November 2, 2010

Consumer Financial Services Alert - November 2, 2010

0FRB Issues Interim Final Rule on Real Estate Appraiser Independence

The FRB issued an interim final rule aimed at ensuring that real estate appraisers are free to use their independent professional judgment in assigning home values without influence or pressure from those with interests in the transactions. The rule also seeks to ensure that appraisers receive customary and reasonable payments for their services.

The rule includes several provisions designed to protect the integrity of the appraisal process when a consumer's home is securing the loan. Specifically, the interim final rule:

  • Prohibits coercion and other similar actions designed to cause appraisers to base the appraised value of properties on factors other than their independent judgment;
  • Prohibits appraisers and appraisal management companies hired by lenders from having financial or other interests in the properties or the credit transactions;
  • Prohibits creditors from extending credit based on appraisals if they know beforehand of violations involving appraiser coercion or conflicts of interest, unless the creditors determine that the values of the properties are not materially misstated;
  • Requires that creditors or settlement service providers that have information about appraiser misconduct file reports with the appropriate state licensing authorities; and
  • Requires the payment of reasonable and customary compensation to appraisers who are not employees of the creditors or of the appraisal management companies hired by the creditors.

The rule is required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Compliance will be mandatory on April 1, 2011. Public comments are due by December 27, 2010. Click here for the Federal Register notice.

0FRB Issues Final Rule Postponing Gift Card Disclosure Requirements

The FRB issued a final rule under Regulation E modifying the effective date of certain disclosure requirements applicable to gift cards under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009. For gift certificates, store gift cards, and general-use prepaid cards produced prior to April 1, 2010, the rule delays the August 22, 2010 effective date of certain disclosures until January 31, 2011, provided that specified conditions are met. Click here for the rule.