North Dakota Receives Federal Waiver to Reduce Delays for Real Estate Appraisals

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AUG. 26, 2019) – North Dakota recently became the first state in the nation to receive a federal waiver designed to help consumers by reducing wait times for real estate appraisals. 

The North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), North Dakota Bankers Association and Gov. Doug Burgum requested the waiver, seeking temporary relief for consumers as the state experiences a shortage of credentialed appraisers.  

The Appraisal Subcommittee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has temporarily waived the credentialing requirements for federally related transactions under $500,000 for residential real estate and under $1 million for agricultural and commercial real estate in North Dakota.  

Under the waiver, North Dakota banks and credit unions can appoint someone other than a licensed or credentialed appraiser to conduct assessments for real estate mortgage loans issued by banks or credit unions. All appraisals still must comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.   

This is the first time a state has been granted such a waiver since the option became available in 1989, DFI Commissioner Lise Kruse said.   

“The Department of Financial Institutions is fully committed to working with the depository institutions and the appraisal industry to address the appraisal delays, as the health of both industries is important to our citizens and our economy,” Kruse said. “This is a call for all of us – appraisers, financial institutions and state and federal regulators – to come together to find a long-term solution for timely appraisals and help consumers in North Dakota.” 

North Dakota currently has a shortage of appraisers who meet federal law requirements, which has caused assessments in some parts of the largely rural state to take up to three months. The waiver aims to improve the timeliness of real estate transactions for at least the next year; the waiver may be extended for another year if certain conditions are met. 

Banks and other financial institutions must appoint well-qualified people to conduct the appraisals and ensure the loan process is efficient. As the state regulator, the DFI will continue to enforce the law when there are loan violations, including missing appraisals.  

A link to the Order can be found here.

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