Jul 3, 2010
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Spring 2010 AARO Conference News

The 2010 spring conference of the Association of Appraisal Regulatory Officials (AARO) was held May 1-3 in sunny San Diego, California. (Author’s note: If you ever get a chance to travel to San Diego, by all means do so. And if you already live there, well, you’re a lucky individual.) The sun, the blue water, the appraisal regulators and industry advocates… what a fabulous combination!

A number of organizations provided speakers during the 3-day event, including representatives of the ASB, AQB, ASC, FDIC, AI, NAIFA, (enough acronyms for you?), appraisal management companies, technology companies, state regulators, and state appraisal coalitions.

Appraisal management company (AMC) regulation took center stage for most of the conference, because it is the current hot topic within the appraisal regulatory world. According to Scott DiBiasio of the Appraisal Institute, there are 10 states that have AMC regulation laws in effect, including Arkansas, California, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Virginia, Utah and Washington. (Note: Since this time, eight more states have passed AMC laws including Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont.) In addition, there are numerous other states that have introduced AMC legislation; AI expects several more states to pass legislation before the end of 2010.

Tim O’Brien, a representative from RELS, indicated that appraisal management companies will support “reasonable” AMC regulation and/or registration, provided they are included in the process.  He stated they would prefer that all stakeholders – appraisers, AMCs, real estate professionals, appraisal organizations, banking industry – be included in the process of drafting legislation.

Bob Clark from California OREA stated that California has received over 140 applications from AMCs who wish to become state-registered.  Regulators from other states were reporting lesser numbers of applicants.

Several program speakers and audience members were members of state appraisal coalitions, which are becoming more widespread throughout the country. Mike Brunson of the Coalition of Appraisers in Nevada addressed issues regarding organizing and setting up a state appraisal coalition. These coalitions have been quite successful in getting AMC regulations passed in Nevada and Arizona, based on grass-roots lobbying, phone calls, emails, and visits to legislators. Several attendees encouraged appraisers to become involved in their state’s appraisal coalition, or if they are in a state that does not already have a coalition, to form one.

The AARO fall 2010 conference is scheduled for October 2-5 in Washington, DC. For details, go to www.aaro.net.

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