What can we do if we disagree with the value that our mortgage company has put on our house?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What can we do if we disagree with the value that our mortgage company has put on our house?

We recently looked into refinancing our house, which we bought for $225,000 over 6 years ago. The mortgage company, through which we were trying to refinance, used their own appraiser and gave us a value of $206,500 about 6 months ago. Our county assessor arrived at a value over $260,000, which we protested and it was lowered to $229,500. Upon further protesting that value, they said it could not be lowered any further and this was an accurate estimate. We strongly suspect that the mortgage company low-balled the value since a value higher, closer to the county-assessed value, would remove our PMI (property mortgage insurance). Do we have any legal recourse that would make them give a more realistic estimate?

Asked on November 6, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No, there really is no legal recourse to force a mortgage company to substitute a different appraisal value. They don't have to loan to anyone--it's voluntary for banks, etc. to be in the mortgage business. Since it's voluntary for them, they can determine to use their own appraisers--it's their free choice--and no one can force them to use a different appraiser or appraisal. If a consummer doesn't like a bank's approach to their loan, the recourse is to go to a different bank to refinance and look to get a different or better deal.
Why are you assuming the bank low-balled you, by the way? Isn't it equally plausible that the county is high-balling you to get a larger tax assessment out of you?

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