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eAppraisIT Sees Need for REO Valuation Experts

Appraisal management company eAppraiseIT sees loan servicing as a growing client market in today's financial environment.

In part, that's because appraisal management companies as an industry have a relatively small market share of appraisal services ordered by the mortgage industry, creating growth room for companies like eAppraiseIT. The growth of home-equity and second-mortgage lending has also added growth potential for the appraisal management industry.

One opportunity exists in meeting the needs of asset and REO managers in the mortgage industry, who may require valuation expertise that is unique to defaulted loans.

Lenders need both early-stage and late-stage default valuation estimates that take into account the property's condition, occupancy status and other factors that may affect the value of the collateral.

eAppraiseIT's services include a department devoted to desk and field reviews of existing appraisals, including those made at loan origination and those from earlier in the delinquency process.

The company also provides "gap products" for loan servicers that couple automated valuation models with local real estate expertise. Those services include the combination of an AVM estimate of the property value along with a drive-by inspection, for instance.

Oftentimes, lenders find themselves trying to reconcile differences between valuation estimates, such as an appraisal made at origination and a more recent AVM estimate.

The challenge lenders face is finding out which is the more accurate valuation, so they can market the foreclosed home effectively.

DeAnna McCann, chief marketing officer, said that eAppraiseIT and other First American affiliates have been increasingly sharing resources to augment their share of the real estate valuation business and other aspects of problem loan management. The goal is to build First American's share of the default management services business.

"Our business with our existing servicing customers has boomed in the last six months," she told MSN at the MBA National Mortgage Servicing Conference.

eAppraiseIT was until recently owned as a joint venture between LandAmerica and First American. But the JV was dissolved recently and First American has full control of the firm now.

Recently, the firm hired David Tiberio to beef up its valuation expertise on the default side of the mortgage business. (c) 2007 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com