Regulators issue guide to boost availability of appraisers

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WASHINGTON — Financial regulators issued joint guidance on Wednesday highlighting the availability of cross-state appraiser licensing agreements, which could be used as a way of helping rural areas in particular cope with a shortage of licensed appraisers.

The Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and National Credit Union Administration issued joint guidance advising that the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 allows for state appraiser licensing agencies to issue temporary licenses to appraisers who are licensed in another state, subject to certain restrictions.

The guide also noted that the law allows the Appraisal Subcommittee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council to issue temporary waivers of the state licensing requirement in geographic areas that have a demonstrated shortage of state-licensed appraisers. States may also reach reciprocal agreements with neighboring states, the guide said, so that appraisers licensed in one state may issue appraisals in another with such an agreement.

The scarcity of appraisers in rural areas was among the issues raised during federal regulators’ recent review of banking regulations as required by the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act. The results of that review were published in March, and included recommendations about raising the commercial real estate threshold for appraisal from $250,000 to $400,000, as well as recommendations concerning availability of appraisers.

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