Advocates fight inflated house appraisals

February 05, 2006
A national advocacy group is targeting appraisal fraud as a cause of foreclosures and promoting a new code of conduct for appraisers.
     Appraisal fraud usually involves mortgage brokers or homeowners pressuring appraisers to meet a certain mark in their valuation of a home, according to David Berenbaum, executive vice president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. The appraiser might manipulate the size of a home by describing an unfinished area as finished or by adding an extra room or bedroom. "That is a common technique for fraud," he said.