The National Association REALTORS® and the

National Association of Mortgage Brokers are pushing hard to delay

implementation of the new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rules governing

real estate appraisals.

The new rules are supposed to take effect

May 1, but the REALTORS®, in a letter to the Federal Housing Finance

Agency, argued that there hasn’t been enough time to properly implement

the changes and the result would be higher costs for borrowers. They

seek a one-year moratorium.

The goal of the change is to eliminate

alleged collusion between mortgage lenders and appraisers to pump up

home values. Among other things, the rule change prevents mortgage

brokers from ordering appraisals directly, requiring them to go through

lenders. Mortgage brokers say this will make it hard for them to

compete with lenders.

Borrowers shopping for the best rate could

be asked to pay for multiple appraisals, says Michael Carrier, an

associate with the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Read the NAR's letters to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the issue.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Jessica Holzer (04/29/2009)