New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is asking home appraisers to declare in writing that they were improperly pressured by mortgage brokers and lenders to inflate estimates and that such practices damaged the market’s integrity.
Miller Samuel Inc. and Mitchell, Maxwell & Jackson Inc., which together valued more than 13,000 Manhattan properties last year, both said they were asked to sign identical statements by Cuomo’s staff. Both companies said they were told “many” appraisers were asked to sign the one-paragraph declarations.
One wonders: With the student loan scandal initiated by Mr. Cuomo’s office fading from public discussion, will the appraisal scandal gobble a brighter spotlight? The activist tenor set by Mr. Cuomo’s predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, in the Attorney General’s office can only be maintained through investigations that are easy for the public to grasp. Cue an investigation into the values of homes.