With the ever-evolving regulations and compliance enforcement measures in the commercial real estate world, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your appraisal management company (AMC) stays compliant and up-to-date. As an experienced AMC provider, we at Oxford have been delivering confidence with every appraisal since our start in 1995.
Using advanced technology and hands-on knowledge, we mitigate your risk using proven processes designed to withstand even the most rigorous of audits — without ever missing any of the important details or deadlines. The secret is really no secret — but it is what makes Oxford AMC different from your run-of-the-mill appraiser. It’s how we manage a compliant process that works.
As an AMC, we understand the fact that the people we work with rely on us – after all, just one wrong step as we collect, store, transfer, or disclose data could potentially lead to a major lawsuit. As experts in our field, we understand that it’s imperative to know each of the projects we oversee, what vendors are involved, and know/have policies in place for privacy and protection.
So, how can you ensure that your AMC, just like your friends at Oxford, remains compliant and secure? We’re here to share our top tips for accomplishing total compliance!
Top Tips for Keeping Your AMC Compliant
Compliance Starts with Quality
At Oxford, orders are received and bid out in compliance with our clients’ approved appraiser list, also considering geographic location, proficiency, quality score, and on-time rate. Our list of credited appraisers are continually reviewed and scored so you have the assurance that the best appraiser will be assigned every time.
We also monitor the appraiser throughout the entire appraisal process. Our clients receive automated email updates notifying them of progress every step of the way. When completed, we again review and certify the appraisal for 100-percent compliance.
Let’s back-track for a moment. When it comes to an appraisal request, the first measure to be reviewed is that the AMC you are working with has hired a compliance vendor or already has as internal compliance team in place. The compliance team should be solely responsible for the identification, interpretation, and recommendations for compliance with all proposed and enacted appraisal legislation that affects the mortgage and real estate finance industries.
Information about this compliance company or executive should be made available and enough detail should be provided to establish a level of skill equal to the significance of this task. It should be made clear by the AMC that this compliance organization regularly monitors for any changes to federal and state appraisal regulations and licensing requirements.
Keep Clients in the Know to Keep Everyone Happy
As we mentioned before, Oxford AMC tracks the status of every order to help ensure that vendors are meeting our deadlines so that we, in turn, can meet those of our clients. Our online portal tracking system is reinforced with manual tracking by team members, who pro-actively monitor milestones and communicate with our clients and their assigned appraiser as needed.
With secured access to the password-protected portal, our clients have the ability to track the status of their appraisal in real-time throughout the entire process, communicate to their team, and access appraisal documentation. In turn, the members of our compliance team can also access this portal to ensure that all steps are compliant in accordance to state and federal regulations.
Follow Independence Standards
Federal law requires the CRE appraisal process to be independently conducted and managed. The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) created a federal framework to oversee the state licensing and certification of real estate appraisers, and it established the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) within the Financial Institutions Examinations Council (FFIEC).
The ASC provides grants to the Appraisal Foundation under which the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) develops and amends The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). USPAP is a set of standards for professional appraisal of real estate, personal property, business and mass appraisal. State Appraiser Certification and Licensing Boards, federal, state, and local agencies and appraisal trade associations require compliance with USPAP.
Oxford reviewers are independent. We do not have an affiliated brokerage, which means no conﬂict of interest, and our reviewers do not compete for local assignments – it’s just another way we ensure our clients of full and complete compliance.
Get to Know Your AMC
It’s definitely a good idea to know the names and credentials of the AMC’s management team responsible for the implementation of appraisal policies, procedures, and processes to ensure day-to-day compliance for the AMC, its appraisers, and its clients.
Details of the in-house training program and requirements in relation to federal and state regulations, including consumer protection laws, should also be made available.
Additionally, the AMC’s (appraiser or non-appraiser) involved with placing or reviewing appraisal orders should be required to take and pass a current USPAP 7-hour course every two years. New associates who have not taken a USPAP course are required to take and pass the 15-hour USPAP course.
Store and Secure
We feel it’s important to reiterate this one – it’s always important to store your secure information in order to review, rework, and reiterate compliance.
At Oxford, all documents are available online for five years, and our clients have access through login credentials. We operate from a high-availability secure system architecture that is fully customizable for the access and security levels our partners and clients require. Our clients and partners also gain access to quarterly reports showing client and market/industry data.
Interested in learning more about the Oxford process? Reach out to the experts today for more information. We can’t wait to hear from you.