5 Stories

Appraisals Are Still a Big (but Different Kind of) Mess

Conservative appraisals killing many sales, say experts

(Newser) - Just as overly generous property appraisals fueled a bubble that led to the housing bust, now overly stingy appraisals are keeping the American economy in the doldrums, reports the Wall Street Journal . The problem is causing increasing disputes over valuations, with sale cancelations jumping to 16% in June from 9%... More »

Etching Found in U Bathroom a Rembrandt

Catholic University exhibits its mystery picture

(Newser) - When the president of Catholic University saw the signature "Rembrandt" on a tiny framed portrait he had found tucked into his bathroom cabinet, he showed it off to visitors, but it didn't seem plausible enough to consult an appraiser. Years later, the university finally had the picture appraised, and... More »

Cruise Ship Art Dealer Faces Class Action

Promising deals, gallery sold works at grossly inflated prices

(Newser) - Park West Gallery in Southfield, Mich., claims to be "the world's largest art dealer," flogging more works than the major auction houses through its sales on half a dozen cruise lines. But while the onboard auctions promise "good investments," the New York Times reports that Park... More »

Fannie, Freddie OK Appraisal Deal

New code will discourage inflated appraisals for home mortgages

(Newser) - The nation’s two largest backers of home loans have reached a deal with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo that could help eliminate inflated mortgage appraisals, the Wall Street Journal reports. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have agreed to buy mortgages only from banks that follow a new code... More »

SEC Probes WaMu Home Loans

Investigators focus on charges that appraisals were inflated

(Newser) - Washington Mutual, one of America's largest mortgage lenders and the biggest savings and loan in the nation, is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, reports the Wall Street Journal. Regulators suspect some WaMu mortgages were based on inflated appraisals. WaMu, bloodied by the subprime mortgage crisis, lost $348... More »

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