It could be the homes mentioned in "From boom to bust" never really had the value the borrowers believed was there. Loan officers routinely put pressure on appraisers to meet whatever "value" they determine for a property or they will fail to send them more business.
In large developments, such as those described, it only takes one or two properties to sell to establish value by providing comparable properties for future sales. At the height of the "boom," some borrowers were encouraged to borrow up to 100 percent or more of their home's value and appraisers were told to do whatever they needed to do to make the loan work.
Until the appraisal function becomes completely separated from the loan function for mortgage brokers as well as federally regulated banks, it can be argued any valuation of a property is open to suspicion.
SUE ZUMBERGE, EDINA
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