or completion of continuing education courses on effective appraisal methods and related topics.

2. Membership in professional appraisal organization. Paragraph 42(f)(2)(i)(D) does not override state or Federal laws prohibiting the exclusion of an appraiser from consideration for an assignment solely by virtue of membership or lack of membership in any particular appraisal organization. See, e.g., 12 CFR 225.66(a).

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(f)(2)(i)(D) in Supplement I

(E) Fee appraiser experience and professional record, and

1. Fee appraiser experience and professional record. The fee appraiser's level of experience may include, for example, the fee appraiser's years of service as a state-licensed or state-certified appraiser, or years of service appraising properties in a particular geographical area or of a particular type. The fee appraiser's professional record may include, for example, whether the fee appraiser has a past record of suspensions, disqualifications, debarments, or judgments for waste, fraud, abuse or breach of legal or professional standards.

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(f)(2)(i)(E) in Supplement I

(F) Fee appraiser work quality; and

1. Fee appraiser work quality. The fee appraiser's work quality may include, for example, the past quality of appraisals performed by the appraiser based on the written performance and review criteria of the creditor or agent of the creditor.

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(f)(2)(i)(F) in Supplement I

(ii) The creditor and its agents do not engage in any anticompetitive acts in violation of state or Federal law that affect the compensation paid to fee appraisers, including:

1. Restraining trade. Under § 1026.42(f)(2)(ii)(A), creditor or its agent would not qualify for the presumption of compliance under paragraph (f)(2) if it engaged in any acts to restrain trade such as entering into a price fixing or market allocation agreement that affect the compensation of fee appraisers. For example, if appraisal management company A and appraisal management company B agreed to compensate fee appraisers at no more than a specific rate or range of rates, neither appraisal management company would qualify for the presumption of compliance. Likewise, if appraisal management company A and appraisal management company B agreed that appraisal management company A would limit its business to a certain portion of the relevant geographic market and appraisal management company B would limit its business to a different portion of the relevant geographic market, and as a result each appraisal management company unilaterally set the fees paid to fee appraisers in their respective portions of the market, neither appraisal management company would qualify for the presumption of compliance under paragraph (f)(2).

2. Acts of monopolization. Under § 1026.42(f)(2)(ii)(B), a creditor or its agent would not qualify for the presumption of compliance under paragraph (f)(2) if it engaged in any act of monopolization such as restricting entry into the relevant geographic market or causing any person to leave the relevant geographic market, resulting in anticompetitive effects that affect the compensation paid to fee appraisers. For example, if only one appraisal management company exists or is predominant in a particular market area, that appraisal management company might not qualify for the presumption of compliance if it entered into exclusivity agreements with all creditors in the market or all fee appraisers in the market, such that other appraisal management companies had to leave or could not enter the market. Whether this behavior would be considered an anticompetitive act that affects the compensation paid to fee appraisers depends on all of the facts and circumstances, including applicable law.

See interpretation of Paragraph 42(f)(2)(ii) in Supplement I

(A) Entering into any contracts or engaging in any conspiracies to restrain trade through methods such as price fixing or market allocation, as prohibited under section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. 1, or any other relevant antitrust laws; or

(B) Engaging in any acts of monopolization such as restricting any person from entering the relevant geographic market or causing any person to leave the relevant geographic market, as prohibited under section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. 2, or any other relevant antitrust laws.

(3) Alternative presumption of compliance. A creditor and its agents shall be presumed to comply with paragraph (f)(1) of this section if the creditor or its agents determine the amount of compensation paid to the fee appraiser by relying on information about rates that:

1. In general. A creditor and its agent are presumed to comply with paragraph (f)(1) if the creditor or its agent determine the compensation paid to a fee appraiser based on information about customary and reasonable rates that satisfies the conditions in paragraph (f)(3) for that information. Reliance on information satisfying the conditions in paragraph (f)(3) is not a requirement for compliance with paragraph (f)(1), but creates a presumption that the creditor or its agent has complied. A person may rebut this presumption with evidence that the rate of compensation paid to a fee appraiser by the creditor or its agent is not customary and reasonable based on facts or information other than third-party information satisfying the conditions of this paragraph (f)(3). If a creditor or its agent does not rely on information that meets the conditions in paragraph (f)(3), the creditor's and its agent's compliance with paragraph (f)(1) is determined based on all of the facts and circumstances without a presumption of either compliance or violation.

2. Geographic market. The meaning of “geographic market” for purposes of paragraph (f) is explained in comment (f)(1)-1.

3. Recent rates. Whether rates may reasonably be considered “recent” depends on the facts and circumstances. Generally, “recent” rates would include rates charged within one year of the creditor's or its agent's reliance on this information to qualify for the presumption of compliance under paragraph (f)(3).

See interpretation of 42(f)(3) Alternative Presumption of Compliance in Supplement I

(i) Is based on objective third-party information, including fee schedules, studies, and surveys prepared by independent third parties such as government agencies, academic institutions, and private research firms;

(ii) Is based on recent rates paid to a representative sample of providers of appraisal services in the geographic market of the property being appraised or the fee schedules of those providers; and

(iii) In the case of information based on fee schedules, studies, and surveys, such fee schedules, studies, or surveys, or the information derived therefrom, excludes compensation paid to fee appraisers for appraisals ordered by appraisal management companies, as defined in paragraph (f)(4)(iii) of this section.

(4) Definitions. For purposes of this paragraph (f), the following definitions apply:

(i) Fee appraiser. The term “fee appraiser” means:

1. Organization. The term “organization” in paragraph 42(f)(4)(i)(B) includes a corporation, partnership, proprietorship, association, cooperative, or other business entity and does not include a natural person.

See interpretation of 42(f)(4)(i) Fee Appraiser in Supplement I

(A) A natural person who is a state-licensed or state-certified appraiser and receives a fee for performing an appraisal, but who is not an employee of the person engaging the appraiser; or

(B) An organization that, in the ordinary course of business, employs state-licensed or state-certified appraisers to perform appraisals, receives a fee for performing appraisals, and is not subject to the requirements of section 1124 of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (12 U.S.C. 3353).

(ii) Appraisal services. The term “appraisal services” means the services required to perform an appraisal, including defining the scope of work, inspecting the property, reviewing necessary and appropriate public and private data sources (for example, multiple listing services, tax assessment records and public land records), developing and rendering an opinion of value, and preparing and submitting the appraisal report.

(iii) Appraisal management company. The term “appraisal management company” means any person authorized to perform one or more of the following actions on behalf of the creditor:

(A) Recruit, select, and retain fee appraisers;(B) Contract with fee appraisers to perform appraisal services;

(C) Manage the process of having an appraisal performed, including providing administrative services such as receiving appraisal orders and appraisal reports, submitting completed appraisal reports to creditors and underwriters, collecting fees from creditors and underwriters for services provided, and compensating fee appraisers for services performed; or

(D) Review and verify the work of fee appraisers.

(g) Mandatory reporting

(1) Reporting required. Any covered person that reasonably believes an appraiser has not complied with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice or ethical or professional requirements for appraisers under applicable state or Federal statutes or regulations shall refer the matter to the appropriate state agency if the failure to comply is material. For purposes of this paragraph (g)(1), a failure to comply is material if it is likely to significantly affect the value assigned to the consumer's principal dwelling.

1. Reasonable basis. A person reasonably believes that an appraiser has materially failed to comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) established by the Appraisal Standards Board of the Appraisal Foundation (as defined in 12 U.S.C. 3350(9)) or ethical or professional requirements for appraisers under applicable state or Federal statutes or regulations if the person possesses knowledge or information that would lead a reasonable person in the same circumstances to conclude that the appraiser has materially failed to comply with USPAP or such statutory or regulatory requirements.

2. Material failure to comply. For purposes of § 1026.42(g)(1), a material failure to comply is one that is likely to affect the value assigned to the consumer's principal dwelling. The following are examples of a material failure to comply with USPAP or ethical or professional requirements:

i. Mischaracterizing the value of the consumer's principal dwelling in violation of § 1026.42(c)(2)(i).

ii. Performing an assignment in a grossly negligent manner, in violation of a rule under USPAP.

iii. Accepting an appraisal assignment on the condition that the appraiser will report a value equal to or greater than the purchase price for the consumer's principal dwelling, in violation of a rule under USPAP.

3. Other matters. Section 1026.42(g)(1) does not require reporting of a matter that is not material under § 1026.42(g)(1), for example:

i. An appraiser's disclosure of confidential information in violation of applicable state law.

ii. An appraiser's failure to maintain errors and omissions insurance in violation of applicable state law.

4. Examples of covered persons. “Covered persons” include creditors, mortgage brokers, appraisers, appraisal management companies, real estate agents, and other persons that provide “settlement services” as defined in section 3(3) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (12 U.S.C. 2602(3)) and the implementing regulation at 12 CFR 1024.2. See § 1026.42(b)(1).

5. Examples of persons not covered. The following persons are not “covered persons” (unless, of course, they are creditors with respect to a covered transaction or perform “settlement services” in connection with a covered transaction):

i. The consumer who obtains credit through a covered transaction.

ii. A person secondarily liable for a covered transaction, such as a guarantor.

iii. A person that resides in or will reside in the consumer's principal dwelling but will not be liable on the covered transaction, such as a non-obligor spouse.

6. Appraiser. For purposes of § 1026.42(g)(1), an “appraiser” is a natural person who provides opinions of the value of dwellings and is required to be licensed or certified under the laws of the state in which the consumer's principal dwelling is located or otherwise is subject to the jurisdiction of the appraiser certifying and licensing agency for that state. See 12 U.S.C. 3350(1).

See interpretation of 42(g)(1) Reporting Required in Supplement I

(2) Timing of reporting. A covered person shall notify the appropriate state agency within a reasonable period of time after the person determines that there is a reasonable basis to believe that a failure to comply required to be reported under paragraph (g)(1) of this section has occurred.

(3) Definition. For purposes of this paragraph (g), “state agency” means “state appraiser certifying and licensing agency” under 12 U.S.C. 3350(1) and any implementing regulations. The appropriate state agency to which a covered person must refer a matter under paragraph (g)(1) of this section is the agency for the state in which the consumer's principal dwelling is located.

(h) The Bureau issued a joint rule to implement the appraisal management company minimum requirements in the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act, as amended by section 1473 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. See 12 CFR part 34.