Legislation that would prohibit Maryland state-certified and licensed appraisers from conducting appraisals when they “know the asking price or the selling price of the real estate being appraised at the time the appraisal is conducted” has been introduced in the state’s General Assembly.
Violators of the law would be guilty of a misdemeanor and be subject to fines of $500 for a first offense, $1,000 for a second offense, and $5,000 for a third or subsequent offense. The second and third offenses carry a mandatory 90-day suspension of the real estate appraiser’s license or certification.
On Jan. 27, the Appraisal Institute – along with the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, American Society of Appraisers and National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers – wrote to the Chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee to urge that the committee oppose this legislation. In the letter, the organizations stated that the provisions of the bill would violate Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice requirements that an appraiser attempt to obtain all information regarding the terms and conditions of the sale of property to be appraised, including seller concessions and all other features of a sales transaction that can affect value, and to utilize the information in their analysis if it is available.
The organizations pointed out that federal law requires that appraisers comply with USPAP in completing appraisals for federally related transactions. The enactment of H.B. 42 could bring Maryland’s entire appraiser licensing system out of compliance with Title XI of the Financial Institutions Recovery Reinvestment Act, according to Scott DiBiasio, manager of state government relations for the Appraisal Institute. DiBiasio said such a move would likely initiate a compliance investigation by the Appraisal Subcommittee.
To view a copy of House Bill 42, go to http://mlis.state.md.us/2010rs/fnotes/bil_0002/hb0042.pdf.