The four banking agencies last week published joint guidelines to help lenders conduct appraisals and evaluations of real estate.

The guidelines clarify the appraisal rule issued by the agencies in June. That rule freed all real estate loans under $250,000 from certified appraisals and simplified the appraisal standards.

The new rule also exempts business loans below $1 million from the appraisal requirement as long as the real estate backing the loan is not the primary source of repayment.

Copies of the guidelines, which are being sent to all institutions and examiners, are available from the agencies.

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