Nov/Dec 2023 RMM

Appraisal Bias: NRMLA Attorneys Say Developments Require Your Attention Advisers Stress That Lenders Must Be Proactive With Bias Policies By Thomas A. Barstow IN SPRING 2021, a Maryland couple sought to refinance their mortgage and received a $472,000 appraisal on the Baltimore property. The couple, both professors at Johns Hopkins University, contacted the lender to say that the home was significantly undervalued. The lender denied the loan because the equity in the home was too low for the refinancing request. The professors, who are Black, later removed family photos and replaced them with pictures of a white friend. A different appraiser put the home’s value at $750,000. The couple eventually sued, claiming discrimination with the first appraisal. 28 REVERSE MORTGAGE / NOVEMBER–DECEMBER 2023