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April 30, 2008

Assessing Commercial Real Estate Portfolio Risk

 


Supervisory Insights
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Assessing Commercial Real Estate Portfolio Risk

Introduction

IInsured financial institutions have increased their exposures to commercial real estate (CRE) lending at a time when CRE market fundamentals remain weak. To understand the potential portfolio risk, bank supervisors must "get behind the numbers" and review CRE lending practices to determine the nature and extent of the exposure. A horizontal review of selected community banks in the Atlanta metropolitan statistical area (MSA) shows that their CRE exposures are concentrated in residential construction and owner-occupied commercial real estate. CRE lending practices at the selected banks were stronger than those prevailing in the early 1990s.

The Atlanta CRE review was a pilot program the FDIC is replicating in other markets on the basis of perceived risks. For a relatively modest investment by the FDIC and the selected banks, the program provides a rapid assessment of issues that may need to be addressed in this traditionally higher-risk lending segment. The program also reinforces the need for banks to engage in sound CRE lending practices. This article identifies elements that are critical to a strong, well-managed lending program.

CRE Market Conditions

Following several quarters of deterioration nationwide, CRE conditions stabilized in late 2003, with vacancy rates peaking or retreating slightly in many metropolitan markets. Office markets weakened precipitously after 2000 owing to the loss of white-collar jobs during the economic downturn and subsequent weak recovery. Continued weak employment growth during the economic recovery has forestalled greater absorption of CRE space.

Tepid economic growth following the recession, combined with anxiety about travel following the 9/11 attacks, contributed to prolonged weakness in revenue per available room in several hotel markets. Retail markets have been comparatively resilient, as consumer spending remained remarkably robust in contrast to previous economic downturns. Industrial and warehouse market conditions have suffered from prolonged losses in manufacturing employment and a low inventory-to-sales ratio stemming from strong consumer sales. Multifamily housing has been hurt by an increase in the number of new homeowners, in part due to low interest rates. Although it appears that deterioration in CRE markets may have bottomed out, sustained economic growth and more rapid gains in employment and wages will be necessary to foster a recovery.

Key developments have changed the dynamics of the CRE sector. Public markets now play a much larger role in CRE financing. Greater public involvement began with the development of the commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market in the early 1990s. The success of the CMBS market then contributed to tremendous growth in the secondary market for distressed properties. The CMBS market has grown to more than $550 billion. In the mid-1990s, real estate investment trusts (REITs) also became a major force in financing CRE, with more than a seven-fold increase in market size in the past ten years. It also appears that the CMBS and REIT markets have taken on a larger share of the traditionally higher-risk types of loans.

The quality, availability, and timeliness of market information and data have improved significantly. The CRE market also has benefited from the recent prolonged low interest rate environment. Cash-strapped property owners have been able to lower debt service burdens through refinancing or a contractual variable rate. The combination of these factors has constrained wide cyclical swings in the performance of the CRE sector.1

Trends in Bank CRE Portfolio Exposures

During the past 20 years, and more particularly during the past 5 years, insured institution CRE loan exposures have increased considerably. CRE lending growth has been greatest among midtier commercial banks.2 The median exposure level of these institutions has consistently exceeded that of community and large-sized banks, with the difference among these groups widening during the past five years.3 At year-end 2003, the median ratio of CRE loans to assets at midtier institutions was 24 percent, compared with 15 and 13 percent at community and large banks, respectively (see Chart 1).

Chart 1
D

Despite increased exposure to CRE lending and weak market fundamentals, insured institutions have not reported any significant deterioration in credit quality. Although office vacancy rates have climbed to levels seen during the early 1990s, insured institutions are reporting lower delinquencies and charge-offs now than during that time (see Chart 2).

Chart 2
D

CRE loans are reported on Call Reports in broad categories and may be reported with limited descriptions in other publicly available financial reports. Off-site financial data are of little help in identifying the types of construction and CRE loans being financed (office, hotel, retail, industrial, residential construction), whether the project is speculative or under contract, or whether the property is owner occupied. Evaluating the risks inherent in CRE loan portfolios requires understanding portfolio composition, specific institution business strategies, and the types of risk management controls that are in place.

The Atlanta CRE Lending Pilot Program

Why the Atlanta Metro Area?

The decision to launch the CRE lending pilot program in Atlanta was driven by a consideration of the weak local market conditions in tandem with the fact that a relatively high number of banks based in this area were reporting significant levels of CRE exposures.

Nationally, the percentage of banks that report CRE loans exceeding 300 percent of Tier 1 capital (traditionally a threshold that represents a relatively high concentration of CRE loans) has more than doubled in the past six years—from 14 percent in 1997 to 31 percent at year-end 2003. More than half the institutions supervised by the FDIC's Atlanta Field Office report CRE exposures that exceed this threshold. Banks in this area have reported an increase in CRE loan exposures of roughly 197 percent since fourth quarter 1999, to 453 percent of Tier 1 capital at year-end 2003. This compares to a national median of approximately 188 percent.

In addition, the softness in the CRE market is more pronounced in the Atlanta MSA, where employment has declined and vacancy rates are high. The current vacancy rate of 22 percent for office space and 15.8 percent for industrial space significantly exceeds the national averages of 16.8 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively. High vacancy rates in the Atlanta MSA increase the vulnerability of insured institutions to a potential decline in CRE property values.

Risk Management Profiles

Strong

Higher levels of owner-occupied CRE and residential construction under contract loans
Strong underwriting and credit administration procedures
Loan review and board reporting are usually thorough and timely
Demonstrate the strongest identification, measuring, monitoring, and control of risks
Low volume of past-due loans
Exhibit the highest level of regulatory compliance
Satisfactory

Higher percentage of development CRE loans and speculative residential construction loans
Overall risk management is sound and risks are mitigated and controlled
Satisfactory identification, measuring, monitoring, and control of risks
Adequate board reporting
Fair

Higher concentration of CRE development loans
Loan policy risk limits and management's identification, measuring, monitoring, and control of risks warrant improvement
Generally high volume of technical exceptions and past-due loans
Unsatisfactory

Larger volume of higher-risk loan types
Significant weaknesses in risk management
May have high levels of adversely classified assets and past-due loans
Banks are of significant regulatory concern
 

An Overview of the Pilot Program

Given increasing exposures, weak market fundamentals, and lack of detailed off-site financial data, in 2003 the FDIC developed and implemented a pilot program to better assess the risk in insured institution CRE loan portfolios and evaluate the adequacy of risk management practices and controls. Another goal of the program is to more thoroughly understand how banks with relatively high levels of CRE exposures identify concentrations and what techniques they use to monitor market conditions.

FDIC staff explained the pilot project to the sample banks and asked them to report detailed CRE data on a worksheet. The worksheet breaks down broad CRE loan categories into smaller, more specific loan types (e.g., existing retail, office development) and assigns them to risk groupings.

Site visits were conducted at 67 banks determined to have elevated levels of CRE exposures to verify data and review policies and practices. On the basis of the composition of the CRE loan portfolio and a review of lending practices and procedures, each bank in the sample was assigned a risk management profile of Strong, Satisfactory, Fair, or Unsatisfactory (see text box).

Results of the Pilot Program

Results show that area bankers are generally knowledgeable about CRE market conditions in the Atlanta MSA. In addition, insured institution risk controls and monitoring programs have improved significantly since the early 1990s. Overall, bank management has implemented more effective grading systems, improved control and approval limits, and adequate loan review procedures. Bankers understand current conditions and issues in submarkets and have access to a broader range of market information.

The pilot project showed that insured institution CRE exposures were centered in one- to four-family residential real estate development projects and owner-occupied commercial real estate—with limited involvement in speculative retail and office building construction loans. (See Chart 3 for an aggregate portfolio breakout.)

Chart 3
D

Banking necessarily involves the willingness to accept and manage risks, and this review provided insights into what CRE risks Atlanta community banks have accepted and how they are managing those risks. Active involvement in the financing of owner-occupied CRE involves a bet on the health of the local economy. The performance of exposures to residential construction depends on the financial health of local builders and developers, which in turn depends on Atlanta house price trends and indirectly on the behavior of interest rates. For both types of exposures, important risk mitigants include portfolio diversification and appropriate loan underwriting strategies. For the most part, the sampled banks appeared to be making effective use of such risk mitigants.

However, the pilot program also identified weaknesses in CRE lending programs among some insured institutions, including the following:

Lack of adequate cash flow analysis


Weak real estate appraisal review processes


Inconsistent compliance with board reporting requirements and regulatory loan-to-value guidelines


Inadequate management information systems regarding loan stratifications and risk designations


Miscoded loan data and Call Report errors


Limits for speculative loans that often were not established on an aggregate basis, but only by individual borrower
The results reinforced the need for enhanced identification of concentration risk and tools to monitor market conditions. The insights gained from the pilot program helped examiners allocate resources more efficiently in the risk-scoping and examination-scheduling processes. In addition, the program promoted communication between examiners and bankers about CRE market conditions and loan exposures, lending practices, and regulatory policies and priorities. Bankers were generally supportive of the project; some indicated that they intended to use the CRE worksheet for internal reporting and monitoring. The Atlanta Region is now planning to implement a similar review in selected markets, including parts of Florida and North Carolina, and the program also has been adopted in other Regions.

Results of the Pilot Program Reinforce the Importance of Sound CRE Lending Practices

The weaknesses identified through the pilot program confirm the need for bank management to develop and implement lending programs that incorporate certain key components. A sound CRE lending program begins with board of directors and senior management direction and oversight. Developing and adhering to a comprehensive loan policy that establishes clear and measurable standards for production, underwriting, diversification, risk review, reporting, and monitoring are critical. Within this context, certain elements are integral to strong, well-managed CRE lending programs:

Well-defined Underwriting Standards: Clear limits, expectations, and monitoring systems should be established.


Effective Due Diligence: Obtaining financial statements, market analysis, borrower background information, project schedules, and detailed property information is imperative.


Established Concentration Limits: Diversification standards by portfolio, property type, market area/submarkets, builder(s), and risk grades need to be established and enforced.


Strong Appraisal Review Process: An independent review that evaluates appraiser qualifications and the impact on assessed values under stressed scenarios is critical.


Formal Approval Process and Loan Administration Procedures: Comprehensive loan presentations that include the strengths and weaknesses of the credit should be submitted to the appropriate committees for approval. Insured institutions also should implement procedures to ensure adequate segregation of loan administration duties.


Comprehensive Risk Measurement and Monitoring: Segmenting CRE portfolios by product, geographic location, office, officer, and risk grade enhances the early identification of potential weaknesses and aids in the development of proactive risk mitigation strategies. More sophisticated CRE risk management programs include the ability to analyze the impact of changing interest rates or market fundamentals on debt service and collateral valuations at the portfolio level.
Conclusion

CRE lending programs consist of a broad array of products that present a range of risks. Although softness may exist in many CRE markets, financial reporting limitations may have contributed at times to overly negative assessments of the potential risks to insured financial institutions. The type of lending products insured institutions offer and their risk management practices may mitigate the potential risk. Most of the sampled banks appeared to be doing a good job of managing the risks associated with their most important exposure categories—residential construction and owner-occupied CRE.

Growth in CRE portfolios during a time of weak market fundamentals warrants a careful and complete risk assessment that reaches beyond financial statement presentations. The types of loans institutions make can vary widely from area to area and from bank to bank. Therefore, particularly in an environment of weak CRE fundamentals when interest rates could rise, supervisors must "get behind the numbers" to assess the extent of portfolio risk. The results of the Atlanta pilot program show that greater understanding of a bank's CRE lending risk profile, as well as the controls and monitoring programs, can improve examiners' ability to risk-focus examinations.

James C. Watkins, Assistant Regional Director,
Atlanta Region

Scott C. Hughes, Regional Economist,
Division of Insurance and Research

Ronald Sims II, Senior Financial Analyst,
Division of Insurance and Research

Michael E. Hildebran, Examiner,
Atlanta Field Office

Brent D. Hoyer, Examiner,
Charlotte Field Office

Footnotes

1 For more detailed information on the CRE sector, see "The Changing Paradigm in Commercial Real Estate" (proceedings of a September 12, 2003, roundtable of industry experts convened by the FDIC), FYI, October 28, 2003 (http://www.fdic.gov/bank/analytical/fyi/2003/102803fyi.html), and Thomas Murray, "How Long Can Bank Portfolios Withstand Problems in Commercial Real Estate?" FYI, June 23, 2003 (http://www.fdic.gov/bank/analytical/fyi/2003/062303fyi.html). Analysis of the CRE sector in the FDIC's Atlanta Region was presented in "A Recovery in Some Commercial Real Estate Markets Remains Constrained by Weak Economic Growth," Atlanta Regional Perspectives, Regional Outlook, Fall 2003 (http://www.fdic.gov/bank/analytical/regional/ro20033q/na/index.html).

2 Midtier commercial banks hold assets of $1 billion to $10 billion.

3Community banks hold assets of less than $1 billion, and large banks hold assets of at least $10 billion.

Table of Contents

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April 28, 2008

Empowering Local Communities Through Leadership

From: HUD USER News
 
HUD USER is pleased to announce the release of
Empowering Local Communities Through Leadership
Development and Capacity Building, a report produced by
HUD's Office of University Partnerships (OUP). This
publication documents how OUP-supported development of
leadership and capacity-building skills helps
individuals and organizations take charge of building
better communities.
 
This report highlights the experiences of individuals
who put their leadership skills to work to change their
communities. Moreover, it features accounts of
organizations whose increased capacity helped to make a
real difference in the lives of the people they serve.
As such, Empowering Local Communities Through Leadership
Development and Capacity Building offers inspiration and
some practical ideas about designing and carrying out
leadership development and capacity-building initiatives.
 
OUP invites you to download a copy of Empowering Local
Communities from its website, www.oup.org. You can also
directly download the report at
 www.oup.org/files/pubs/empowerment.pdf. Print versions
of this publication are in limited supply, but may be
ordered free of charge by calling the University
Partnerships Clearinghouse at 800-245-2691, option 3.
You may also request publications via email at
 oup@oup.org.
 
--------------------------------------
Please contact us at:
HUD USER
P.O. Box 23268
Washington, DC 20026-3268
1-800-245-2691
1-800-927-7589 (TDD)
202-708-9981 (fax)
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April 27, 2008

Home Valuation COde of Conduct

rom: http://www.ofheo.gov/media/agreements/3308HomeValuationCodeofConduct.pdf

I. No employee, director, officer, or agent of the lender, or any other third party acting as joint venture partner, independent contractor, appraisal management company, or partner on behalf of the lender, shall influence or attempt to influence the development, reporting, result, or review of an appraisal through coercion, extortion, collusion, compensation, instruction, inducement, intimidation, bribery, or in any other manner including but not limited to:

withholding or threatening to withhold timely payment for an appraisal report;
withholding or threatening to withhold future business for an appraiser, or demoting or terminating or threatening to demote or terminate an appraiser1;
(1 An “Appraiser” must be licensed or certified by the state in which the property to be appraised is located)
expressly or impliedly promising future business, promotions, or increased compensation for an appraiser;
conditioning the ordering of an appraisal report or the payment of an appraisal fee or salary or bonus on the opinion, conclusion, or valuation to be reached, or on a preliminary estimate requested from an appraiser;
requesting that an appraiser provide an estimated, predetermined, or desired valuation in an appraisal report, or provide estimated values or comparable sales at any time prior to the appraiser’s completion of an appraisal report;
providing to an appraiser an anticipated, estimated, encouraged, or desired value for a subject property or a proposed or target amount to be loaned to the borrower, except that a copy of the sales contract for purchase transactions may be provided;
providing to an appraiser, appraisal management company, or any entity or person related to the appraiser or appraisal management company, stock or other financial or non-financial benefits;
allowing the removal of an appraiser from a list of qualified appraisers used by any entity, without prior written notice to such appraiser, which notice shall include written evidence of the appraiser’s illegal conduct, a violation of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) or state licensing standards, substandard performance, or otherwise improper or unprofessional behavior;
ordering, obtaining, using, or paying for a second or subsequent appraisal or automated valuation model in connection with a mortgage financing transaction unless there is a reasonable basis to believe that the initial appraisal was flawed or tainted and such basis is clearly and appropriately noted in the loan file, or unless such appraisal or automated valuation model is done pursuant to a bona fide pre- or post-funding appraisal review or quality control process; or
any other act or practice that impairs or attempts to impair an appraiser’s independence, objectivity, or impartiality.
Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the lender (or any third party acting on behalf of the lender) from requesting that an appraiser (i) provide additional information or explanation about the basis for a valuation, or (ii) correct objective factual errors in an appraisal report.
II. The lender shall ensure that the borrower is provided, free of charge, a copy of any appraisal report concerning the borrower’s subject property immediately upon completion, and in any event no less than three days prior to the closing of the loan. The borrower may waive this three-day requirement. The lender may require the borrower to reimburse the lender for the cost of the appraisal.

III. The lender or any third-party specifically authorized by the lender (including, but not limited to, appraisal management companies and correspondent lenders) shall be responsible for selecting, retaining, and providing for payment of all compensation to the appraiser. The lender will not accept any appraisal report completed by an appraiser selected, retained, or compensated in any manner by any other third-party (including mortgage brokers and real estate agents).

IV. All members of the lender’s loan production staff, as well as any person (i) who is compensated on a commission basis upon the successful completion of a loan or (ii) who reports, ultimately, to any officer of the lender other than either the Chief Compliance Officer, General Counsel, or any officer who is not independent of the loan production staff and process, shall be forbidden from: (1) selecting, retaining, recommending, or influencing the selection of any appraiser for a particular appraisal assignment or for inclusion on a list or panel of appraisers approved to perform appraisals for the lender; (2) any communications with an appraiser, including ordering or managing an appraisal assignment; and (3) working together in the same organizational unit, or being directly supervised by the same manager, as any person who is involved in the selection, retention, recommendation of, or communication with any appraiser. If absolute lines of independence cannot be achieved as a result of the originator’s small size and limited staff, the lender must be able to clearly demonstrate that it has prudent safeguards to isolate its collateral evaluation process from influence or interference from its loan production process.

V. Any employee of the lender (or if the lender retains an appraisal management company, any employee of that company) tasked with selecting appraisers for an approved panel or substantive appraisal review must be (1) appropriately trained and qualified in the area of real estate and appraisals, and (2) in the case of an employee of the lender, wholly independent of the loan production staff and process.

VI. In underwriting a loan, the lender shall not utilize any appraisal report prepared by an appraiser employed by:

the lender;
an affiliate of the lender;
an entity that is owned, in whole or in part, by the lender;
an entity that owns, in whole or in part, the lender
a real estate “settlement services” provider, as that term is defined in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C.§ 2601 et seq.;
an entity that is owned, in whole or in part, by a “settlement services” provider.
The lender also shall not use any appraisal report obtained by or through an appraisal management company that is owned by the lender or an affiliate of the lender, provided that the foregoing prohibitions do not apply where the lender has an ownership interest in the appraisal management company of 20% or less and where (i) the lender has no involvement in the day-to-day business operations of the appraisal management company, (ii) the appraisal management company is operated independently, and (iii) the lender plays no role in the selection of individual appraisers or any panel of approved appraisers used by the appraisal management company.
Notwithstanding these prohibitions, the lender may use in-house staff appraisers to (i) order appraisals, (ii) conduct appraisal reviews or other quality control, whether pre-funding or post-funding, (iii) develop, deploy, or use internal automated valuation models, or (iv) prepare appraisals in connection with transactions other than mortgage origination transactions (e.g. loan workouts).

VII. The lender will establish a telephone hotline and an email address to receive any complaints from appraisers, individuals, or any other entities concerning the improper influencing or attempted improper influencing of appraisers or the appraisal process, which hotline and email address shall be attended only by a member of the office of the General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer or other independent officer. In addition: (1) each appraiser now or hereafter on any list of approved appraisers, or, upon retention by the lender, will be notified, in a separate document, of the hotline and email address and their purpose; and (2) each borrower, as part of a cover letter accompanying the provided appraisal, will be notified of the hotline and email address and their purpose. Within 72 hours of receiving any complaint, the lender will begin a preliminary investigation of the complaint and upon completing the inquiry (or, after a period not to exceed 60 days, whichever shall come first) shall notify the Independent Valuation Protection Institute and any relevant regulatory bodies of any indication of improper conduct. The name and any identifying information of the person or entity that has filed such a complaint shall be kept in strictest confidence by the office of the General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer or other independent officer, except as required by law. The lender shall not retaliate, in any manner or method, against the person or entity which makes such a complaint.

VIII. The lender agrees that it shall quality control test, by use of retroactive or additional appraisal reports or other appropriate method, of a randomly-selected 10 percent (or other bona fide statistically significant percentage) of the appraisals or valuations which are used by the lender, including the results of automated valuation models, broker’s price opinions or “desktop” evaluations. The lender shall report the results of such quality control testing to the Independent Valuation Protection Institute and any relevant regulatory bodies.

IX. Any lender who has a reasonable basis to believe an appraiser is violating applicable laws, or is otherwise engaging in unethical conduct, shall promptly refer the matter to the Independent Valuation Protection Institute and to the applicable State appraiser certifying and licensing agency.

X. The lender shall certify, warrant and represent that the appraisal report was obtained in a manner consistent with this Code of Conduct.

XI. Nothing in this Code shall be construed to establish new requirements or obligations that (1) require a lender to obtain a property valuation, or to use any particular method for property valuation (such as an appraisal or automated valuation model) in connection with any mortgage loan or mortgage financing transaction, or (2) affect the acceptable scope of work for an appraiser in connection with a particular assignment.

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April 24, 2008

Edison CTAC seminars

It's not to late to register, we are still accepting enrollments for
many
of our May seminars.

As a past attendee of Edison CTAC seminars we would like to invite you
to
attend those upcoming FREE seminars taking place in Irwindale at SCE's
Customer Technology Application Center.


   May 2008 Calendar of Events

   Energy Management Systems
   Thursday, May 1, 2008   #17349
   8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. with lunch
   Location: CTAC, Irwindale

   Hot Rebates & Cool Savings for Foodservice
   Thursday, May 1, 2008   #18403
   8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. with lunch
   Location: CTAC, Irwindale

   Industrial Refrigeration ** Newly Revised **
   Thursday, May 8, 2008   #17350
   8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. with lunch
   Location: CTAC, Irwindale

   Successful Merchandising with Efficient Lighting
   Thursday, May 8, 2008   #18179
   8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
   Location: CTAC, Irwindale

   Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards: A Seminar for Designers -
Lighting
   Thursday, May 8, 2008   #18467
   8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m
   Location: CTAC, Irwindale

   Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards: A Seminar for Designers -
   Mechanical
   Thursday, May 8, 2008   #19328
   10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
   Location: CTAC, Irwindale

   Fan System Assessment
   Thursday, May 15, 2008   #18613
   8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. with lunch
   Location: CTAC, Irwindale

Reservations can be made via phone Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. -
5:00
p.m. by calling 1 (800) 336-2822 ext 42537 or 626-812-7537.

For more detailed information and to register please visit us on the
web at
www.sce.com/energycenters.

Sincere Regards,
Angela Reyes
SCE CTAC
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April 22, 2008

How to Win a Tax Appeal

How to Win a Tax Appeal

As published by Real Estate New Jersey, July/August 2002, By John Garippa

 

The April filing deadline has long passed, of course.  For some, however, it may now be necessary to prepare for a successful tax appeal.  There is one truly crucial issue to remember about winning a tax appeal:  Put yourself in a position to settle the case with the taxing authority.  A look at the record over many years demonstrates that the Tax Court makes many inexplicable rulings.  Therefore, any time a taxpayer can get an acceptable settlement, that settlement should be carefully considered.

At the same time, remember this:  Sophisticated taxing jurisdictions will not settle cases unless they believe there is a risk of reduction.  Here, we will focus on how best to emphasize that risk

All of the benefits and liabilities of the property are best understood by competent ownership and management.  It's the responsibility of management to communicate those liabilities so that the professional appraiser can take them into consideration for valuation purposes.  Many times, there are significant operating defects relevant to property that are not properly communicated to the appraiser.  So often, these are the kinds of defects that an appraiser might not necessarily notice without interfacing with management.

The proper preparation of the case during its discovery phase is critically important to its chances for success.  In most significant tax appeals, interrogatories are routinely exchanged.  The purpose of this process is to put all parties on notice as to the relevant issues affecting the property.  It's important that all interrogatories propounded by the taxing jurisdiction be properly answered.  It is of equal significance that your answers be given to your appraiser as well.  To often, a property owner's appraiser is surprised and embarrassed by information that management has provided to the taxing jurisdiction, but has not provided to his or her own appraiser.

Management must meet with the appraiser to review the appraisal before it is exchanged for trial.  The appraisal should be examined for factual errors as well as appraisal errors.  Also, involving an experienced tax attorney in this process is vital to determine whether there are legal issues impacting the appraisal process.

Forensic appraisals are very different from other types of appraisals.  A forensic appraisal must have backup for every significant position.  It is inappropriate for an appraiser to maintain an opinion based on "my experience."  If there is a market analysis, the comparables must be truly comparable from the standpoint of size, use and locale.

The same is true of an income approach:  Any use of comparable income must be based on true comparability.  Also, the appraiser must be fully versed on all details of comparable property.  In many ways, it is as consequential for the forensic appraiser to know as much about the comparables as they know about the subject property.

If all of these steps have been taken carefully, there will probably be an opportunity for settlement.  However, if the appeal has to be tried, it is critical that the appraiser be prepared for cross-0examination.  Every conceivable question should be posed so the appraiser has a chance to think clearly about the issues involved, in advance of the trial.

Also, preparation for direct testimony should also take place.  Many taxpayers make the mistake of thinking all that's necessary in direct is for the appraisal report to be placed in evidence.  Rather, a strong direct presentation should take place where the "story" of the case unfolds in a clear and precise fashion, making reference to the appraisal.

The other half of a successful tax appeal involves undermining the credibility of the opposing appraiser.  This involves the artful preparation of questions.  The focus should be on the key aspects of the opposing appraisal:  Narrow the inquiry to really significant areas in dispute.

Also, if there are factual errors in that report, focus immediately on those areas.  An expert unable to get facts straight never impresses the court.  Additionally, the use of corroborative evidence, either by way of photographs or documentation, is very helpful in undermining an expert's opinion.

In the final analysis, a winning tax appeal is like choreography, with all the pieces telling the same story.

 

John Garippa is the senior partner of the law firm of Garippa, Lotz & Giannuario, with offices in Montclair, New Jersey and Philadelphia. He is also the president of American Property Tax Counsel, the national affiliation of property tax attorneys.  He can be reached at john@taxappeal.com.

 

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Summary of Statement No. 157

Summary of Statement No. 157

Fair Value Measurements

Summary

This Statement defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value in generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), and expands disclosures about fair value measurements. This Statement applies under other accounting pronouncements that require or permit fair value measurements, the Board having previously concluded in those accounting pronouncements that fair value is the relevant measurement attribute. Accordingly, this Statement does not require any new fair value measurements. However, for some entities, the application of this Statement will change current practice.

Reason for Issuing This Statement

Prior to this Statement, there were different definitions of fair value and limited guidance for applying those definitions in GAAP. Moreover, that guidance was dispersed among the many accounting pronouncements that require fair value measurements. Differences in that guidance created inconsistencies that added to the complexity in applying GAAP. In developing this Statement, the Board considered the need for increased consistency and comparability in fair value measurements and for expanded disclosures about fair value measurements.

Differences between This Statement and Current Practice

The changes to current practice resulting from the application of this Statement relate to the definition of fair value, the methods used to measure fair value, and the expanded disclosures about fair value measurements.

The definition of fair value retains the exchange price notion in earlier definitions of fair value. This Statement clarifies that the exchange price is the price in an orderly transaction between market participants to sell the asset or transfer the liability in the market in which the reporting entity would transact for the asset or liability, that is, the principal or most advantageous market for the asset or liability. The transaction to sell the asset or transfer the liability is a hypothetical transaction at the measurement date, considered from the perspective of a market participant that holds the asset or owes the liability. Therefore, the definition focuses on the price that would be received to sell the asset or paid to transfer the liability (an exit price), not the price that would be paid to acquire the asset or received to assume the liability (an entry price).

This Statement emphasizes that fair value is a market-based measurement, not an entity-specific measurement. Therefore, a fair value measurement should be determined based on the assumptions that market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability. As a basis for considering market participant assumptions in fair value measurements, this Statement establishes a fair value hierarchy that distinguishes between (1) market participant assumptions developed based on market data obtained from sources independent of the reporting entity (observable inputs) and (2) the reporting entity’s own assumptions about market participant assumptions developed based on the best information available in the circumstances (unobservable inputs). The notion of unobservable inputs is intended to allow for situations in which there is little, if any, market activity for the asset or liability at the measurement date. In those situations, the reporting entity need not undertake all possible efforts to obtain information about market participant assumptions. However, the reporting entity must not ignore information about market participant assumptions that is reasonably available without undue cost and effort.

This Statement clarifies that market participant assumptions include assumptions about risk, for example, the risk inherent in a particular valuation technique used to measure fair value (such as a pricing model) and/or the risk inherent in the inputs to the valuation technique. A fair value measurement should include an adjustment for risk if market participants would include one in pricing the related asset or liability, even if the adjustment is difficult to determine. Therefore, a measurement (for example, a “mark-to-model” measurement) that does not include an adjustment for risk would not represent a fair value measurement if market participants would include one in pricing the related asset or liability.

This Statement clarifies that market participant assumptions also include assumptions about the effect of a restriction on the sale or use of an asset. A fair value measurement for a restricted asset should consider the effect of the restriction if market participants would consider the effect of the restriction in pricing the asset. That guidance applies for stock with restrictions on sale that terminate within one year that is measured at fair value under FASB Statements No. 115, Accounting for Certain Investments in Debt and Equity Securities, and No. 124, Accounting for Certain Investments Held by Not-for-Profit Organizations.

This Statement clarifies that a fair value measurement for a liability reflects its nonperformance risk (the risk that the obligation will not be fulfilled). Because nonperformance risk includes the reporting entity’s credit risk, the reporting entity should consider the effect of its credit risk (credit standing) on the fair value of the liability in all periods in which the liability is measured at fair value under other accounting pronouncements, including FASB Statement No. 133, Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities.

This Statement affirms the requirement of other FASB Statements that the fair value of a position in a financial instrument (including a block) that trades in an active market should be measured as the product of the quoted price for the individual instrument times the quantity held (within Level 1 of the fair value hierarchy). The quoted price should not be adjusted because of the size of the position relative to trading volume (blockage factor). This Statement extends that requirement to broker-dealers and investment companies within the scope of the AICPA Audit and Accounting Guides for those industries.

This Statement expands disclosures about the use of fair value to measure assets and liabilities in interim and annual periods subsequent to initial recognition. The disclosures focus on the inputs used to measure fair value and for recurring fair value measurements using significant unobservable inputs (within Level 3 of the fair value hierarchy), the effect of the measurements on earnings (or changes in net assets) for the period. This Statement encourages entities to combine the fair value information disclosed under this Statement with the fair value information disclosed under other accounting pronouncements, including FASB Statement No. 107, Disclosures about Fair Value of Financial Instruments, where practicable.

The guidance in this Statement applies for derivatives and other financial instruments measured at fair value under Statement 133 at initial recognition and in all subsequent periods. Therefore, this Statement nullifies the guidance in footnote 3 of EITF Issue No. 02-3, “Issues Involved in Accounting for Derivative Contracts Held for Trading Purposes and Contracts Involved in Energy Trading and Risk Management Activities.” This Statement also amends Statement 133 to remove the similar guidance to that in Issue 02-3, which was added by FASB Statement No. 155, Accounting for Certain Hybrid Financial Instruments.

How the Conclusions in This Statement Relate to the FASB’s Conceptual Framework

The framework for measuring fair value considers the concepts in FASB Concepts Statement No. 2, Qualitative Characteristics of Accounting Information. Concepts Statement 2 emphasizes that providing comparable information enables users of financial statements to identify similarities in and differences between two sets of economic events.

The definition of fair value considers the concepts relating to assets and liabilities in FASB Concepts Statement No. 6, Elements of Financial Statements, in the context of market participants. A fair value measurement reflects current market participant assumptions about the future inflows associated with an asset (future economic benefits) and the future outflows associated with a liability (future sacrifices of economic benefits).

This Statement incorporates aspects of the guidance in FASB Concepts Statement No. 7, Using Cash Flow Information and Present Value in Accounting Measurements, as clarified and/or reconsidered in this Statement. This Statement does not revise Concepts Statement 7. The Board will consider the need to revise Concepts Statement 7 in its conceptual framework project.

The expanded disclosures about the use of fair value to measure assets and liabilities should provide users of financial statements (present and potential investors, creditors, and others) with information that is useful in making investment, credit, and similar decisions—the first objective of financial reporting in FASB Concepts Statement No. 1, Objectives of Financial Reporting by Business Enterprises.

How the Changes in This Statement Improve Financial Reporting

A single definition of fair value, together with a framework for measuring fair value, should result in increased consistency and comparability in fair value measurements.

The expanded disclosures about the use of fair value to measure assets and liabilities should provide users of financial statements with better information about the extent to which fair value is used to measure recognized assets and liabilities, the inputs used to develop the measurements, and the effect of certain of the measurements on earnings (or changes in net assets) for the period.

The amendments made by this Statement advance the Board’s initiatives to simplify and codify the accounting literature, eliminating differences that have added to the complexity in GAAP.

Costs and Benefits of Applying This Statement

The framework for measuring fair value builds on current practice and requirements. However, some entities will need to make systems and other changes to comply with the requirements of this Statement. Some entities also might incur incremental costs in applying the requirements of this Statement. However, the benefits from increased consistency and comparability in fair value measurements and expanded disclosures about those measurements should be ongoing.

The Effective Date of This Statement

This Statement is effective for financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after November 15, 2007, and interim periods within those fiscal years. Earlier application is encouraged, provided that the reporting entity has not yet issued financial statements for that fiscal year, including financial statements for an interim period within that fiscal year.

The provisions of this Statement should be applied prospectively as of the beginning of the fiscal year in which this Statement is initially applied, except as follows. The provisions of this Statement should be applied retrospectively to the following financial instruments as of the beginning of the fiscal year in which this Statement is initially applied (a limited form of retrospective application):

  1. A position in a financial instrument that trades in an active market held by a broker-dealer or investment company within the scope of the AICPA Audit and Accounting Guides for those industries that was measured at fair value using a blockage factor prior to initial application of this Statement

     

  2. A financial instrument that was measured at fair value at initial recognition under Statement 133 using the transaction price in accordance with the guidance in footnote 3 of Issue 02-3 prior to initial application of this Statement

     

  3. A hybrid financial instrument that was measured at fair value at initial recognition under Statement 133 using the transaction price in accordance with the guidance in Statement 133 (added by Statement 155) prior to initial application of this Statement.

     

The transition adjustment, measured as the difference between the carrying amounts and the fair values of those financial instruments at the date this Statement is initially applied, should be recognized as a cumulative-effect adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings (or other appropriate components of equity or net assets in the statement of financial position) for the fiscal year in which this Statement is initially applied.

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April 19, 2008

Table of Contents

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CASES

• Kotrous v. Goss-Jewett Co. of N. California
• Duncan's Point Lot Owners Ass'n Inc. v. Fed. Energy Regulatory Comm'n
• Int'l Tech. Co. v. Sec'y of Navy
• California Water Impact Network v. Newhall County Water Dist.

You May FREELY Redistribute This E-Mail in Whole
To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com.
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April 18, 2008

Creating Vibrant Communities:

 

Creating Vibrant Communities: Redeveloping California's Brownfields

Designed to meet the needs of project managers involved in redeveloping environmentally impacted properties, this workshop program is our most popular. By limiting class size, trainings are ideal for those interested in direct counsel from the workshop speakers. This popular workshop sells out quickly, so please register online early!

 

Thursday, May 22nd
8:00am - 4:00pm

Location
Center for Healthy Communities
The California Endowment
1000 North Alameda Street
Los Angeles


Recycling abandoned and under-utilized properties requires specialized knowledge and skills to manage environmental issues. A practical and interactive workshop, Brownfields 101 provides project managers with the tools, techniques, and resources required to bring projects in on-time and on-budget. The workshop curriculum culminates in a case study that realistically illustrates potential project outcomes. A typical workshop agenda contains sessions on the following topics, presented by professionals from CCLR's extensive assemblage of redevelopment experts:

-Regulatory and Legal Framework
-Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
-Phase II Environmental Site Assessment & Cleanup
-Environmental Insurance
-Financial Resources
-Establishing a Redevelopment Team
-Case Study

Speakers

 

Bruce Howard, Partner, Latham & Watkins
Hassan Amini, Principal, Geomatrix
John Kim, Principal, Integro Insurance Brokers


Co-conveners
California Community Economic Development Association
California Building Industry Association
Greenlining Institute
Local Government Commission
Local Government Environmental Assistance Network
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
The Trust for Public Land

$350 Private Sector/$200 Government/$100 Nonprofit

CCLR is committed to helping community-based organizations by providing scholarships. Please inquire about our Wells Fargo Scholarship program.

This course offers 6 MCLE Credits.
Please inquire regarding Planning credits.


To register, and for more information about the curriculum please Click here or call 415.398.1080.

Check out our other workshops in 2008:
October 2, 2008 Funding Workshop San Francisco
October 30, 2008 Funding Workshop Los Angeles

 

 

The Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR or “see clear“) is a nonprofit that repairs fractured communities and discourages urban sprawl through creative private, public, and nonprofit partnerships.

 

 

 

The preceding announcement is brought to you by Center for Creative Land Recycling, a nonprofit organization that repairs fractured communities and discourages urban sprawl through creative private, public and nonprofit partnerships. Our work is accomplished through training, technical assistance and small grants for communities who are attempting to turn around vacant or environmentally impaired properties. For more information on our workshops and other activities, please visit www.cclr.org.

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About RIM

http://www.rimcompany.com/about_us.php

 

About RIM

We acquire and manage multi-family real estate, while delivering consistent returns to our investment partners. Our firm has extensive expertise in analyzing risks, opportunities and developing effective strategies to maximize asset value. The ability to identify “hidden value” and solve complex real estate issues allows our firm to deliver consistent returns.

Our success is driven by many of the same fundamentals as other industries: operating an outstanding business, understanding and serving the needs of our customers and exceeding financial objectives. We are committed to being more than a successful real estate investment and management company; our commitment is to industry leadership. In our opinion, this doesn’t mean being the biggest, it means being the best.

While identifying “hidden value” and acquiring real estate investments is important, we only buy when it makes sense. Our investment strategy is driven by quality investments with clearly defined upside, not quantity. Although, we are long-term real estate holders, when it makes sense to sell, we analyze these opportunities carefully to maximize profitability and returns to our valued investment partners.
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April 17, 2008

Survey & Engineering GIS Summit

Survey & Engineering GIS Summit
San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, California
August 2-5, 2008

Register Online Now

Register to Attend
You are invited to the 2008 ESRI Survey & Engineering GIS (SEG) Summit. This informative conference enables surveyors and engineers to explore how GIS software integrates with surveying and engineering tools to provide more complete business solutions and field processes. User presentations, access to ESRI experts, and a wide range of session topics are geared to meet the needs of all attendees, regardless of GIS experience.

Visit the conference Web site for the conference overview and other current information including participating hotels and availability. The deadline to register is June 13, 2008.

Keynote Address
Colonel David W. Madden, commander of the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Wing at the Space and Missile Systems Center, will give the Keynote Address. Colonel Madden is responsible for the multinational, multiservice development of all GPS space, satellite, and ground segments. You will learn firsthand about the largest avionics integration and installation program in the U.S. Department of Defense. Read more.

Who Should Attend
The 2008 summit will include prevalent issues in engineering along with new land development and construction, highlighting experts who are merging geospatial technologies in their work. The program is designed to share knowledge in a GIS framework for

  • Professional surveyors and civil engineers
  • Business owners wanting to leverage the power of GIS
  • Survey and engineering design
  • Geodetic control
  • GPS technology
  • Data integration between survey, engineering, and GIS
  • Land management
  • Surveying and engineering educators and trainers

Exhibit at the Survey & Engineering GIS EXPO
If you are an ESRI business partner, you are welcome to exhibit at the Survey & Engineering GIS EXPO and Reception. Increase awareness and knowledge about your solution products and services throughout this innovative and specialized community. Answer questions and demonstrate applications for a variety of forward-thinking professionals.

For more details and continual updates, visit our event website at www.esri.com/segsummit


San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, California
August 2-5, 2008

San Diego Convention CenterSan Diego, CaliforniaAugust 2-5, 2008

Register Online Now

Register to Attend
You are invited to the 2008 ESRI Survey & Engineering GIS (SEG) Summit. This informative conference enables surveyors and engineers to explore how GIS software integrates with surveying and engineering tools to provide more complete business solutions and field processes. User presentations, access to ESRI experts, and a wide range of session topics are geared to meet the needs of all attendees, regardless of GIS experience.

Visit the conference Web site for the conference overview and other current information including participating hotels and availability. The deadline to register is June 13, 2008.

Keynote Address
Colonel David W. Madden, commander of the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Wing at the Space and Missile Systems Center, will give the Keynote Address. Colonel Madden is responsible for the multinational, multiservice development of all GPS space, satellite, and ground segments. You will learn firsthand about the largest avionics integration and installation program in the U.S. Department of Defense. Read more.

Who Should Attend
The 2008 summit will include prevalent issues in engineering along with new land development and construction, highlighting experts who are merging geospatial technologies in their work. The program is designed to share knowledge in a GIS framework for

  • Professional surveyors and civil engineers
  • Business owners wanting to leverage the power of GIS
  • Survey and engineering design
  • Geodetic control
  • GPS technology
  • Data integration between survey, engineering, and GIS
  • Land management
  • Surveying and engineering educators and trainers

Exhibit at the Survey & Engineering GIS EXPO
If you are an ESRI business partner, you are welcome to exhibit at the Survey & Engineering GIS EXPO and Reception. Increase awareness and knowledge about your solution products and services throughout this innovative and specialized community. Answer questions and demonstrate applications for a variety of forward-thinking professionals.

For more details and continual updates, visit our event website at www.esri.com/segsummit

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April 15, 2008

AllBusiness, Appraisal

http://www.allbusiness.com/real-estate-appraisals/4972019-1.html

 


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Economic Issues & Commercial Business Trends Forum
The latest forecast for commercial real estate markets across the country will be presented by NAR’s Chief Economist. Hear how overall economic conditions are impacting the commercial sector.
Register here>

Making Common Sense of NAR’s Housing Data
Discover ways to understand and communicate the wealth of data collected and released by NAR. We will show you how to utilize important stats in your daily business. Take home knowledge that will help your buyers and sellers. Become better equipped to handle media requests/inquiries.
Register here>

compiled by NAR’s Research Division.

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April 09, 2008

Free On-Demand Web Seminar

Free On-Demand Web Seminar
Innovative Materials Design with Lance Hosey

Innovation is the engine of change. In this presentation, Lance Hosey showcases several examples to demonstrate two kinds of innovation—the adaptation of existing materials and methods, and the invention of new ones.

Additionally, since basic ingredients of building materials can have a significant impact on environmental performance, improving them is critical to maintaining sustainable design. In this Web seminar, Lance hits on all of these points including:

  • Six stages of material life with an emphasis on design
  • Contemporary adaptation, such as multipurpose furniture
  • Shape memory materials and other modern inventions

Some might think green design can’t be great design, Lance Hosey disagrees. Find out more by viewing this free on-demand Web seminar. Fill out a short registration form to watch by clicking here.

A podcast is available: Too busy to sit and listen to this informative program? No problem; a podcast is available for free and can be downloaded on demand from the media console.    

Speaker Lance Hosey, AIA, LEED AP
Director, William McDonough + Partners


A nationally recognized architect, designer, writer, and speaker, Lance Hosey has been featured in Metropolis magazine’s “Next Generation” program and Architectural Record’s “emerging architect” series. His essays on sustainable design have appeared in publications such as The Washington Post, Metropolis, Architectural Record, and Architecture, and he writes a regular “ecology” column for Architect magazine. He is co-author of Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design (Ecotone Publishing, 2007), and his forthcoming book is entitled, The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design.

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April 06, 2008

Stephen A. Rice Inc.

I provide

commercial real estate site assessments and reports for retail, office,

hotel, industrial and multi-family housing properties to leading due

diligence firms nationwide.

My specialty is to perform comprehensive site assessments and generate

accurate reports on a tight schedule.

The due diligence industry has seen tremendous changes and volatility in

2008. I offer the opportunity to provide national coverage to your

organization without the costs of a full time engineer.

My experience includes over 1,000 ASTM E 2018 Property Condition

Assessments (PCAs) and ASTM E 1527 Phase 1 Environmental Site

Assessments (ESAs). Furthermore, I offer ASTM E 2026-99 Seismic Risk

Assessments (PMLs) in cooperation with my associate Mark Prock, PE.

Assignments have been regularly completed for large financial

institutions, Fannie Mae and HUD.

Please contact me for further information. I appreciate your attention

and look forward to future opportunities to work with you.

--

Stephen A. Rice

Stephen A. Rice Inc.

579 Wildrose Circle

Lynden WA 98264 USA

T: (206) 369-7773

F: (206) 374-2158

E: srice@ricenw.com

 

 

 

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April 04, 2008

AI, Appraisal Institute, Designation Descrimination

Committee “I” (Created December 2nd, 2007)

Demand a Congressional investigation of the Appraisal Institute, its members and its practices.

Proposed Petition:

We petition the US Congress to do a complete forensic investigation of the Appraisal Institute, its membership/practitioners, and the reports its members produce. We advocate eliminating the use of appraisal designations, as said designations cause confusion to the lending community and the public at large.

The Appraisal Institute (AI) continually lobbies for its membership to have lenders assign their members appraisal work and preferential treatment over other appraisers who are duly licensed, but do not have the revered MAI/SRA designations.

AI is a private organization; a Real Estate Appraisal School is all that it is in actuality.

It is by far the largest appraisal school in the world, and is in the process of completing a merger with the ASA. The AI is predatory and monopolistic as it continues to discredit, appraisal course instruction by non - AI instructors.

Appraisal instructors looking in from the outside (Instructors who are not AI members) do not offer the lofty “designation(s)” the appraisal institute provides. Accordingly, eliminating the designation will eliminate the confusion that it causes in the lending community, where lenders repeatedly ask for an MAI or an SRA approved report.

The Appraisal Institute places itself on a pedestal, as it promotes its so-called prestigious designations, MAI/SRA. The fact is that the educational courses for state licensure for appraisers are based upon criteria as mandated by the Appraisal Foundation’s Course Approval Program (CAP) which is the same for all states for licensure.

The AI charges membership fees to candidate members, while existing, ordained (if you will) official members (MAI/SRA’s), put the fear in you to join (extortion), or you may expect your work to be blacklisted via the lending community, (Which is contrary to the FIRREA anti-discrimination law – chapter 564.5-6).

Said anti-discrimination law was passed back in 1989, namely due to the S & L crises, in which many BAD appraisal reports were prepared by Institute members.

The Appraisal Institute has managed to sneak a paragraph into section 203K of the HR 3837 bill, which endeavors to reverse anti-discriminatory legislation which has existed since 1989, which will further cause into confusion, the differentiation from a state certified appraiser, versus an MAI/SRA appraiser, of which there is in fact no difference.

The appraisal Institute furthermore is known to be and IS a nepotistic organization. The AI makes it very difficult, and in many cases impossible to obtain their designations, as their existing membership oftentimes refuses to approve their candidate members for the MAI/SRA designations, as the ordained members realize, that if/when they do, they are inviting competition into their exclusive club.

Accordingly, the Institute keeps candidate members hanging on year after year, paying associate membership fees, but oftentimes, said associate members never get to see the prized MAI or SRA designations.

Appraisal reports prepared by members of the Institute should be forensically investigated, as organization members are rampant with fraudulent appraisal reports.

The Appraisal Institute has contaminated the process of doing business with their unofficial/unregulated authority over the appraisal industry. Federal and State agencies regulate the banking industry - not the Appraisal Institute.

Summary – Abolish the Appraisal Institutes designations (MAI/SRA) as it causes into confusion for lenders and the general public, the terms State Certified Appraiser as opposed to an MAI/SRA, in which there is no difference what-so-ever.

To join this Committee please copy/paste the following text and fill in your information. Then email it to us at committee@appraisalunion.org. Please also attach a current resume, and any additional information you would like on your page (personal photo, website info., additional contact info. etc…).

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April 03, 2008

pLANNED gIVING dESIGN cENTER

To:curtis_harris@harriscompanyrec.com
Subject:[PGDC] Today from Planned Giving Design Center, LLC
From:"Planned Giving Design Center" <noreply@pgdc.com>  Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book  Add Mobile Alert
Date:Thu, 03 Apr 2008 21:01:18 -0400
Planned Giving Design Center, LLC

Dear Curtis Harris BS, CGREA, REB,

As a member of the Planned Giving Design Center you are being sent this e-mail to keep you up to date on the latest additions to the site.

 National News
 
*  
Service Rules on CRT Trustee's Discretion in Allocating Portion of Unitrust Amount to Any Qualified Charity
In two recently issued private letter rulings, the Service has held that a special independent trustee of a charitable remainder unitrust in its sole discretion can allocate a portion of the annual unitrust amount to any of the trust's income recipients and any organization qualified under sections 170(c), 2055(a), and 2522(a). In addition, the trustor will retain the power to substitute the charitable remainderman, provided that at least one-third of the remainder interest is distributed to public charities, and will retain the power to substitute the special independent trustee. MORE »

*  
Texas Senators Echo Other Legislators' Concerns Over Proposed Supporting Org Guidance
Texas Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn have sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Paulson expressing their concerns about possible unintended consequences that may result from proposed rulemaking to historical supporting organizations. The letter comes in the wake of similar concerns expressed by other Texas legislators. MORE »

*  
Treasury Responds to Oklahoma Lawmakers Regarding Concerns over Supporting Orgs
Treasury Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Kevin I. Fromer has thanked Oklahoma lawmakers for their suggestion that a proposed 5% minimum annual payout for non-functionally integrated Type III supporting organizations be reduced to 3.5%. MORE »


This is an automatic e-mail from Planned Giving Design Center, LLC.
To modify your preferences or unsubscribe from this newsletter, edit your member profile.
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FY09 EPA Brownfield Grant Guidelines

In case you haven't seen this...

----- Forwarded by Noemi Emeric/R9/USEPA/US on 04/02/2008 05:08 PM -----

 

The Federal Register Notice on the FY09 EPA Brownfield Grant Guidelines was finally published.

Link to the notice:

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20081800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-5880.pdf

 

The guidelines can also be down loaded off EPA's website at: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/

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April 01, 2008

Were You Aware, AI, MAI, Appraisal Institute

Were You Aware, AI, MAI, Appraisal Institute 

That the current and immediate past Chief Appraisers of the Department of
Justice, each acting in his capacity as a member of the Appraisal Institute,
reviewed the new seminar on Conservation Easements, criticized the inclusion of
Public Interest Value in said seminar? And
that both members were then excluded from further review or activities?
that the cosponsor of the Conservation Easement seminar, the ASFMRA,
continues to complain about the concept of Public Interest Value included in
the materials or added by instructors?
that the AI President failed to have incorrect materials removed that he had
promised ASFMRA would be removed?
that, nevertheless, another proposed seminar on Green Buildings also
contains the same types of Public Interest Value concepts?

That the Chief Appraiser of the Department of Justice recently sent a letter to the
AI President raising issues of appraiser competency and expressing the
Department’s concern about extreme divergences in appraisals prepared for
litigation, and the AI’s administration of standards?

That the State of California, after a lengthy study by state agencies, publicly
concluded that two MAIs (currently in jail for fraud and other charges) had seriously violated USPAP and related
requirements? And
that this was despite a letter from the Appraisal Institute’s Director of Ethics
and Standards Counseling that found no problem with their appraisal?
that the AI took no apparent steps to respond to the State of California’s
concerns about this matter?
that the case has subsequently been cited in a California Legislative
Analyst’s report calling for reforms in appraisal legislation and in the abovecited
letter from the Chief Appraiser of the United States Department of
Justice to 2008 President Pugh?

That the Business Enterprise Value seminar is being continued and is now being
revised for future offerings? And
that this seminar was discontinued years ago when governments in the U.S.
and Canada threatened to sue the AI, because of materials contained in the
seminar and when complaints were received from the American Institute of
Certified Public Accountants and business valuers that the concepts in the
course were counter to USPAP, as well as accounting and business value
standards?
that after raising the above issues, two members who raised them were
dropped from the Business Enterprise Value seminar team?"
http://www.zimbio.com/pilot?ZURL=%2FReal%2BEstate%2Farticles%2F2428%2FAppraisal%2BInstitute%2BRelationship%2BNAR%2BQuestioned&URL=http%3A%2F%2Fappraisalnewsonline.typepad.com%2Fappraisal_news_for_real_e%2Ffiles%2FAI_Are_You_Aware.pdf

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Creating Vibrant Communities: Redeveloping Nevada's Brownfields

 

Creating Vibrant Communities: Redeveloping Nevada's Brownfields

Designed to meet the needs of project managers involved in redeveloping environmentally impacted properties, this workshop program is our most popular. By limiting class size, trainings are ideal for those interested in direct counsel from the workshop speakers. This popular workshop sells out quickly, so please register online early!

 

Thursday, April 17th
9:00am - 4:00pm

Location
Reno City Hall, Council Chambers
One East First Street
Reno, NV 89505
Click here for parking information & directions

 

Recycling abandoned and under-utilized properties requires specialized knowledge and skills to manage environmental issues. A practical and interactive workshop, Brownfields 101 provides project managers with the tools, techniques, and resources required to bring projects in on-time and on-budget. The workshop curriculum culminates in a case study that realistically illustrates potential project outcomes. A typical workshop agenda contains sessions on the following topics, presented by professionals from CCLR's extensive assemblage of redevelopment experts:

-Regulatory and Legal Framework
-Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
-Phase II Environmental Site Assessment & Cleanup
-Environmental Insurance
-Financial Resources
-Establishing a Redevelopment Team
-Case Study

Speakers

 

David Tundermann, Attorney, Parsons, Behle & Latimer
Joe McGinley, Principal, McGinley & Associates
Janet Carl, Senior Vice President, Marsh Risk & Insurance Services
Lisa Johnson, Brownfields Coordinator, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection

Co-conveners
East Las Vegas Community Development Corporation
Housing for Nevada
Nevada Association of Counties
Nevada HAND
Nevada Brownfields Program, NDEP
The Trust for Public Land


$200 Private Sector/$100 Government/$50 Nonprofit/
$25 Student


CCLR is committed to helping community-based organizations by providing scholarships. Please inquire about our Wells Fargo Scholarship program.

This course anticipates offering 7 Planning and MCLE Credits.

To register, and for more information about the curriculum, please Click Here or call 415.398.1080.

 

 

The Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR or “see clear“) is a nonprofit that repairs fractured communities and discourages urban sprawl through creative private, public, and nonprofit partnerships.

 

 

 

The preceding announcement is brought to you by Center for Creative Land Recycling, a nonprofit organization that repairs fractured communities and discourages urban sprawl through creative private, public and nonprofit partnerships. Our work is accomplished through training, technical assistance and small grants for communities who are attempting to turn around vacant or environmentally impaired properties. For more information on our workshops and other activities, please visit www.cclr.org.

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