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Sat May 15, 2021, 02:04 AM

A Tale of 2 Home Appraisals: White Man Gets 100K Higher Value Than Black Woman

Daily Kos, May 14, 2021. - Ed.

Despite there being laws in place against it, companies that value homes for sale or refinancing often discriminate. Multiple cases have been reported in which people of color have noted that their homes were valued for less money based on a racial bias the appraiser had. In many situations, these homeowners even noted that during a second appraisal, staging their home to look like one owned by a white family increased the value significantly. In a recent incident, a Black homeowner in Indiana put this theory to the test.

After suspecting that she was low-balled in not one but two home appraisals, Carlette Duffy decided to ask a white friend to take her place during a third appraisal. The decision nearly doubled her home’s value. From being appraised at $125,000 and $110,000, Duffy’s home was valued to $259,000, the Indianapolis Star reported. "I had to go through all of that just to say that I was right and that this is what's happening," Duffy said. "This is real."

After receiving her third appraisal, Duffy filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development against the mortgage lenders and appraisers, alleging they discriminated against her on the basis of race. The lawsuit hopes to spark a federal investigation into companies violating fair housing laws by allowing race to impact their appraisals and lending practices. Alongside the two appraisers, identified as Tim Boston and Jeffery Pierce, CityWide Home loans, Freedom Mortgage, and some of the two companies’ employees are the responders.

According to the complaint, Duffy did not understand why she was assigned the lower values until she read the appraisal report. "The wording in it just it sent out red flags." "It said there were comps within the half mile, but it said the quality of construction of the other homes were far more superior to the quality of construction of my home." Duffy even said she provided the appropriate paperwork to counter the appraisal amount given to her home; however, CityWide said no change would be made despite this documentation. To see if her appraisals were actually as data-driven as the appraisers argued, for her 3rd appraisal Duffy did not declare her race or gender during the application and only communicated via email. As the the appraisal time drew nearer, she told the lender she would be out of town and that her brother would be home. Her friend’s white husband then filled in as her brother...

More, https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/5/14/2030476/-A-tale-of-two-appraisals-White-man-gets-100K-higher-value-than-Black-woman

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