Federal Agencies Submit Joint Letter Regarding Proposed Changes to USPAP | PC Weiner Brodsky Kider

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On February 4, 2022, the CFPB, Federal Reserve Board, OCC, FDIC, NCUA, HUD, FHFA, and DOJ submitted a joint letter to the Appraisal Foundation’s Appraisal Standards Board. The letter provides comments on proposed changes for the 2023 edition of the USPAP regarding the applicability of the Fair Housing Act and ECOA to appraisals.

The agencies’ joint letter focuses on the Evaluation Standards Council Ethical Rule (Ethics Rule) and Advisory Opinion 16, which prohibit evaluators from relying on “unsubstantiated conclusions about characteristics such as race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, marital status, age, receipt of assistance income disability, or an unsupported conclusion that consistency of these characteristics is necessary to maximize value. The agencies noted, however, that these “provisions do not prohibit an assessor from relying on ‘supported conclusions’ based on such characteristics and, therefore, suggest that such trust may be permitted”. The agencies noted that the non-discrimination standards under the Fair Housing Act and ECOA are not limited not to conclusions “unsubstantiated” ions, and that any guidance regarding prohibited valuation biases should comply with applicable fair housing and fair lending laws.

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