USA Today reports this morning that “New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sued a major appraisal company Thursday, saying it helped Washington Mutual (WM) inflate home appraisals as part of what Cuomo called a nationwide pandemic that’s contributed to the housing recession.” We all know about the mortgage industry and credit markets upheaval. You’d have to be living in a cave in Afghanistan to not be aware of it and even then with wireless internet, one could conceivably be fully up to date on the latest news in the world. AG Cuomo’s suit filed yesterday is just another indication of how far “out there” some mortgage lenders were willing to go to seal a deal. We hear a lot about the unscrupulous lenders, real estate agents, buyers and sellers who are ignorant of the process and legal ramifications of unethical and illegal behavior. Not much has been said about these appraisal companies, who were buying loyalties from the lender by inflating values to keep the deal together. Just another piece of the puzzle. Could this spread to other states? Only time will tell. The entire story of Cuomo’s suit can be found at the USA Today website or any of the other wires, I’m sure.
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