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john snyder

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Senior Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
Michigan Bills Tighten Appraiser Independence Requirements

Last week, Michigan lawmakers passed a pending package of bills designed to curtail mortgage fraud as well as unscrupulous lending practices. Included in the package of bills was S.B.1552, which amends existing legislation to prohibit coercing an appraiser in order to receive a predetermined value on an appraisal. The appraiser independence language of S.B. 1552 will be enacted into law after being signed by the governor, though technically its enactment is contingent upon the passage of four other bills related to broker and lender licensing: S.B. 1553, S.B. 1554, S.B. 1555 and H.B. 6562. With the exception of H.B. 6562, these bills have also passed the Mich. House and Senate and are expected to be signed into law soon as well. It is expected that H.B. 6562 will pass before the legislature adjourns for the year.



In addition to the bills highlighted above, Michigan lawmakers have also been considering bills that would establish criminal penalties and civil fines for violations of acts regulating mortgages as well as brokers, lenders and servicers of mortgages. While most appraiser independence laws across the country make it a crime for a mortgage lender to apply pressure to an appraiser, Michigan’s H.B. 4054 would take it a step further by making it a misdemeanor for a licensed appraiser to respond to inappropriate pressure by a mortgage lender.



However, the adoption of H.B. 4054 remains uncertain as its passage is contingent upon the enactment of S.B. 343 and S.B. 356, two proposed bills that are seen as very similar to S.B. 1554 and S.B. 1555. It is believed H.B. 4054 will be considered this week.



With the Michigan Legislature currently in session, it is expected that further action will be taken on these bills before the end of 2008. If not, the bills will die and will need to be reintroduced in 2009. Copies of the bills are available at www.legislature.mi.gov.


john snyder
 
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