If You Think You’ve Received an Unfair Appraisal, HUD Can Help

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If you think you received an unfair appraisal, we can help. Learn how to file different types of complaints and continue visiting this page as we add additional resources to help you understand your rights and how to address bias in appraisals.

What is PAVE?

PAVE is a first-of-its-kind interagency task force dedicated to ending bias in home valuation. The task force includes 13 federal agencies and offices and is chaired by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the White House Domestic Policy Council.

PAVE’s Action Plan

Learn More About PAVE

On June 1, 2021, the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, President Biden announced the creation of an interagency initiative to combat bias in home valuations. President Biden directed the PAVE Task Force to (i) evaluate the causes, extent, and consequences of appraisal bias, and (ii) establish a transformative set of recommendations to root out racial and ethnic bias in home valuations.

PAVE is a first-of-its-kind interagency task force dedicated to ending discrimination in home valuations. The task force includes 13 federal agencies and offices and is chaired by Director of the Domestic Policy Council Ambassador Susan E. Rice and the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge.

One of the main reasons that the Task Force is focused on home appraisals is because of how appraisals can impact the homeownership and wealth gaps. An appraisal is an important part of the homebuying process, as it establishes the value of the property for a home loan. Simply stated, fair and accurate appraisals directly impact national homeownership rates. More than 50 years since the Fair Housing Act’s passage, the racial homeownership gap is wider than ever: in 2021, the Black homeownership rate reached only 44 percent, while the white homeownership rate reached 74 percent.

The Task Force believes that if the Federal Government advances equity in the appraisal process, it can also make substantial progress toward closing the racial homeownership and wealth gap.

The Task Force is focused on combatting racial and ethnic bias that can cause a low valuation during the homebuying or refinance process. During the homebuying process, a low valuation can cause the sale to fall through. This may harm both the buyer and the seller, as the buyer is unable to become a homeowner, and the seller is unable to realize potential gains from the sale A low valuation in a refinance transaction can result in the lender making credit-risk related price adjustments that lead to higher interest rates for the borrower. In some cases, it can result in the borrower not being eligible for the refinance. In the common case where borrowers are seeking to access some of their realized home equity wealth via a cash out refinance, a low valuation can reduce the amount of wealth available to the borrower.

Both occurrences can impact property values and the accumulated wealth of homeowners in that community. Ultimately, this can inhibit how families in that community leverage equity to pay for college, pay for repairs, or provide a buffer during financial hardship. Reduced property values can also diminish the property tax revenue that funds the maintenance and improvement of community schools and amenities.

The Action Plan is a document that outlines clear actions that federal agencies will take to root out appraisal bias. The Action Plan is part of an ongoing commitment from the Federal Government to expand homeownership rates for families and communities of color. This commitment will continue to be informed by data, members of industry, advocacy, fair housing, and academic organizations, and by the stories of all Americans who dream of homeownership.

The Task Force has made significant progress since its first meeting in August 2021. For example, the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) launched an independent review of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and the qualification criteria for the appraiser industry to understand potential barriers to entry for underrepresented communities. Additionally, in November of 2021, FHA issued a Mortgagee Letter to clarify nondiscrimination requirements applicable to appraisers and lenders. The Action Plan includes a full list of successes to date.



How Do I File a Discrimination Complaint?

To learn more about your fair housing rights during the homebuying or refinancing process, contact HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO). Visit the FHEO website to file a fair housing complaint.