Identifying Bias and Barriers, Promoting Equity: An Analysis of the USPAP Standards and Appraiser Qualifications Criteria

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The appraiser has the power to determine the value of a mortgage borrower’s most important financial asset, which can hold the key to determining whether that borrower’s family can purchase a permanent home rather than rent, access credit on reasonable terms, or build wealth for their family and generations to come. Over time, Americans have seen many crises related to homeownership (the Savings and Loan Crisis, the Great Recession, the COVID pandemic) and each time, the housing market players were heavily scrutinized and regulated to prevent harm to the American consumer’s greatest asset. Given the importance of homeownership to so many people, the reforms were welcomed by homeowners and largely embraced by key housing market players, such as mortgage bankers, who understood the importance of protecting the housing market and saw borrowers of color as the future of the market.