Streamlined Appraisals

Article excerpt

Fannie Mae's new approach should save time and money

For the past several years, Fannie Mae has strived to develop a faster and more efficient mortgage lending process for both banks and their customers. Technology, particularly software developments, played a key role that effort.

Two years ago, Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprise that purchases mortgages and sells them as investments in the secondary market, introduced Desktop Underwriter. That software system, available to Fannie Mae customerlenders, began automating the mortgage underwriting process. It saves loan officers time, giving them an opportunity to boost productivity and lower origination costs.

Now Fannie Mae has taken automation step further by streamlining property appraisals with Desktop Underwriter, a development that mirrors the organization's overall approach to technology. Starting this month, Fannie Mae is enhancing the property risk-assessment features of Desktop Underwriter with a proprietary automated valuation model. Improvements will allow Desktop Underwriter to offer a new level of property field work for certain loans. And for those affected loans, lenders will not be required to obtain an appraisal of properties for specific transactions processed through the system.

With the software enhancement, lenders can access a re-engineered appraisal process with alternative property valuation and reporting options that save time and money Part of this re-engineering process involves determining the necessary amount of appraisal field work.

Now the amount of appraisal field work can be determined by Desktop Underwriter's propertyrisk-assessment score, which considers borrowers' creditworthiness, product risk, loan characteristics and property locations. …