HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo last week announced measures mandating stricter appraisals for Federal Housing Administration loans.

HUD took a number of steps: FHA appraisers will be required to pass tests; the appraisal itself will be expanded; any home defects must be disclosed to the potential homeowner; appraisals will be evaluated through an automated process; poorly performing appraisers will be subjected to stricter supervision and surer suspensions.

Cuomo's announcement comes after repeated criticism of the FHA appraisal process by the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

Chairman Rick Lazio, R-N.Y., of the housing panel in the House said that while the FHA was taking a step in the right direction, it should have been taken sooner. - ES

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