There are many questions SAMCO is asked from lenders and appraisers here is a list of the most commonly asked questions for an Appraisal Management Company. If you have a question that is not listed on this page, please don't hesitate to call or email us we are here to help thanks.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Does SAMCO offer a trial or demo of their services?YES, up to three orders of Residential type appraisals the management fee is waived, you will only have to pay for the appraisers reasonable and customary fee. No contracts or obligations and no strings attached, just excellent service get started today!! 888-832-1129
How do we place appraisal orders?Appraisal orders are placed through SAMCO Appraisal Management Company's secure web-based appraisal platform. This platform provides the most stability and features needed for our clients. Upon placing an order, you will receive e-mail confirmation of order receipt. Just like you, the community bank/credit union, SAMCO has a Disaster Recovery Plan, and the web-based platform (server) is an integral part of that plan.
How do we know what the status of the appraisal is?From order assignment to completion, e-mail notifications are sent to you, if desired (your choice!), when the appraisal has been assigned, inspected, audited, etc. Also, you can check the website at any time for a detailed status report of any appraisal you have ordered from SAMCO Appraisal Management Company. You can send us an e-mail or simply give us a call as well. Communication is where SAMCO shines. There is no passing the buck. Our receptionist will get you to the individual who will take responsibility for answering your question or resolving your challenge.
How soon can we expect an appraisal to be completed?SAMCO Appraisal Management Company expects the appraiser who is assigned the project to call for an appointment within 48 hours of receipt of the assignment. SAMCO does not place unrealistic requirements on your local appraisers. Some AMCs state they will have the appraisal back to the client within 48 hours. That's not reasonable for a quality appraisal. SAMCO does expect the appraisal to be completed within five business days of the appraisal request, and the appraisers are rated upon that performance expectation. If your customer does not allow the inspection to be scheduled in a timely manner, or if there are other extenuating circumstances, of course the five-day requirement is extended. This is where communication is key and required of our appraisers. You, the client, will be e-mailed the status updates and for a more detailed report, you can just check the status board for that particular appraisal online. It's easy! After the inspection, it is expected that the appraisal is to be completed within two business days. Here again, communication between the appraiser is key and is monitored by the SAMCO staff.
What are SAMCO Appraisal Management Company's guaranteed lines of communication?Telephone, web-based appraisal platform, and e-mail. We are available from 8:30 am to 5 pm EST Monday through Friday. It can't be emphasized enough how easy our web-based platform is and how, by utilizing e-mails and the status board, your communication is less time consuming and more productive than telephone calls for your staff.
How will we prove we are in compliance with regulations to the examiners?Documenting ongoing compliance planning and implementation is now even more critical. Under the agencies' new examination approach (required by the 2010 Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines), Safety and Soundness examiners first establish a compliance risk profile that reflects the quality of the bank's compliance management system. SAMCO Appraisal Management Company's annual service agreement details the compliance with the new required regulations. In developing your own detailed internal control plan, this is invaluable.
Is there a procedure for an appraiser to report "pressure" or undue influence?Yes! SAMCO Appraisal Management Company has placed prominently on the appraisal order/delivery system and throughout the website, a link where an appraiser may quickly report, in writing, pressure by any person or affiliate of the lender to obtain a pre-determined value or engage in any unethical behavior. This e-mail link is [email protected]. The procedure to report unethical behavior is clearly defined and communicated in the appraiser engagement package as well as in the client's service agreement. This procedure complies completely with the Dodd-Frank Act, Federal Reserve Interim Final Rule, 2010 HUD-FHA Mortgagee Letter 2009-28, 2010 Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines (OCC, OTS, FDIC, NCUA, and the Federal Reserve Board) and Fannie/Freddie's Appraiser Independence Requirements (October 15, 2010).
Will training be required for startup?Yes. The training will be minimal since our system is very simple to use. Not only will your mortgage processing department receive a SAMCO Appraisal Management Company client manual, but you also have SAMCO Appraisal Management Company telephone support.
Does this affect me if I don't sell to the secondary mortgage market?Yes! The OCC, OTS, FDIC, NCUA, and Federal Reserve Board all have these standards. Whether for an in-house residential, commercial, or agricultural mortgage, a clear separation from the mortgage lending/processing department and the appraiser is required, along with documented audits/reviews of appraisals, and the FDIC examination teams reviewing the appraisal report for Appraisal Standards. This is now a universal compliance issue mandated by the 2010 Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines.
Is there a 'Set Up' Fee?NO! SAMCO does not charge a set-up fee as many other AMC's do. First, we prove to you our value, before we are paid!
How does the review/audit deal with exceptions?Again, every AMC has different policies and you, as a lender/client, need to know how your AMC is handling the audit process. Many AMCs utilize a computerized audit system, not SAMCO. Every one of your reports will have a trained, experienced individual reading the appraisal. SAMCO works very hard at helping your approved appraisers provide the best appraisal possible, conforming to USPAP and Appraisal Standards and Guidelines. Many times this is difficult to do. Not every subject property fits within a square box! Our clients are community banks, and many times they will have more rural or unusual financing opportunities. We work with the individual appraiser, so that when you read your appraisal report, you understand the situation, the subject property, and the how and why of the appraiser's arrival at the Estimate of Value.
Am I allowed to talk to the appraisers?With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, The Interim Final Rule of the Federal Reserve, and The 2010 Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines, the message is very clear. The regulators are requiring a complete separation of the loan production staff from the appraisal ordering and appraisal review function. Excerpts are provided on this website from these regulations that reflect the clearly state the intent. This doesn't mean you can't request a correction, request additional information or clarification, or even if some additional information is provided by the lender, a "reconsideration of value". None of these regulations make the lender unable to communicate or ask questions. Their purpose is to prevent an appraiser from being improperly influenced in their Estimate of Value.
At SAMCO at all times, the processing and loan officer staff can see the progress and all communication between SAMCO and the appraiser by just accessing the Status Board for that appraisal. The processing/loan officer does not know who the appraiser is, just their communication, which ensures the separation of lender and appraiser while keeping clear communication.
An appraiser told me that appraisal management companies do not pay a full fee to the local appraiser. Is this correct?There are some AMCs that will only pay the local appraiser a drastically discounted fee (dramatically increasing their margin without the client lender knowing), but this is not true of many AMCs and definitely not SAMCO. The Dodd-Frank Act mandates that appraisal management companies pay a customary and reasonable fee to the local appraiser. As of April 1, 2011, all AMCs 'should' pay a full fee to the appraiser. If an AMC does not pay the full fee, they are placing their clients at serious risk of regulatory financial penalties! How does an AMC ensure to their client that they are? That’s a good question and you need to ask it of the AMC you are considering. One way to ensure that the 'customary and reasonable' fee is being paid is by requiring documentation with every appraisal and that requirement being stated in the AMC Contract.
SAMCO has always paid a customary and reasonable fee to our appraisers. We have such a close relationship with them; it wouldn't be right otherwise. Maybe it's also because we assume the appraiser list of our community bank/credit union client, and those local appraisers are your friends, valued partners, and many times clients of the bank themselves!
I've heard that appraisal management companies use out-of-area appraisers. Is this true?As in every industry, a few companies can have poor management practices and some AMC's do use out-of-area appraisers. At SAMCO, since we often work in rural areas for community banks and credit unions, we have a maximum range of 30 miles for an appraiser to travel. With clients in rural states, like Nebraska or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, sometimes we exceed our own guidelines, but that's understandable.
Of all the residential appraisals ordered in the mortgage industry, AMCs currently provide 70% of those appraisals, and that number is increasing as community banks/credit unions are steadily creating vendor relationships with appraisal management companies. As you can see, appraisal management companies work hard for the mortgage lending industry and are becoming the norm.
Does the appraisal management company audit, score, and rank the appraisers it uses?This is a great question to ask every AMC, and to be quite frank that is why some appraisers do not like working for AMCs. For the first time, they actually have a "report card" on the quality of the report they write. Here at SAMCO, we also have a Professionalism (communication) score. It's very important for SAMCO and our client, the community banker/credit union, to know what is happening with the appraisal request. Is the appraiser having difficulty contacting the borrower? Is there a unique feature of the subject that needs further research? Has the borrower delayed the inspection for a few weeks and the reason why? We expect and require communication.
What will happen to the appraisers we currently use?When a community bank becomes a SAMCO client, their approved appraiser/vendor list joins SAMCO's approved appraiser list. There is absolutely no change in the appraisers completing your appraisals! The only change is that now these appraisals will be going through a rigorous audit to ensure they meet USPAP and Appraisal Standards. In addition, your local appraisers now have a partner in the process. They are encouraged to call SAMCO anytime they have a question or an unusual situation. Two heads are always better than one and with the years of appraisal experience that are on SAMCO's staff, the best resolution or answer is usually found.
How do we know what the status of an appraisal is? Do we lose all control?Communication is the key to success in any business and SAMCO takes this very seriously. Sometimes that is the greatest challenge in working with the community bank/credit union’s current roster of appraisers. When your roster of appraisers joins SAMCO's team, they are trained to use our web-based platform to inform SAMCO, and our bank client, of the progress status. If this status isn't reported, our staff will call the appraiser to input the status. All communication is placed on the Status Board for appraisers, processors, and loan officers to be able to immediately see what is the exact progress and communication for each appraisal assignment. In past years, it would take a telephone call from the processing staff or loan officer to discover the progress of the appraisal report (usually days after the report was due). Now, with a few clicks of the mouse, processers/loan officers can see exactly the progress of the project.
Does the appraisal management company have a documented quality control process?"Paper" trails have turned into "electronic" trails in this new century, but the spirit or sense of the word is the same. Most AMCs generally have a report for each individual appraisal that is a quality audit of that specific appraisal. Here at SAMCO, these audits reflect specific, detailed USPAP and appraisal standards requirements, are in a written format, and are sent to the community bank/credit union client along with the appraisal. That USPAP audit becomes part of the mortgage file for examiners to inspect. If an appraisal does not meet any one of the specific, detailed requirements, the appraisal fails the audit, and the report is sent back to the appraiser to be corrected, or have additional information provided. In addition, each appraisal has an individual quality score and each appraiser has an ongoing quality and professionalism rating as required by the IAG. How detailed is your bank's audit of each individual appraisal report?
When the examiners review an appraisal, what will they be looking for?The 2010 Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines are specific. An examiner is directed to review the appraisal report itself, to determine if it complies with appraisal regulations (USPAP) and supervisory guidelines as well as the community bank/credit union policies. Of course, they will also review the procedures that the lender should have in place to ensure that the appraiser is qualified,not subject to conflicts of interest, and again most importantly that board approved appraisers have quality and professionalism scores.
Community bank/credit unions that do not have compliant policies and procedures in place, will be cited in the examination report, and might be criticized for unsound and unsafe practices.