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Faster Appraisals Costly in Long Run

March 06, 1994

Re the article "Proposed Appraisal Cost Slash Has Flaw:" (Jan. 9) Another bright idea from the folks that brought us the savings & loan crisis--or at least watched it happen.

What makes the FDIC, OTC and others think they have credibility when it comes to banking operations? A proposal to cut the cost of an appraisal to "speed up the loan process" is an illustration of the inherent ineptness of these industry spectators.

I say that using a staff evaluator instead of certified appraiser to estimate the value of a given property will be more costly than beneficial. A lender simply can't staff up with a few evaluators and assume they will perform the functions of an appraiser.

The bottom line is that these evaluators will have to jump in their cars and drive to properties. They will have to stand in line at the county planning offices. They will have to call realtors to get information about comparable sales. Not to mention the phone calls from every person involved with the loan. Meanwhile the 10 or 12 loan packages that need to get out today wait on top of their desk. Speeding up the loan process?

All of this just to save the borrower less than 1% of the typical loan cost? What's next on the regulator's chopping block--title search? credit report? Leave cost-cutting decisions to those that do it best--private industry. The free market will decide the cost of an appraisal.

JEFF BAKER

Chino Hills

The writer is a certified residential appraiser.

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