May 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board (LREAB) have been involved in a legal ping pong battle regarding “customary and reasonable fees”.
Most recently, on July 24, 2017, the State of Louisiana’s Motion to Stay as requested by the LREAB on July 18, 2017, was granted. The LREAB’s Motion to Stay states:
- On July 11, 2017, the Governor of Louisiana issued Executive Order 17-16 which requires LREAB and state agencies to implement and complete within 90 days actions to reinforce supervision over LREAB rulemaking and enforcement regarding reasonable and customary fees.
- On July 17, 2017, LREAB issued a Resolution to implement the July 11th Executive Order.
The LREAB’s Motion to Stay, requested 120 days to implement and evaluate the impact of the July 11th Executive Order and the LREAB’s Resolution. In response, the FTC argues that the July 11th Executive Order will not yield effective supervision and fails to address the LREAB’s past conduct.
On May 30, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board (LREAB) alleging that the LREAB is unreasonably restraining price competition for appraisal services within the state.
Dodd-Frank requires that Appraisal Management Companies (AMC) pay “a rate that is customary and reasonable for appraisal services”. The FTC’s complaint alleges that the LREAB’s Rule 31101 exceeds the scope of the federal mandate by requiring appraisal fees to equal or exceed the median feeds identified in survey reports commissioned and published by the board. AMCs with fees below the specified levels are investigated and sanctioned by the board. The FTC complaint alleges that Dodd-Frank does not require nor authorize these restrictions on appraisal fees. The FTC’s complaint further alleges that the LREAB’s actions “have not been supervised by independent state officials.”
If you think this is complicated you would be correct. But as of this moment LREAB has the ball. Stay tuned as this story continues to develop.
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