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Bank of America: Will Fewer Appraisers Affect Homebuyers?

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Bank of America recently let go of five percent of its appraisers. This means the financial giant now has a lot fewer appraisers on its roster to estimate the values of their property inventory. Will this appraisal shortage have homebuyers waiting longer for a sale to be approved when the lender is Bank of America?

Once the number one home lender, Bank of America's loan volume has decreased in recent years, leaving them as the fifth largest home lender and moving Wells Fargo & Co. to the number one spot. Acquiring Countrywide Financial Corp. and its home loans in 2008 was a sweet deal until many of its loans later went sour. Over 60 percent of the work the appraisers performed was on these soured loans in bank-owned home and short sales they no longer have. The decrease in loan origination from home loans and refinances in 2012 further made the number of appraisers unnecessary.

The bad press Bank of America received from its mishandling of short sales and loan modifications surely did not help increase their loan origination volume. As a real estate agent, I have personally worked on many short sales and loan modification held by Bank of America, I can personally attest to their slowness with one short sale taking over one year to close. This does not approve their standing in the public's eyes. Their notoriously slow closing of loans and interest rates that are not competitive with other lenders further decreased the number of new loans. Unless they become more competitive and speed up their loan closings, it is doubtful they will need more appraisers anyway.

Bank of America will sell approximately $300 billion in mortgage-servicing rights this year to help boost their bottom line. The bank further expects loan origination levels to increase in 2013 and assures homebuyers that they have enough appraisers to meet the expected increase in new mortgage loans.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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