A. L. Appraisal Co.

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“Decision Makers Have Relied Upon Us Since 1971”SM


The following are some of the many appraisal regulation acronyms appraisers must contend with. Perhaps it is just human nature for a profession to develop its own language filled with secret codes, creating a certain mystique that marvels outsiders. But it often causes many of us to scratch our heads as well!    
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AQB Appraisal Qualifications Board. The AQB establishes the qualification criteria for state licensing, certification and re-certification of real property appraisers..

ASB = Appraisal Standards Board: The ASB establishes minimum education and experience requirements for appraisers. Click this link: Real property appraiser qualifications criteria for more information.

ASC = Appraisal Subcommittee: The ASC was created by Title XI to oversee the activities of the States and The Appraisal Foundation. It is composed of the agency heads of:

HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development),
FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.),
OCC (Office of the Comptroller of Currency),
OTS (Office of Thrift Supervision),
NCUA (National Credit Union Administration), and
the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

The ASC’s mission is to ensure that real estate appraisers who perform appraisals in real estate transactions that could expose the United States government to financial loss are sufficiently trained and tested to assure competency and independent judgment according to uniform professional standards and ethics. The ASC is funded by State certified or licensed appraisers, each of whom currently pays an annual National Registry fee to the States which then pay it to the ASC.

BREA = Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers. This is the California state agency charged with the licensing and enforcement of California real estate appraisers.

California is a non-mandatory state (unlike other many other states, such as Nevada). This means that an individual is only required to be licensed as an appraiser in California to appraise California real property if the appraisal is to be used in a FRT.

An appraiser does not need to be licensed in California in order to perform appraisals of California real property for non-federally related transactions. However, if one is licensed as an appraiser in California and is acting in the capacity of an appraiser, then one must comply with all appraisal licensing regulations, irrespective if the assignment is or is not a FRT.

BREA has adopted in totality USPAP into its regulations thus making USPAP state law.

The levels of licenses issued by the BREA are:

AT: Trainee License:
Must work under the technical supervision of a licensed appraiser. May assist on any appraisal within the scope of practice of the supervising appraiser.  
AL: Residential License:
May appraise any non-complex 1-4 family property with a transaction value up to $1 million; and non-residential property with a transaction value up to $250,000.
AR: Certified Residential License:
May appraise any 1-4 family property without regard to transaction value or complexity; and non-residential property with a transaction value up to $250,000.
AG: Certified General License:
May appraise all types of real estate.

FIRREA = Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery & Enforcement Act – also very likely a familiar term.

In August 1989, Congress enacted the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, better known as FIRREA. Title XI of the Act includes real estate appraisal reform amendments and requires federally regulated financial institutions, such as federally insured banks, thrifts and credit unions, to use state certified or licensed appraisers to perform appraisals assignments in federally related transactions (FRT’s) and the manner in which appraisals must be performed.

The full text of FIRREA is available at the following link: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/10/08/2019-21376/real-estate-appraisals

FRT = Federally Related Transaction. A real estate transaction involving a federally insured depository institution i.e., federally insured banks, thrifts and credit unions.

TAF = The Appraisal Foundation. TAF is a private, not-for-profit organization established in 1987 by eight major professional appraisal organizations as a separate and independent entity that is tasked to place the public’s benefit ahead of any other constituency. TAF was recognized by Title XI as the appropriate mechanism to establish minimum appraisal standards and qualifications for appraisers. The BOT (Board of Trustees) exercises all authority and power of TAF, except for appraisal standards and qualifications which are performed by two independent boards.

USPAP = Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. These are the standards and ethical rules intended for all appraisal disciplines – real property, personal property, mass, and business appraisers. USPAP is intended to promote and maintain a high level of public trust in appraisal services and has been adopted by government agencies and recognized by courts as the uniform appraisal standards in our country. USPAP includes SRs (Standards Rules) and SMTs (Statement on Appraisal Standards). Accompanying advice is also provided in AOs (Advisory Opinions), provided in the same publication as USPAP, and FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) which are published monthly (www.appraisalfoundation.org) and compiled into an annual reference publication.