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RISMEDIA, Jan. 23, 2007-Legislators and government officials will hear a unified voice from the real estate appraisal profession during 2007, thanks to an agreement signed by the four largest appraisal organizations in the United States.

The Appraisal Institute, the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), and the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers (NAIFA) have signed an agreement that will enable the organizations to work cooperatively in the area of government relations.

Under the agreement, the Washington, D.C. Office of the Appraisal Institute will be responsible for monitoring proposed real estate legislation and will keep members of all four organizations informed of relevant federal and state regulatory real estate issues.

"For the past few years the Appraisal Institute has worked successfully with the ASA and ASFMRA in advocating for issues that are important to our members," said Don Kelly, the Appraisal Institute's chief external relations officer. "This year we are proud to be joined by NAIFA because the more we can speak as a unified profession, the more success we will have in influencing public policy."

The legislative issues and activities the appraisal organizations will pursue during 2007 include:

– Achieving appraisal licensing reform to ensure greater professionalism;
– Combating mortgage fraud by working with Congress and other organizations on solutions to the deficient regulatory structure for the appraisal and lending communities;
– Supporting appraiser independence as a consumer benefit;
– Promoting professional appraisers as a resource for a wide array of real estate concerns.

"The issues of mortgage fraud and predatory lending are likely to be near the top of the agenda for several Congressional committees," noted Bill Garber, director of Government Affairs for the Appraisal Institute. "It's important that the top real estate appraisal organizations speak with a unified voice to help enact change."

The Appraisal Institute, ASA, ASFMRA and NAIFIA represent nearly 30,000 appraisers in the United States.

For more information regarding the Appraisal Institute, please visit .