Current appraiser supply issues are causing a proliferation of “rush fees” and delayed appraisal turn times across the nation. JMAC, like other lenders, rely on Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) to provide independent appraisers in order to comply with state and federal appraisal independence rules. JMAC lends in many locations which have far fewer appraisers than can accommodate the current demand, leading to actual appraisal turn times exceeding 30 days.
In order to meet loan lock deadlines or provide faster closings, many brokers and borrowers are electing to pay “rush fees” to secure quicker appraisal turn times. A valid “rush fee” which is charged by the appraiser to expedite the appraisal or appraisal report after initial disclosures have been provided may be a valid change of circumstance if the borrower requests the rush.
JMAC is providing this notification for several reasons:
- JMAC is aware of the current state of the appraisal market and the challenges presented by the lack of suitable appraisers.
- JMAC wants to clarify for our broker partners that rush fees are acceptable changes of circumstances if the borrower wishes to pay the fee for a quicker appraisal turn time and the change of circumstance is timely disclosed.
- Please note that sometimes the “standard” quoted turn times by AMCs upon placing an order are subject to change based on the acceptance of the appraisal order by the appraiser. Until the appraisal request is accepted by an appraiser, turn times on the appraisal may change and delays may occur.
- Especially in rural or less populous areas, turn times can extend beyond the quoted turn times even if “rush fees” apply.
- JMAC is not responsible for delayed turn times or rush fees.
- Under no circumstances should a broker or real estate agent contact the appraiser directly, through any means, to attempt to expedite or rush the appraiser. Such communications are prohibited and may lead to claims of improper influence.
It is imperative that brokers and loan officers address this issue with borrowers early in the loan process so surprises do not create confusion or mistrust.
Lastly, JMAC is actively working with the AMCs, the broader appraiser market, and other key industry figures to address and find industry-wide solutions to this problem.