BPO Bill Update
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. It was their decision as to what, if anything, they are willing to put in the “strikeall” bill. Late today (Thursday) the Judiciary B committee considered the “strikeall” bill and passed the BPO bill out of committee, however the vote was not unanimous. A copy of the amended bill is posted on the 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.