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Legislature to consider licensing appraisers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Legislature will consider a bill requiring appraisal management companies to register with a state board.

The companies are meant to serve as a buffer between banks and appraisers. A legislative legal counsel says when mortgage lending banks deal directly with appraisers, there's an incentive for appraisers to overvalue properties, so that banks can issue larger mortgages.

The 2012 federal Dodd-Frank financial reform law requires regulation of appraisal management companies.

The proposed bill would require appraisal management companies to be independent, to meet minimum standards, and to post a bond with that would reimburse potential consumer complaints. Ownership and management would have to submit to criminal background checks.

A rough draft of the bill was presented to legislators during interim sessions on Tuesday.


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