Appraisal management companies face the prospect of tougher regulations at a time when home lenders need their services more than ever.

Last week, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac adopted valuation standards that, among other things, forbid commissioned loan officers or mortgage brokers to order appraisals. This is expected to drive more business to the management firms, which order appraisals on lenders' behalf. The companies are often owned by the lenders, though they are kept at arm's length from the sales force.

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