Categorized | Local Perspectives

The Community Voice: Bank Mortgage Appraisals & Your Home Equity

Where did all my home equity go?

Most homeowners realize that when they apply for a loan the banks must order an appraisal. Some things you may NOT know that could cost you thousands of dollars in equity.

1. Homeowners pay for the mortgage appraisal and it’s NOT your appraisal.

2. The bank owns the appraisal and it’s done for their protection NOT yours.

3. The banks specific requirements for each individual appraisal sent to the appraiser at the time of ordering the appraisal may have led to artificially inflated or deflated property values. The appraisal is being done for the protection of their money assets not yours. It is your responsibility to protect your assets. It always was your responsibility, but when things were good nobody cared.

4. The appraiser can NOT give you a copy of the appraisal or discuss it with you.

5. The bank’s appraisal is only required to be given to you (3) days before closing.

6. Most banks sell you mortgage immediately after your closing and don’t suffer any loss if your home’s value declines the day after your close. You are the only one who will suffer the loss and this is why so many people are currently underwater with their mortgages.

Homeowners are NOT protecting their biggest investments. You should always educate yourself with current market trends or hire a Licensed Appraiser to perform an appraisal for your financial protection. The homeowner would need to directly order and pay for the appraisal by an appraiser of their choice. The homeowner is now the appraiser’s “client”. The homeowner and appraiser are now free to discuss ALL the information in the appraisal and any current market information can be openly shared. A copy of the appraisal is supplied within a reasonable time from ordering which gives you ample time to make the right financial decision. Please note that the bank is still going to insist that you also pay for their appraisal to protect them. This is NOT fair and I have been fighting to change this for the past few years. Each party should pay for their own appraisal. It is estimated that homeowners have lost trillions of dollars in home equity due to bank fraud, which means they now have possession of all our money. I think they could afford to pay for their own appraisals. This is your family’s wealth. If you also feel this is unfair you may call or write the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Appraisal Board, 124 Halsey Street, Newark NJ 07102. (973) 504-6480.

Tax appeal season is here and many people have appealed their property assessments over the past few years and won. That’s because values were going in the wrong direction of a few years back. There were hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost every month in America, large corporations were collapsing which should have driven property values down but instead the were artificially inflated. Home values in a neighborhood are tied to the average income of the homeowners in neighborhood.

Susan Batista

 

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