Customary & Reasonable Fees

Regulaion Z - A speicific Federal Reserve Board regulation that requires debt lenders to disclose all the specifics of a given loan.

42(f)(1) Requirement to Provide Customary and Reasonable Compensation to Fee Appraisers

  1. Agents of the creditor. Whether a person is an agent of the creditor is determined by applicable law; however, a “fee appraiser” as defined in paragraph (f)(4)(i) is not an agent of the creditor for purposes of paragraph (f), and therefore is not required to pay other fee appraisers customary and reasonable compensation under paragraph (f).
  1. Geographic market. For purposes of paragraph (f), the “geographic market of the property being appraised” means the geographic market relevant to compensation levels for appraisal services. Depending on the facts and circumstances, the relevant geographic market may be a state, metropolitan statistical area (MSA), metropolitan division, area outside of an MSA, county, or other geographic area. For example, assume that fee appraisers who normally work only in County A generally accept $400 to appraise an attached single-family property in County A. Assume also that very few or no fee appraisers who work only in contiguous County B will accept a rate comparable to $400 to appraise an attached single-family property in County A. The relevant geographic market for an attached single-family property in County A may reasonably be defined as County A. On the other hand, assume that fee appraisers who normally work only in County A generally accept $400 to appraise an attached single-family property in County A. Assume also that many fee appraisers who normally work only in contiguous County B will accept a rate comparable to $400 to appraise an attached single-family property in County A. The relevant geographic market for an attached single-family property in County A may reasonably be defined to include both County A and County B.
  1. Failure to perform contractual obligations. Paragraph (f)(1) does not prohibit a creditor or its agent from withholding compensation from a fee appraiser for failing to meet contractual obligations, such as failing to provide the appraisal report or violating state or Federal appraisal laws in performing the appraisal.
  1. Agreement that fee is “customary and reasonable.” A document signed by a fee appraiser indicating that the appraiser agrees that the fee paid to the appraiser is “customary and reasonable” does not by itself create a presumption of compliance with § 1026.42(f) or otherwise satisfy the requirement to pay a fee appraiser at a customary and reasonable rate.

Volume-based discounts. Section 1026.42(f)(1) does not prohibit a fee appraiser and a creditor (or its agent) from agreeing to compensation based on transaction volume, so long as the compensation is customary and reasonable. For example, assume that a fee appraiser typically receives $300 for appraisals from creditors with whom it does business; the fee appraiser, however, agrees to reduce the fee to $280 for a particular creditor, in exchange for a minimum number of assignments from the creditor.