USPAP Compliance and Appraisal Independence

The hotline refers complaints regarding these two areas of practice. Learn how to determine the nature of your complaints

USPAP Compliance

The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice requires appraisers to be aware of, understand, and correctly use recognized methods and techniques to produce a credible appraisal.

What is USPAP?

The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) is adopted by the Appraisal Standards Board of the Appraisal Foundation. The purpose of USPAP is to promote and maintain a high level of public trust in appraisal practice by establishing requirements for appraisers. These standards are enforced by the States, Territories and the District of Columbia. USPAP is a broad set of minimum standards governing appraisal practice.

The Foundation publishes helpful resources to learn more about the use of appraisals for mortgage lending and real estate financing purposes.

Examples of potential USPAP violations

  • Making false or misleading statements in an appraisal, appraisal review, or appraisal consulting report
  • Communicating assignment results with the intent to mislead or to defraud
  • Communicating a report that is known by the appraiser to be misleading or fraudulent performing an assignment in a grossly negligent manner
  • Failing to act independently and impartially in the development and reporting of an appraisal or appraisal review
  • Accepting an assignment that includes the reporting of predetermined opinions and conclusions
  • Failing to protect the confidential nature of the appraiser-client relationship

USPAP does not mandate any specific appraisal methodologies or techniques; instead, it requires appraisers to be aware of, understand, and correctly employ the recognized methods and techniques necessary to produce credible assignment results in an appraisal.

Appraisal Independence

Requirements are set by various State and Federal agencies to ensure, among other things, that an appraiser and the appraisal process is free from undue influence and coercion.

What is Appraisal Independence?

Appraisal independence requirements for consumer credit transactions secured by the consumer’s principal dwelling are set forth in 129E of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) . Other appraisal independence requirements are established by various Federal and State statutes, regulations or guidance.

Examples of violations of appraisal independence laws

  • An appraisal management company failing to pay an appraiser a customary and reasonable fee for appraisal services withholding payment of appraisal fees to influence the outcome of an assignment
  • An appraiser failing to act independently and impartially in the development and reporting of an assignment’s results
  • A financial institution’s loan production staff attempting to improperly influence an appraiser’s value opinion
  • An appraiser failing to disclose a financial or other interest in the property that is the subject of an assignment.
  • Excluding an appraiser from consideration for future assignments because the appraiser reported a value that did not meet or exceed a predetermined value.
  • Implying to an appraiser that future retention depends on the amount at which the appraiser estimates a value to be.

Examples of communications concerning an appraisal assignment that are acceptable

Under Federal law, a financial institution's loan production staff may ask an appraiser to undertake one or more of the following:

  1. Consider additional, appropriate property information, including the consideration of additional comparable properties to make or support an appraisal.
  2. Provide further detail, substantiation, or explanation for the appraiser’s value conclusion.
  3. Correct errors in the appraisal report.

Get an Instant Referral

Answer a few questions to learn where to file a complaint related to USPAP Compliance or Appraisal Independence.

Other Types of Complaints

The Appraisal Complaint National Hotline does not offer referrals for suspected fraud and certain kinds of complaints. However, resources are available from other agencies if your complaint involves any of the following:

Complaint Against a Bank, Credit Union or Other Financial Institution
Suspected Fraud