Andrew Cuomo, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said Monday that his agency would require more thorough appraisals of homes that carry FHA-insured mortgages.

Appraisers who fail to reveal serious problems to potential buyers will be prosecuted by the federal government, according to new guidelines.

"The vast majority of FHA appraisals are accurate and have no problems," Mr. Cuomo said in a written statement. But faulty appraisals can make homeownership "a nightmare by overvaluing a home and by overlooking problems that can cost homebuyers thousands of dollars," Mr. Cuomo said.

Mr. Cuomo's proposal appears to be a step in the direction of calls from Congress to require mandatory home inspections.

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