Tag Archives: FIRREA

2019 – THE YEAR EVALUATIONS BREAK THROUGH

April 19, 2019 – It has been exactly 25 years that I have been campaigning for non-USPAP Evaluations to be performed by licensed/certified appraisers.  Most of the time it has been a one-man campaign.  Thankfully, times have changed and appraisers have come around to the need for Evaluations.

It looks like this year will see many States pass the requisite law to allow its most qualified valuers to finally perform non-USPAP Evaluations.  If your State isn’t mentioned below, I encourage you to take action.  For almost 30 years, non-appraisers have been doing all the Evaluation work in your State.   With Evaluation volume about 4x-6x that of Appraisal volume think how much business you have missed out on:(

The following are from the Appraisal Institute:

Utah Allows Appraisers to Perform Evaluations for Federally Regulated Lenders
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on March 26 signed SB 140, legislation that allows state-licensed and state-certified appraisers to perform evaluations for federally regulated financial institutions.
Under the new law, appraisers who provide evaluations in compliance with the Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines are exempt from compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. Appraisers will sign the evaluations, certifying that they comply with the IAEG. However, they must still abide by the basic elements of USPAP’s Ethics, Competency, Scope of Work and Recordkeeping rules. This concept has been advanced by several Appraisal Institute chapters in recent years.
The legislation takes effect May 14.
• Evaluations
Alabama (HB 304) Louisiana (SB 42) and Oregon (SB 109) are considering bills that will amend appraiser licensing laws so that appraisers can perform for financial institutions evaluations that do not comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice when not required by federal law. If the laws pass in these states, they will join Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia in allowing appraisers to perform these services.

 

MARKET VALUE ‘AS IS’ MUST CONSIDER EXISTING LEASES

February 21, 2019 – Every once in awhile the same question arises from several people in different parts of the country.  I wonder if people attended the same seminar and were told the same (erroneous) information.  Or just plain coincidence.

The topic du jour is bank/credit union clients asking appraisers to ignore existing subject leases and appraise Fee Simple Estate only.  There are two main scenarios to deal with – one where such a request is not acceptable and one where it is.

Scenario #1 – The subject has one or more arm’s-length leases in place that are not all month-to-month or say expire within a month.  I just use one month as technically the appraisal will be done by then and the tenants could be removed in that time period (assuming such is legal).  In this case, Market Value ‘As Is’ MUST be of the Leased Fee Interest.  The subject must be appraised as it legally and physically stands today.  If the bank/credit union would also like to know the Fee Simple Estate value, then this can be provided IN ADDITION TO Market Value ‘As Is’ of the Leased Fee Interest.  I would call this additional value Hypothetical Value of Fee Simple Estate.  A Hypothetical Condition is needed as this value assumes the existing leases are not in place.  Now, if the subject is leased to a single tenant and that tenant is purchasing the property…we go to…

Scenario #2 – The subject is leased to a single tenant who is purchasing the property.  Obviously, when the purchase occurs the lease goes away.  Or at least for us appraisers, it is ignored because now it is no longer arm’s-length.  The bank/credit union’s request for Fee Simple Estate only is now acceptable.  With a bit of a twist though….Market Value ‘As Is’ would still be of Leased Fee Interest.  However, this value is not needed.  Why?  Because the loan is not being made until the property is purchased.  Therefore, the appraiser provides a Prospective Value as of say a month or two in the future (whenever a closing is projected to occur).  An Extraordinary Assumption is needed to say that we assume the purchase will occur and the lease will be extinguished in the stated timeframe.  What about the requisite Market Value ‘As Is’ that FIRREA requires?  Well, on the day the property is purchased and the loan is closed, the appraiser’s Prospective Value is now Market Value ‘As Is.’  And now FIRREA is satisfied and all is good in Appraisal Land:)

((As an aside, Scenario #2 is useful when a zoning change is in process.  Until it occurs, Market Value ‘As Is’ must consider the subject as currently zoned.  I encourage banks not to make the loan until the zoning change occurs.  This way an appraiser can provide a Prospective Value ‘Upon Zoning Change’ with a future date and not have to deal with Market Value ‘As Is.’  But, if the loan is being made today, then two difference scenarios must be valued.  Once again, the value difference might not be that much.))

There are likely some other less common scenarios that arise.  But, the above two seem to take care of the vast majority of transactions.

I will quickly mention one scenario that provides an example of why Market Value and Market Value ‘As Is’ are not always the same.

The subject is leased to a single tenant with say 3 or 6 months left on the lease.  The owner or a buyer is going to occupy the property once the lease expires and the tenant has moved out.

In non-bank/cu appraisals, Market Value could likely just ignore the existing lease.  We could argue that market participants don’t care about the next 3-6 months of the tenant being in place.  They know they will occupy the property very soon.  This is ok for Market Value.

However, for a bank appraisal under FIRREA, this is not acceptable.  The lease is in place and Market Value ‘As Is’ is of Leased Fee Interest and the lease must be part of the value.  Obviously, if the rental rate happens to be at market, then there is no difference in value between the Leased Fee Interest today and the hypothetical Fee Simple Estate today.  If contract rent is above or below market, then there is a difference in these two values.  Admittedly, it is likely to be a small amount.  But, it MUST be included in the Market Value ‘As Is’ conclusion.  In this case, Market Value and Market Value ‘As Is’ differ.  And this is one of several examples where USPAP and FIRREA differ.

As with FF&E, please do not pull the ol’ ‘this is absorbed in rounding and thus is not added or deducted’ routine.  Make the addition or deduction to get to Market Value ‘As Is’ and move on.

Please contact me if you have any questions.  Any other scenarios worth me addressing.  et al.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog:)

The Mann

 

Re-Posted – Apartment Appliances are FF&E!!!!!!!! Not Real Property!!!!!!

February 2019 – This item was originally posted in 2015.  Four years later I still hear that an appraiser or reviewer wants to say that kitchen and laundry appliances are real property.  NOT!  Geez folks, get over this already.  Appliances are appliances are equipment and not real property.  This is basic knowledge.

I will add one suggestion (from my wife when she was a reviewer) for those dealing with this issue.  My wife would tell the appraiser that all they had to do is provide rent comparables of units with no appliances and rent comparables of units with appliances and if the rents were the same, then the FF&E does not contribute to value.  That simple and it would be market evidence.

In our combined 50+ years of reviewing appraisals we have not seen this analysis done.  I have seen many appraisals where a rent adjustment IS made for comps with only washer/dryer hookups versus ones with washer/dryer units.  That has been an adjustment greater than $0 in 100% of the cases I have seen.  Definitive proof that FF&E has a positive value in apartments.

I have not seen any rent comparables that lacked kitchen appliances, so no evidence there that I know of.  In foreign countries this exists.  In some markets tenants actually move their refrigerator and such from apartment to apartment:)

When I started appraising in 1986 in South Florida, my first apartment complex appraisal I separated out FF&E.  It wasn’t a requirement (that I can recall).  It was just obvious.  Common sense.

I do want to commend those appraisers that I review that always value the FF&E separately.  Some go so far as to provide a value even if there is only one or two apartment units in a property (e.g. retail first floor, 2 apartments on 2nd floor).  Might be only $400 in FF&E, but FIRREA doesn’t care about the amount.  Just that it is excluded from Market Value ‘As Is.’

Also, please do not pull the ol’ ‘this is absorbed in rounding and thus is not added or deducted’ routine.  Make the addition or deduction to get to Market Value ‘As Is’ and move on.

Please contact me if you have any questions.  Any other topics for me to blog about.  et al.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog:)

The original post follows.

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It is 2015 and I continue to encounter appraisers (albeit fewer and fewer thankfully!) who do not value the FF&E in apartment properties.   Since 1990, FIRREA has required this.  This issue should have been settled 25+ years ago.

The most common response I get when I ask an appraiser to separately value the FF&E is ‘In our market these items transfer with the real estate.’  To which a whole list of questions and replies come to mind:

Who cares how the FF&E is transferred – it is still FF&E!

FF&E in hotels transfers with the real estate – how does that differ from an apartment complex?  The same goes for many other property types.

Having been frustrated by this issue for 23+ years as a reviewer, a few years ago I took the opportunity to have this item added to the 14th Edition of The Appraisal of Real Estate.  There is a list of property types with FF&E and that list now includes apartments:)

For bank/credit union appraisals, appraisers need to realize that it is Federal Law that requires LTV (Loan-To-Value) ratios be calculated on the Market Value As Is of REAL ESTATE ONLY.  Examiners have been focusing on this very item for the past 5 years.  It is important that fee appraisers help their clients comply with Federal Law.  Provide a value for the FF&E and be done with it.  And do NOT include the amount in the Market Value ‘As Is’ figure as again it is supposed to be Real Estate Only.

I will agree that in some cases this amount is minimal.  But, Federal Law still requires a separate value.  There are many cases where this amount can be in the millions of dollars – e.g. those high end condo projects that did not sell out before the bubble burst and have been rented as apartments ever since.

Lastly, as one instructor told a class I was in – If I can drop it on my foot, it is FF&E:)

The Mann

RESIDENTIAL APPRAISAL THRESHOLD INCREASE – MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

February 1, 2019 – The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency proposed raising the residential appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000.

The Appraisal Institute and numerous other groups are opposing this increase.  That is understandable.  But, the hyperbole that these organizations and appraisers put out there is no different than the Fake News problem.

Based on my experience of over 25+ years in banking, I estimate that less than one-hundredth of 1% of residential appraisals will be affected.  Probably less than that.

GSEs are responsible for 90%-95% of residential loans and, thus, residential appraisals.  All such loans are exempt from FIRREA.  So, the Federal Agencies can increase the residential threshold from $250,000 to $1 Trillion and it wouldn’t be noticed by 99%+ of   residential appraisers!  Also, it will have no effect on the national economy.

For the most part, the only residential properties that stay under FIRREA are second/vacation homes, model homes in subdivisions, and rental homes (e.g. an investor rents 20 houses around a city).   Some ‘regular’ house loans remain under FIRREA – this is when the bank does not sell the loans to the secondary market.  Banks typically don’t keep many of these loans on their books.  But, yes, they do keep some.

Appraisers just need to keep an eye on the GSEs.  They are the ones who make decisions that affect the entire residential appraisal industry in a significant way.  Don’t worry about the FIRREA issue at hand.  As they say, it is a nothing burger:)

The Mann

A REAL-WORLD SCENARIO AND HOW FIRREA ADDRESSES IT

August 2, 2018 – First, thanks to a bank client for sharing some real-world situations with me and allowing me to post them to my blog.  Also, thanks to the regulators for providing anonymous explanations of how FIRREA applies.

SCENARIO – Any City USA – We financed one 4-plex (units cannot be sold individually) and eventually there may be more than four 4-plex properties.  At what point do we consider this tract development, therefore would need discounted cash flow analysis completed?

Assumption – Ignore any land for future development

Assumption – All development occurs in same development

FIRREA Application Under Several Situations:

First 4-Plex – This is a SINGLE 1-4  Family residential property.  Therefore, the $250,000 threshold applies and an evaluation is required if the loan amount is $250,000 or lower.  As always, the bank can choose to order an appraisal.  If the loan amount is above $250,000 then an appraisal is required.

Two 4-Plexes at once – This falls under Commercial Real Estate Transaction and the new $500,000 threshold.  A loan amount at or below the threshold requires an evaluation and above the threshold requires an appraisal.

Five or more 4-Plexes – This meets the definition of Tract Development and  would need a discounted cash flow analysis completed.  Some exceptions are possible, but generally a DCF analysis is performed.  The $500,000 threshold applies as to whether the DCF is done in an evaluation or appraisal.

With the new definition of Commercial Real Estate Transaction and the new threshold of $500,000, the above project shows the realm of possibilities.

As always, please contact me if you want  to discuss this.

Also, as always, I encourage you to contact the authors of the 2018 interagency bulletin that introduced the new definition and threshold.  They can give an ‘official’ opinion on how to handle your particular situation.  You do not need to provide a borrower’s name or such.  They simply want to help you follow FIRREA correctly.

I will be posting a few more scenarios over the next few weeks….check back often:)

The Mann

 

REVISIONS MADE TO TITLE XI OF FIRREA

April 2, 2018 (UPDATED) – The Agencies have finally released ‘The Final Rule’ for updates to FIRREA.  A copy of the document can be found at:

https://www.fdic.gov/news/board/2018/2018-03-20-notice-sum-c-fr.pdf

The main change is increasing the de minimus level for commercial real estate transactions from $250,000 to $500,000.  Although this might seem significant, it is basically an adjustment for inflation from the last change to $250,000 in 1994.

Also, the definition of ‘commercial real estate transaction’ has been updated.

The changes are not in effect until published in the Federal Register,  I will update this post when this occurs.  UPDATE – This document is now live as it is in the Federal Register.

Financial institutions should update their appraisal/evaluation policies accordingly.

The Mann

 

AGENCIES PROPOSE TO INCREASE ONLY ONE THRESHOLD A SMALL AMOUNT

July 24, 2017 – The Federal Agencies published the following on July 19th:

The FDIC, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the Agencies) are jointly issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking titled Real Estate Appraisals (Appraisal NPR) that will be published in the Federal Register for a 60-day comment period. The Appraisal NPR proposes to increase the current appraisal threshold for commercial real estate (CRE) transactions from $250,000 to $400,000. The Appraisal NPR addresses comments received during the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act (EGRPRA) review process, which requires that, not less than once every ten years, the Agencies, along with the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, conduct a review of the Agencies’ regulations to identify outdated or otherwise unnecessary or burdensome regulatory requirements.

You can get their full 60-page report at:

https://www.fdic.gov/news/board/2017/2017-07-18-notice-dis-a-fr.pdf

The one thing I found amusing was their statement that it takes about 40 minutes to review an appraisal.  Who did they survey?

I have reviewed over 4,000 commercial appraisal reports for the past 25 years.  I consider myself extremely fast.  Plus, many times I am reviewing reports of the same appraisers I have seen 10 or 20 or 50 times before.  That helps to speed up reviews as we know where everything is in a report.

In all of the time studies I have been part of or heard about for the past 25 years, the average time to perform a Compliance Checklist is 2 hours and to perform a Technical Review is 4-8 hours.

But, that is not an important issue.  The only suggestion being made is to increase the $250,000 threshold for all commercial loans up to $400,000.  The business loan exemption will stay at $1,000,000 and the residential (1-4 units) loan exemption will stay at $250,000.

These are minor changes and quite surprising to me.  Based on inflation alone (which they present in their report), I would increase the $250,000 to $500,000 and the $1,000,000 to $2,000,000.  Based on the stats they present, this would keep appraisal volume at 1994 levels (appraisal volume has increased steadily over the past 23 years).

If I really had my way, I would eliminate appraisals for all business loans and residential loans.  Appraisers know that the value when a new loan is made is meaningless.  These type of loans are based on credit not real estate.  The banks only need to know the real estate value years in the future when a foreclosure might occur.

Which, of course, always brings us back to my call for America to adopt Mortgage Lending Value/Long-Term Sustainable Value…..but, I digress.

Remember, you have the opportunity to send in your opinion to the Agencies.  This is probably the first time in 23 years that your opinion has been asked for in regard to FIRREA.  And, it will be the last time for another 10 years.  Speak up…this is the time to do such.

The Mann

5 STATES DOWN, 45 TO GO

May 19, 2017 – I was notified this week that Illinois has had a law on their books that allows licensed appraisers to perform non-USPAP Evaluations.  I have no clue how long it has been there.  Maybe someone from Illinois knows and can tell me.  So, we are actually at 5 states now, albeit Virginia has a technical glitch that will delay the law for a year.  Following is an excerpt from the law (I will add emphasis to the key words) and additional explanation I have received from my ‘sources.’  (oh geez I sound like the Fake News Media!)

225 ILCS 458/5-5a – “It is unlawful for a person to …. (ii) develop a
real estate appraisal, (iii) practice as a real estate appraiser… without a license issued under this Act.”
225 ILCS 458/5-5g – “This act does not apply to”….
[1] an employee, officer, director, or member of a credit or loan
committee of a financial institution or any other person engaged by a financial institution when performing an evaluation of real property for the sole use of the financial institution in a transaction for which the financial institution would not be required to use the services of a State licensed or State certified appraiser pursuant to federal regulations adopted under Title XI of the federal Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989… (emphasis added)
The state board has confirmed to several people that state-certified appraisers are permitted to perform non-USPAP compliant evaluations when engaged by an institution.  The only caveat is that the appraiser cannot sign as an appraiser, reference their state credential or any appraisal related designations.

CONGRATS VIRGINIA! 4 DOWN, 46 TO GO

March 27, 2017 – I’ve been campaigning since 1994 to get states to pass laws that allow licensed appraisers to perform non-USPAP compliant Evaluations.  After 23 years, we now have the 4th state to invoke such a law.  Congrats to Virginia and all of its appraisers that can now complete on a level playing field.

We have a long way to go.  But, hopefully, this is gaining steam and appraisers in every state will get to work on getting similar laws passed sooner than later.   Florida and North Carolina have similar laws up for consideration right now.

Just fyi, I think the Tennessee law is the best, but the Indiana wording is very good, too.

My alter ego, Johnny Evaluationseed, is proud to see such progress:)

If you are trying to get this law passed in your state, please feel free to contact me.  I would be glad to help in any way I can.  In a few days I will be posting a list of Q&As that address the typical opposition to these laws.  I hope you find it useful.  Feel free to use it, albeit I would appreciate knowing where it is being passed around.  Just curious which states are considering the law is all:)

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ADDED April 27, 2017 – There has been some confusion among appraisers.  I received the following explanation which I think clarifies the law.  I hope it helps.

The new law very clearly says that “The provisions of this chapter DO NOT APPLY” to an appraiser performing an evaluation.   So once you make the determination that: 1) you are an appraiser; and 2) that you are performing an evaluation as permitted in the law, then the rest of the law in the chapter does not apply, including anything related to USPAP compliance.   At that point (appraiser performing an evaluation), you are 100% outside of the appraiser licensing law and the VREAB would have absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over you as it relates to ANYTHING.

 

Agencies Finalize EGRPRA Review with Joint Report to Congress

March 22, 2017 – After about 2 years, FFIEC has finally published their report that includes dealing with appraisal issues.

The link is below.   Pages 28 to 40 deal with appraisal issues.  Albeit, appraisals are discussed a bit in a few other places.  As noted, these are NOT final and official changes.

In general, if the proposal does not change, this is a big win for appraisers.  The small increase in a single threshold will not have a major affect on appraisal volume.

https://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2017/nr-ia-2017-33a.pdf?utm_campaign=ABA-Newsbytes-032217-HTML&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua