4/1/2020To our panel of valued and trusted partners:
Fannie Mae put out a video that may help you navigate the new guidance on appraisal inspections and applicable forms: You can find it in this link under View Video Stay safe!
3/23/2020To our panel of valued and trusted partners:
We know this is a time of concern which challenges both our mental and physical being. Our goal is to provide information as it comes in and ensure you know what we know. Please do what you need to, to ensure the safety of you and your family. That is first and foremost. The Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, delivered a memorandum for the financial services sector on March 22, 2020, explaining the Critical Infrastructure Sector. This is consistent with President Trump’s guidelines, but clarifies that key third party providers (appraisers, agents, notaries, abstractors, etc. fall into 'key third parties') who deliver core services to the financial sector, are critical to maintaining safe and efficient financial services and ensuring citizens have access to these services that are necessary to conduct their daily lives. Companies aligned to the essential critical infrastructure worker definition are expected to maintain their operations and work schedules.
3/20/2020To our panel of valued and trusted partners:
Several state governors (CA/PA/NY) have issued orders restricting activity for non-essential businesses in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. It's our interpretation that mortgage servicing companies can continue to operate and this would include the ability to conduct appraisals. In fact, the states which have placed restrictions clearly state that activities related to a financial transaction may continue. Therefore, we are planning to continue to place orders. However, we understand that there is a lot of concern about these orders. If you don't feel comfortable accepting new orders, please let us know. For any orders you do complete, we continue to urge you to follow all CDC guidelines, including practicing social distancing, washing your hands frequently, and using sanitizing wipes to clean surfaces. Thank you for your partnership during these most difficult and unprecedented times.
3/13/2020To our panel of valued and trusted partners:
If at any time after accepting the assignment you experience any symptoms that could be related to COVID 19 or your you have been exposed to someone who has experienced or reported symptoms, please contact Valuation Connect to provide an update on your situation. This will enable us to determine the best course of action in order to mitigate potential risk to either party. Look for additional information in the engagement letter on how you can protect yourself and the POC.
11/21/2019Attention - Appraisal Partners
Effective immediately, all Fifth Third appraisals must show Fifth Third Bank, National Association. This is a regulatory requirement of theirs. If the lender line in your software does not have enough space to type in the full name, you may put Fifth Third Bank, N.A. Again, this is only if the space will not permit the full name of the entity.
04/15/2018Attention - Appraisal Partners
In an effort to help you submit appraisals that will meet the client’s requirements reduce revisions rates, we have identified our Top Five list.
1. Per USPAP 1-3, you must identify, analyze, and develop an opinion of the Highest and Best Use. You cannot just check the box regardless of existing being the present use.
2. Prior Sale – Please make sure you are not only reporting prior sales but analyzing. This too is a USPAP requirement.
3. For all FHA reports, please remember to comply with all 4000.1 Handbook requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, specific commentary on covered porches/patios, appliances in working order and contribute value, head and shoulders inspection. Just saying the property complies with the 4000.1 Handbook, is not sufficient.
4. Cost to Cure – Please provide a Cost to Cure for any repairs needed. Please be specific.
5. Comparable weighting – Remember, taking an average of the adjusted comp sale prices is not acceptable. Please ensure that your reconciliation contains sufficient detail that is supported by the comparable weighting.
As always, we thank you for your support in helping us be the best AMC.
1/2/2018Attention all Valuation Partners.
We have received several revision requests across all of our client for more information on the following.
If the subject property is located in a recent FEMA disaster area - Please add a comment to the report indicating whether or not the subject or subject neighborhood suffered any damages as a result of the recent disaster
6/10/2017Attention – Password Requirements Update
Please note that Valuation Connect will now systemically retire passwords every 90 days. New passwords must be at least eight characters long, including at least 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character (!, $, @, etc.).
To avoid any potential login issues after the update, all vendors have the option to change your password now. After logging into the vendor portal, click the ‘Change Password’ option at the top of the dashboard, and you will be taken to a similar prompt to what is noted above.
Please note that if a password is forgotten, or would need to have it reset for any other reason, you can click ‘Forget Password?’ below the login prompt on the portal homepage. On the following page, enter your Vendor ID number, and we will send an email with a new temporary password for the vendor portal (see the example screenshot below).
As always, thank you for your understanding and support as we continue to improve our process. We value your commitment to Valuation Connect.
Valuation Connect is committed to protecting both its proprietary and customer data. To do this, Valuation Connect has established a formal information security program to ensure appropriate controls are in place to safeguard sensitive data from unauthorized access or disclosure. The Valuation Connect security program is comprised of both technical and procedural controls. Valuation Connect has employed advanced next generation firewalls with Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) at the network perimeter configured in pairs for high availability. Public facing systems are segmented within a DMZ, isolated from internal systems by a pair of next generation firewalls protecting the intranet. All servers reside within either Valuation Connects primary or secondary data center. Data centers are enterprise class co-location providing air handling, power and network connectivity. Valuation Connect maintains its own cage with access controls. Datacenters maintain SOCI/II reports which Valuation Connect reviews on an annual basis. Both data centers and operational facilities provide physical security controls including, video monitoring, access controls, environmental monitoring and alerting, and visitor policy and procedures. Users are assigned a unique user name and password. Passwords are required to be complex, changed frequently and will lockout after a predetermined number of invalid attempts. User sessions are required to re-authenticate after periods of inactivity. Valuation Connect performs routine user account review to ensure appropriate entitlements and the removal of dormant accounts. All servers and workstations are built and hardened to the Valuation Connect baseline standard with servers performing a single role. Valuation Connect employs antivirus on all desktops and servers. Antivirus is centrally managed with definition updates pushed daily. Valuation Connect performs routine vulnerability scans and monthly patch management. A third party external penetration test is performed annually. Valuation Connect requires all sensitive data transmissions to be encrypted through the web (e.g. HTTPS), bulk file transfer (e.g. Secure FTP) and email transmission (e.g. TLS) using industry recognized algorithms. Sensitive data is encrypted within the database. End users are restricted from writing to USB and CD-R. Valuation Connect has deployed Security Incident Event Manager (SIEM) throughout the environment. The SIEM generates alerts which are reviewed by designated members of IT. Valuation Connect maintains an Incident Response Policy and Procedure to ensure incidents are investigated, resolved, and remediated.
Valuation Connect vendors are required to ensure its policies, procedures and technical controls are in place to ensure the connection/transfer of sensitive data remains secure and reduce risk of the transfer of malicious software into Valuation Connect. The vendor is to maintain a secure computing environment including the use of: up to date (patched) operating systems, centrally managed antivirus, user access through a proxy, and next generation firewalls at the perimeter. Access to Valuation Connect environment shall be secure using industry recognized encryption algorithm agreed upon by Valuation Connect and the vendor. The vendor shall maintain procedures to include the timely notification of employee’s change of status to Valuation Connect and periodic access reviews to address user entitlement changes. In the event of a security incident within the vendor environment, the vendor is required to notify Valuation Connect in a timely manner and to provide necessary access to system logs, user interviews and relevant information of the event in question. Users can access Support Services by contacting Mortgage Connect at 866-789-1814 x501 or by email at Techsupport@valuationconnect.com. This channel can be utilized to report technical issues, operational failures, incidents, problems, concerns and complaints.