In Michigan, as across the nation, appraisal fraud has recently become the object of much discussion, as REALTORSÂ®, lenders, and state officials attempt to combat a growing menace in the real estate industry that threatens the financial security of homeowners and creates artificial market values for properties.
In an effort to thwart this type of fraud in Michigan, MARâ€™s Michigan Council of Real Estate Appraisers (MiCREA) recently formed an Appraisal Fraud Task Force to investigate the current situation in Michigan and explore possible solutions. Chair James Sands, Senior Vice President at AAMG Residential Appraisal in Troy, has named MiCREA members Rachel Massey of Ann Arbor, Tom Gilbert of Gladstone, and John Meyer of Grand Rapids to the task force. Rita Hillman, Director of the Fannie Mae Michigan Partnership Office in Detroit, will also join the group for discussions on the impact of appraisal fraud on secondary lenders such as Fannie Mae.
Meeting monthly all summer, the group hopes to have a progress report and an action plan in place for the MiCREA Board meeting scheduled for late August. The task force has given itself three main tasks: First, to look at legislation in other states that combats appraisal fraud and requires licensing of mortgage lenders; second, to meet with state appraisal code enforcement officials about heightened enforcement possibilities; and third, to work with NAR on the national level to support legislation that would make appraisal fraud harder to commit.
Michigan REALTORSÂ® know all too well the impact fraudulent appraisals have on consumers and on the real estate market. And each and every REALTORÂ® can empower consumers to avoid fraud by being knowledgeable and providing the appropriate resources to help consumers buy homes with real values, not inflated ones. For more information on appraisal fraud in Michigan, or steps you can take to avoid fraud, contact MAR at 800.454.7842.