I Pay, I Get, Right?
One of the things I find difficult is explaining to homeowners that I, as the appraiser, am not able to give them a copy of their appraisal report that a bank or mortgage company ordered. I received a call this week from the owner of a home I recently appraised asking me for a copy of the report. This was not the first time it has happended and I am sure it will not be the last, however I thought I would share the reasons that an appraiser is not able to provide a copy of the appraisal report to the owner or buyer of the property even if they paid for it.
To the consumer it doesn’t make a lot of sense why the appraiser cannot give them a copy of the appraisal if they paid for it but, as I will explain shortly, it doesn’t matter who pays for the appraisal but what does matter is who orders the appraisal. Appraisers must abide by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practic (USPAP) which states the following in the Confidentiality section of the Ethics Rule:
An appraiser must not disclose (1) confidential information; or (2) assignment results to anyone other than:
- the client;
- persons specifically authorized by the client;
- state appraiser regulatory agencies;
- third parties as may be authorized by due process of law; or
- a duly authorized professional peer review committee except when such disclosure to a committee would violate applicable law or regulation.
Who Really Is The Client?
USPAP also defines the client as the one that engages the appraiser, so when the bank orders the appraisal they are the client and that is who the appraiser reports to, so to speak. Federally related transactions require the lender to order the appraisal, so the homeowner is not able to order it and therefore cannot request a copy of the appraisal from the appraiser even though they pay for the appraisal to be done. As you can see, the party that pays for the appraisal is not the determining factor for who the client is. The lender must give their consent to whoever receives a copy of the report, however they typically prefer to provide the copy to the borrower, and are actually required by law to do so.
A law went into effect in January of 2014 that actually requires lenders to provide a copy of the appraisal or other valuation tool used to make a loan decision to their customer as soon as it is completed or 3 days prior to the closing, whichever is earlier. Prior to this law the only requirement was that they provide a copy, however there was no time restrictions. If you are not given a copy of your appraisal it could be a simple oversight of the lender and you can request one in writing. If you have any other questions about the procedure for getting a copy of your appraisal report leave me message below.
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