• FAQs

  • What is AppraisalPort?

    What is AppraisalPort?

    AppraisalPort is a secure, Web-based work site from which appraisers can receive orders, send completed reports, and communicate with their clients. It is integrated with FNC's Collateral Management System®, used by many mortgage lenders, banks, and appraisal management companies.

    Is AppraisalPort an appraisal management company?

    No, AppraisalPort is owned by FNC, Inc., a technology company. AppraisalPort does not arrange or engage appraisers for appraisal assignments on behalf of others.

    Is AppraisalPort affiliated with any forms software companies?

    No, AppraisalPort is not affiliated with any forms software companies. However, the major appraisal forms software companies offer AI Ready technology as part of an add-on in their appraisal packages.

    What is the difference between using AppraisalPort and email?

    Security and integration. If you're transferring reports via email, you're sending a file attachment across an unsecured platform that may hit multiple servers before reaching its final destination. This can be a major security hazard. Since AppraisalPort is integrated with the client's collateral management system, you are sending your report directly from your computer to your client for processing. Your report, as well as any communication passed between you and your client via AppraisalPort, is sent on a secure https platform and can only be accessed by users within the client's system with permission to view that information.

    Does AppraisalPort require any special settings on my computer?

    A minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768 is recommended for optimum user experience.

  • Clients:

    How can I be linked to other clients who use AppraisalPort?

    Some lenders have agreed to share contact information, but not all. It is still your responsibility to sell your services to a potential client. However, you may wish to do the following:

    Email us at support@appraisalport.com. Let us know the mortgage lender, bank or appraisal management company you would like to work with. If that client has agreed to share contact information, we will provide that information to you so that you may request a registration key from them.

    If you choose to share your contact information, we can also bring clients directly to you. Clients can search for appraisers by geographic area in our system, and this has the potential of bringing you new business.

    Which mortgage lenders/banks/management companies use AppraisalPort?

    This is a representative list that does not include other major users who have asked us not to use their names.

    Allstate Appraisal
    American Reporting Company (ARC)
    Equity Solutions USA
    First Horizon/First Tennessee
    Frost Bank
    Investment Data Solutions (IDS)
    Just Valuation, Inc. (JVI)
    Landsafe
    Nationstar Mortgage
    SunTrust
    Title Source, Inc. (TSI)
    Union Bank of California
    Wachovia Settlement Services
    WaMu

  • National Collateral Database:

    Is there a possibility that any data in my appraisal report will be used by FNC for its National Collateral Database™ or other purposes?

    Yes. The lender that commissions (and pays for) your appraisal may elect to share appraisal data with FNC. Some lenders who use AppraisalPort enter into sharing agreements with FNC. If the lender who commissioned your appraisal chooses to enter into such a sharing agreement, any appraisal data that you submit to that lender may be shared with FNC and some of the data may be used in FNC’s National Collateral Database (NCD) and for other purposes. Lenders are also free to and may share appraisal data with others, whether or not they share data with FNC and/or with the NCD.

  • Fees:

    This price schedule covers information regarding the fees and charges imposed directly by AppraisalPort. The fees and charges for other products and services, including, for example, those for FNC's Collateral DNA products and services, such as Data Express, are found with those products and services.

    Why does AppraisalPort charge a fee? What's it for?

    The fee you are charged when your completed appraisal report has been accepted by your client covers receiving the order, accepting the order online, sending the report (no matter how many times you may need to send it), messaging, and technical support. If you do not receive orders on AppraisalPort, there is no AppraisalPort charge.

    Am I charged a fee for cancelled orders, orders I reject, or orders that the client sends back to me for adjustments?

    You are not charged a transaction fee for cancelled orders, orders that you reject, or even orders that are sent back to you by your client for adjustments. You are only charged a fee after a report has been accepted by your client as complete.

    What is a completed transaction?

    A completed transaction, as it relates to AppraisalPort, is an order for valuation services that you receive that is completed as an appraisal (or other valuation service) report and submitted via AppraisalPort (or other means) back to the client, which in turn accepts it as completed.. Even if the appraisal report is delivered by other means (i.e. fax, email, etc.), the AppraisalPort fee is due once the client institution accepts the report as complete

    Typically, when you send the report back to your client and the client logs out the order with its collateral management system, you are then charged a fee.

  • Registration:

    Is there a registration fee for AppraisalPort?

    AppraisalPort has no registration, membership, or annual fees. Any real estate appraiser may register with no obligation whatsoever.

    How do I register with AppraisalPort?

    Registering with AppraisalPort is a two-step process. First, choose a login ID and password by completing the form in the Sign Up section.

    Next, activate your account by clicking a link in an email that is sent to you after you complete signup. This ensures that the email address you provided during signup was entered and stored correctly.

  • AI Ready™

    What is AI Ready™?

    AI Ready™ is a certification given to forms software packages certifying that they comply with the Appraisal Institute's residential data storage and transmission standard. All software and Web interfaces consistent with the AI Ready™ Standard can be marked with the AI Ready™ logo (under appropriate license/use agreements), indicating they can read and write to the same standard XML format.

    Before the creation of the AI Ready™ Standard, there was no industry standard for either appraisal transmission or storing appraisal data. FNC's Open Appraisal Document Interface (OADI) was designed as an interface specification for the transfer of proprietary appraisal data formats into the open AI XML (part of AI Ready™) standard and vice versa. The interface provides appraisal document software companies with a simple process for translating their data into the standard format (through a common application programming interface (API)).

    With several years experience, most mortgage lenders, appraisers, and other real estate professionals have already seen that appraisal data becomes more useful as it is standardized across the many software platforms used by appraisers and other appraisal service providers. Use of the AI Ready™ Standard ("AI Ready™") has allowed appraisers and others to work comfortably within their favorite appraisal forms software, yet transmit their appraisals in an open standard non-proprietary form that is readily accepted by their lender clients.

    Are there any potential disadvantages to using AI Ready™ (or for that matter any data standard, such as the MISMO standards for appraisals)? No. But, don't forget, the standards are data standards, they focus all of their efforts on preserving the data itself and not as much on the presentation. For appraisers who favor using custom fonts and formatting, that formatting is not included in the data itself (such as bold face, italics and so on), much as when a highly formatted e-mail is sent to a BlackBerry® user, who sees only the words, but not the formatting. Every character is preserved—so no one is misled, but the special formatting disappears.

    Appraisers who wish to preserve the formatting of their presentation always have the option to transmit their appraisals in the Portable Document Format (PDF). (Note: Appraisers should check with their clients prior to submitting a PDF; some lender clients require submission of files using the AI Ready™ Standard.)

    Who Uses AI Ready™ Forms Software?

    Since 2001, all major providers of appraisal forms software, multiple vendor management firms, and most major mortgage lenders have adopted the AI Ready™ Standard. For a list of form vendors and the supported AI Ready™ forms software, please visit https://www.aiready.com/vendormatrix.asp.

    As a result, thousands of appraisers routinely deliver their appraisals to their clients through AppraisalPort® using AI Ready™.

    Is AI Ready™ Safe?

    Yes. AI Ready™ technology forms a secure link between the appraiser and his or her work product. The data in the appraisal report is the same data the appraiser entered into his or her appraisal using his or her favorite appraisal forms package. The data itself is not modified or separated from the total report. Since appraisers are most concerned about their reports at the point they transmit them to their clients, appraisers using AppraisalPort® have a special viewer available to them to see their appraisal before they are asked to send it. While every AI Ready™ upload requires the use of the "Uploader," appraisers have the option to use the viewer or not. Many have opted to bypass the viewer since they have had ample experience that their appraisals are accurately represented.

    How does AI Ready™ Handle Signatures?

    Some appraisers have heard that in the AI Ready™ process the signature is being separated ("stripped") and their appraisal is no longer "secure." This is incorrect. Again, appraisers can assure themselves that their signature is present by viewing the appraisal before they send it through AppraisalPort.

    Depending on the appraisal forms package the appraiser uses, when an appraiser is satisfied with his or her work, he or she "signs" the appraisal using the process provided by the forms package. In some forms packages, if the appraiser goes back to change something, the "signature" is removed and the appraiser must "re-sign." This assures the appraiser that whatever he or she has signed has not been altered. After that, the appraiser either creates an AI Ready™ file or a PDF for delivery through AppraisalPort to his or her clients.

    Of course the appraiser does not physically sign the appraisal in the traditional manner: pen to paper, "affixing" the signature permanently to the paper. When a computer affixes a signature on an appraisal, it does not take a photograph of the appraisal with the signature on it. It stores the "signature" in a logical place in the computer file, however that electronic signature is indicated, for example: date/time stamp, a coded series of characters, or an "image" of the signature such as a "jpeg" image (the same format used for most photographs). It stores all of the other data in the appraisal, along with the photos, maps and other components, the same way. When the appraiser or client then looks at (or prints) the appraisal, the computer reassembles those components into the signed appraisal with which we are all familiar. That is true whether the signed appraisal is saved in the forms package, in a Portable Document Format (PDF), or in AI Ready™.

    How Does AI Ready™ Help You Keep Your Appraisals Secure?

    What keeps the appraisal secure is not the format but whether anyone can interfere with it between the time the appraiser completes his or her work and "signs" it and the delivery of it to his or her client. Since the appraiser has complete control over how he or she creates the appraisal, then converts it to an AI Ready™ file or for that matter a PDF, the only gap is in the delivery. To eliminate that gap, the Uploader hands the appraisal directly to AppraisalPort, which only transmits the appraiser's final work product through a secure connection with the appraiser controlling each step in the process: upload, viewing for accuracy, delivery to AppraisalPort, transmission to the appraiser's client. This means your appraisal data is always protected.

    What happens when the appraiser clicks "ok to send" from AppraisalPort? AppraisalPort performs a few quick technical checks of the appraisal files the appraiser has just uploaded (scanning for viruses and checking the file type) then transmits the appraisals directly over a secure channel to the appropriate lender client, in strict accordance with the client's instructions. The client then stores, manages, and processes those appraisals on its collateral management computer system as part of its loan origination and servicing processes.

    Does AppraisalPort keep a copy of your appraisal after you send it? As part of keeping your appraisals secure, AppraisalPort keeps a copy of the appraisal long enough to assure that it was actually delivered to and properly received by the client (we all know that computers are not perfect). After the audit period, it is deleted. It is never shared with anyone. No data is stripped out, separated, or used for any other purpose.

    Occasionally an appraiser will find that his or her signature does not appear properly in the viewer in the "Uploader" for AppraisalPort. This is not an AI Ready™ issue, but has to do with how that part of the process is set up by the appraiser inside the appraisal forms package.

    FNC's Customer Support can help with this issue or any other issue you might have.

    Is AI Ready™ USPAP Compliant?

    Yes. The AI Ready™ Standard is in complete compliance with USPAP. It was developed by the Appraisal Institute in association with FNC as a benefit for appraisers, recognizing the importance to all appraisers of USPAP compliance.

    With respect to the use of a data standard, the most important concern for appraisers (outside the quality of their work, of course) is to be sure their prepared appraisal is delivered to their clients without alteration. The mechanisms in the Uploader and AppraisalPort that manage the process for preparing and sending AI Ready™ certified software versions of appraisals give appraisers a chance to view their work as it will be seen by their clients through the viewer in the Uploader. This includes the signature portion of the appraisal. That way, the appraiser can be assured that their work is being delivered intact to their client and is not somehow misleading.

    But what about the changes in format? As described above, data standards such as AI Ready™ or MISMO preserve all of the data, but do not preserve any special formatting, such as bold face, italics or unique fonts. USPAP addresses this question directly in the comment to Standard 2: "STANDARD 2 does not dictate the form, format, or style of real property appraisal reports. The form, format, and style of a report are functions of the needs of intended users and appraisers. The substantive content of a report determines its compliance."

    Still, appraisers who are concerned specifically about that part of the presentation of the appraisal and how it might better reflect their intent always have the option to transmit a PDF version of their appraisal instead. AI Ready™, while preferred, is entirely optional with AppraisalPort. Remember that some lender clients do require AI Ready™ files. Check with your clients to be sure.

    AI Ready™ Top Questions

    The top AI Ready™ questions can be viewed in PDF format at https://www.aiready.com/convpdf/aireadytop.pdf.

    Questions about AI Ready™, AI Ready™ Software or AppraisalPort?

    Contact Customer Support, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST: 1-888-963-3330.
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