Appraisal Companies Need Watchdog Technology

Comergence, a firm that develops and implements innovative third-party risk-management platforms for the mortgage industry, has inked deals with Landmark Network, Inc. and Quality Valuation Services for the firm’s due diligence and surveillance service of their real estate appraisers. Comergence has as database that captures data such as whether the appraiser is licensed, has been convicted of a crime, or faces criminal, civil or financial sanctions.

Landmark Network is a leading provider of appraisal management solutions for lenders and brokers. Quality Valuation Services is an appraiser-owned valuation company that is passionate about delivering high quality products and services.

“These firms care about their clients and that’s why they are early adopters of our platform. They want to ensure that their lender clients have a tool to monitor and to reduce risk significantly, and our technology will help them with that,” said Michael Stallings, Executive Vice President of Comergence. “They are taking action to do the right thing and that benefits all parties to a mortgage transaction—lenders, borrowers, and the mortgage industry service providers. Under the new regulations, lenders cannot hire any third party and wash their hands of responsibility.”

“We licensed this technology to help ensure compliance with the OCC, Consumer Finance Protection Board, and Dodd Frank,” said Erik Richard, CEO at Landmark. “The regulations state with clarity that lenders retain responsibility for scrutinizing the third-parties with whom they do business, and if they don’t, they may be violating regulations. Our partnership with Comergence ensures that never happens and that’s what motivated us to take this action now.”

When a regulation is violated, the lender can be held culpable even if the appraisal is ordered through a contracted AMC, but working with Comergence eliminates that risk. For instance, if an appraiser was not licensed when he performed the appraisal, the lender is responsible for that violation and may face strict, expensive penalties including being forced to buy back the loan.

“We use Comergence’s platform because the peace of mind of knowing we are in compliance frees us to focus on our clients and their needs,” said Cindi Harris, Co-founder and CEO at Quality Valuation Services. “Regulations are much more manageable, and far less burdensome with a partner that provides a comprehensive, accurate service like the one they have.”