Federal laws require impartiality and prohibit discrimination in all actions relevant to the sale, refinancing, and purchase of a home. However, bias in home valuations lead to inequity in housing values and adversely impacts opportunities for minority communities to build wealth through homeownership.
The NCUA is a member of the Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) Task Force, an interagency initiative to address inequities in home appraisals. On March 23, 2022, the Task Force released the PAVE Action Plan (opens new window), which describes steps that federal agencies will take to advance equity in the appraisal process.
Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity FAQs
What is PAVE?
On June 1, 2021, the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, President Biden announced the creation of an interagency initiative to combat bias in home valuations. This interagency initiative became the Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE). President Biden directed the PAVE Task Force to evaluate the causes, extent, and consequences of appraisal bias, and establish recommendations to root out racial and ethnic bias in home valuations. On March 23, 2022, the Task Force released the Action Plan to Advance Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (opens new window), which outlines the historical role of racism in the valuation of residential property, examines the various forms of bias that can appear in residential property valuation practices, and describes how government and industry stakeholders will advance equity through concrete actions and recommendations. For more information, visit pave.hud.gov (opens new window).Close and return to top
What is a residential property appraisal and why is it important?
A residential property appraisal is a written statement independently and impartially prepared by a qualified appraiser with an opinion of the market value of a home supported by the analysis of relevant market information. An appraisal is an important part of the homebuying process, as it establishes the value of the property to secure a home loan. Appraisals affect how much people make when they sell their home, how much people pay when they buy a home, and how much equity people can get out of their home when refinancing.Close and return to top
Is an appraisal required in all real-estate related financial transactions?
No. Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (Title XI) generally requires credit unions to obtain appraisals for real estate-related transactions regulated by the NCUA. In 2020, the NCUA amended its regulations to require credit unions to obtain appraisals when originating residential real estate loans of $400,000 or more. Loans for less than $400,000 generally require written estimates of market value instead of appraisals. While written estimates of market value do not have to be issued by state-licensed or -certified appraisers, they must still be issued by individuals with qualifications and experience to perform such estimates.Close and return to top
What if I believe my appraisal is too low?
If you believe that your appraisal is too low, talk to your loan officer or contact the appraiser directly. Federal law allows a mortgage lender, mortgage broker, mortgage banker, real estate broker, appraisal management company, employee of an appraisal management company or any other person with an interest in a real estate transaction to ask an appraiser to do one or more of the following:
- Consider additional, appropriate property information, including the consideration of additional comparable properties to make or support an appraisal.
- Provide further detail, substantiation, or explanation for the appraiser's value conclusion.
- Correct errors in the appraisal report.
What qualifications must appraisers have?
Under Title XI, the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) establishes the minimum education, experience, and examination requirements for real property appraisers to obtain a state license or certification. The AQB issues the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria (opens new window).Close and return to top
What should I do if I believe I have experienced discrimination with my property appraisal?
Appraisal discrimination is illegal under federal law and prohibited by professional appraisal standards. The Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibit appraisers from discriminating against you. If you think you have been discriminated against, you can file a complaint with the state agency that regulates appraisers. To find out which agency to notify, contact the Appraisal Complaint National Hotline (opens new window). The hotline doesn't handle complaints but will refer you to the appropriate authority. You may fill out a form on the website or call the toll-free number at 1.877.739.0096.
You may also file a complaint with a state or federal financial regulatory agency if you think your lender discriminated against you by relying on a biased appraisal. To submit a complaint against your credit union, please contact the NCUA’s Consumer Assistance Center (opens new window) or call 800.755.1030. You may also contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at (opens new window) or call 1.855.411.2372.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development administers the Fair Housing Act which makes it illegal for appraisers to discriminate. You may file a fair housing complaint directly with HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, online at www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaint (opens new window) or by calling 1.800.669.9777.Close and return to top
Additional PAVE Resources
Visit the PAVE website (opens new window) for information on how to get help if you think you received an unfair appraisal, how to get involved in promoting equity in the appraisal industry, and how to stay informed about appraisal bias.