WASHINGTON - Federal regulators are giving their proposal to let banks make larger loans without a certified appraisal another try.

The four bank and thrift agencies re-released for public comment Wednesday a proposal to raise the threshold for loans needing a certified appraisal to $250,000 from $100,000.

Comments are due Dec. 10.

The new, threshold has infuriated the appraisal industry, which stands to lose business on loans that are less than $250,000. Consumer advocates, too, have criticized the plan, saying it would result in more bad loans.

Stack of Evidence

But the regulators are convinced that the move is not risky. They also think more credit will be freed up if banks do not have to get certified appraisals on loans for less than $250,000.

The agencies first asked for comments on the $250,000 threshold June 4. The appraisers attacked the plan, accusing the agencies of violating federal laws that require regulators to know what impact new rules will have before they are promulgated.

That's why the regulators re-issued the plan for a second round of comments Wednesday. This time, the agencies defended their move with a stack of evidence three inches high.

No Safety Problem Seen

In the package released Wednesday, the agencies said senior examiners do not think raising the threshold would pose a safety and soundness problem.

The agencies also provided evidence that the cost of an appraisal skyrocketed after regulators decided in 1990 that loans over $100,000 needed a certified appraisal.

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