Bias in appraisal system hinders credit union mission

March 25, 2022

Systemic bias in the home appraisals process exacerbates the homeownership gap, racial wealth gap, and harms long-term U.S. financial security, CUNA wrote to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Thursday. The committee conducted a hearing on oversight and equity in the appraisals process.

“Credit unions rely on appraisers for accurate and unbiased opinions on the market value of homes serving as collateral for mortgage loans,” the letter reads. “When racial prejudice is injected into that process, it prevents credit unions from meeting their mission to serve their members and introduces risk into the housing finance system.”

President Joe Biden’s Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) released its action report Wednesday on this topic, addressing several items CUNA has engaged with regulators on.

The letter also calls for:

  • Increasing the number and diversity of qualified, working appraisers.
  • Considering increased use of technology and data—including bias-free artificial intelligence and video communications—to conduct valuations.