The BPO and AMC bills were passed by the Judiciary B committee Thursday and now move to the House calendar for a vote....

BPO Bill Update (Jan. 27, 2011)

On Tuesday this week, the Appraisal Institute’s national lobbyist flew to Jackson to spend a day at the Capital lobbying and working on the BPO issue.  MSCAPP officers, our lobby team, and state and national Appraisal Institute officials spent a full day at the Capital with a number of meetings taking place with key legislative people. 

 Late Tuesday a meeting was held with most of the parties of interest in this legislation, including the representatives sponsoring House Bill 990. This was a follow up meeting to the original “round table” meeting held three weeks ago for the purpose of working on a “good faith” compromise bill which would be suitable to the appraisal community and all the other parties of interest. Although at least four edits had been circulated by MSCAPP and a “model bill” had been presented by the Appraisal Institute since the first meeting all of which reflected the provisions appraisers desire, it became apparent Tuesday there were still some fundamental disagreements between all the parties, including some differences between the various appraisal industry groups, which remained to be resolved.  The authors of House Bill 990 requested the appraisal groups to “work out their differences” and submit an agreed upon set of revisions or amendments to the legislators by noon Wednesday. The Judiciary B committee planned to consider this issue Thursday, so if an agreed upon BPO bill could be worked out that could be supported by the appraisal community, then a substitute “strikeall” bill could be drafted before the Jud B meeting.

 Working into the night and right up to the noon Wednesday deadline, MSCAPP and the Appraisal Institute crafted a final version which met most of the goals and objectives of the appraisal community. This final version also incorporated a number of edits requested by the Mississippi Appraisal Board. While not necessarily a “dream bill” that achieves everything everyone in the appraisal community might want, the end result is a bill that protects most of the turf appraisers still have left to protect. The MAB, the MREC, the Appraisal Institute, and MSCAPP can all support this bill and do business successfully under its terms. Chief provisions contained in this final version include prohibiting BPO’s from estimating “value”, prohibiting BPO’s from being referred to in any form as an appraisal or value estimate, requiring national standards and guidelines for BPO’s to be adopted and enforced, and prohibiting BPO’s to be prepared for any mortgage lending use, including mortgage originations, refinancing, equity lines, and similar uses. Other provisions important to appraisers in this version of the bill include various disclosures, certifications, insurance requirements, legal liability for the broker, and retention of regulatory authority over any value estimate or appraisal work by the MAB.

 The agreed upon final version with language requested by the appraisal community was forwarded to the legislators who authored the original bill. Late today (Thursday) the Judiciary B committee considered the “strikeall” bill and passed the BPO bill, however the vote was not unanimous. When the bill is posted to the legislature’s website for public viewing, MSCAPP will also post it on our website.

 The action today moves the bill forward for consideration by the full House, likely on February 3, which is “Realtor Day at the Capital.” This was the day it was voted on last year. However, it could be voted upon at a different time, depending on the House calendar. When it is brought up for a vote, amendments or other motions which can affect the bill can be made by any legislator. If the bill survives the House vote, then it would be sent to the Senate, where the process of consideration of the bill starts over.

 Please remember that a bill can go through a lot of changes as it makes its way through the legislative process. What may eventually emerge could be different than what exists at an early stage. And a bill always faces considerable hurdles to overcome in order to make it all the way through the legislative process and become law. Thus it is important to remain aware of the actions that affect this important piece of legislation at every step. We will continue to post updates on this issue as well as on the AMC and other bills making their way through the legislative process.


 AMC Bill Update

 House Bill 1337, the AMC regulatory bill, was taken up this morning by the Jud B committee and passed. This bill now goes onto the House calendar for consideration by the full House. When the committee approved version is posted, MSCAPP will also post that bill on our website.

 The Appraisal Institute offered a “model” bill for AMC regulation for consideration but the bill that was filed and taken up by the committee was a version backed by the banking industry and the Mississippi Association of Realtors. MSCAPP has also monitored and worked on this bill. All parties of interest do share the basic common goal of wanting to regulate the AMC’s, as they are doing business in our state now while being completely unlicensed and unregulated. Appraisers however would like to see certain provisions in the bill which we will continue to work to obtain as the bill moves through the legislature.


Ad Valorem Appraisers Bill

 MSCAPP is monitoring House Bill 1214, a bill affecting ad valorem tax appraisers, provides for any appraiser holding the MAE certification from the state Tax Commission to be considered a professional appraiser for purposes of this law. The bill also removes the requirement for competitive bidding for appraisal services in certain situations when those services are deemed to be needed by a county board of supervisors.  This bill is assigned to the Jud B committee.


Meeting with a Select Group of Interested Parties, Jan. 5, 2011:

 MSCAPP officers and Legislative Committee members and our lobby team met with a blue ribbon group representing all the major parties of interest in the BPO and AMC legislation for the purpose of working in a good faith manner to address issues of concerns from all points of view in any proposed legislation.  The meeting was attended by the three key legislators, two of which authored various bills on these subjects in the past, and one of which is on the Judiciary B committee to which the bills have previously been assigned.  Also at this meeting were MAR officers, the Administrator of the MAB and MREC Boards, the Ad Hoc Chairman of the BPO Committee of the Appraisal Institute, and a representative of the MS. Mortgage Bankers Association.

 BPO Bill Discussion:

 MSCAPP requested this meeting which was hosted by MAR to determine points where the various parties of interest could agree on the BPO question and where differences remained to be resolved.  Provisions in a proposed BPO bill supported by MAR and the banking industry were discussed and MSCAPP was asked to provide alternative language for any and all sections of this bill which might serve to create a workable, sensible framework for dealing with the BPO issue.  The lobbyist team for MSCAPP agreed at the meeting to draft the language edits which might be workable to the appraisal community.

 AMC Bill Discussion:

After the BPO meeting ended, a second meeting occurred regarding the AMC legislation. While MSCAPP was not specifically invited to this meeting, we were provided a brief opportunity to observe the meeting activities and were provided with a copy of the banking industry’s proposed AMC bill.  The Appraisal Institute representative was a full participant in this meeting and has provided considerable subsequent information and input, including a model AMC bill drafted by the Appraisal Institute, to MSCAPP.

BPO Bill Status:

 MSCAPP’s lobby team, with assistance from MSCAPP officers and the Legislative Committee, began the drafting process to both edit the MAR favored BPO bill known as the “Formby and Delano Bill” and drafted a back up BPO bill of our own to introduce.  Representative Wooten, who was instrumental in the defeat of last year’s BPO bill, sponsored the MSCAPP version which was reviewed by the Legislative Committee and subsequently introduced by Representative Wooten on the January 17th deadline for filing bills.

 MSCAPP also drafted language edits to the Formby and Delano BPO bill and, after committee review, sent our proposed edits to the 14 persons who attended the round table discussion previously.  Representatives Mark Formby and Scott Delano introduced their BPO bill by the deadline, which has been numbered as House bill 990.  Thus there are two BPO bills to be considered by the Judiciary B Committee.  Our edits to the Formby and Delano bill were not filed as a separate bill but may be used as a basis for amending, modifying, or substituting language in the Formby and Delano bill by the Judiciary B Committee.


AMC Bill Status:

 The banking industry version of an AMC bill was also filed by the deadline and further details regarding the bill number and committee assignment is not available at this time.  Due to being unable to secure any sponsorship by a legislator despite vigorous efforts by the Appraisal Institute and MSCAPP, the Appraisal Institute’s model AMC legislation did not get filed.  Thus only the banking industry version is in the hopper to be considered by the legislature.

 Legislative Path For The Bills:

 The BPO bills and the AMC bills go to sub-committees for review and consideration before any recommendation or actual bill is sent to the full committee for a vote.  The fate of all these bills first is in the hands of the sub-committee, then next in the hands of the full committee.  If passed at these two levels, the bills would next go to the full house for a vote.  Passage there sends the bills to the Senate for consideration in a similar process.  Bills must pass both the House and the Senate in the same form.  If they do not pass in the same form, a conference committee must work out differences and both chambers must eventually pass the same bill.  At that point, the bill goes to the Governor for signature or veto. If vetoed, the Legislature must override the veto in order for the bills to become law.  If signed instead of being vetoed, the bills would become law.  If these bills fail at any earlier step to be approved, then they could die and not be enacted into law. Last year the BPO bill made it through the Jud B committee and passed the full House but later died from a procedural move when a deadline expired without the bill being referred to the Senate.

 If any of these bills actually makes it into law, the MAB and the MREC anticipates writing and adopting administrative rules shortly after the legislative session is over, with any new laws and administrative rules both taking effect on July 1 this year.

 For More Information:

 Status updates, copies of these bills, FAQ’s about the bills, and other relevant materials of interest to MSCAPP members will soon be available on the MSCAPP website at www.mscapp.org.


Meeting with Robert Praytor, Dec. 28, 2010:

 The MSCAPP Legislative Committee met with Robert Praytor, Administrator of the Appraisal Board and the Real Estate Commission for a fact finding discussion regarding the BPO bill and other possible legislation affecting appraisers.  Materials were disseminated to MSCAPP which outlined various important considerations, such as statutory amendments which were advisable, per the agency’s legal counsel, to be included in any proposed BPO bill.  This same material had previously been given to the MS Association of Realtors for their use in preparing any BPO bill they might introduce.  The meeting was a good opportunity for frank and open dialog and gave MSCAPP officers a chance to get some questions answered as well as provide some input for consideration by the state agencies.


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