93E-2-4. Qualifications for registration; duties of registrants.

(a) Any person or entity desiring to be registered as an appraisal management company in this State shall make written application to the Board on forms prescribed by the Board setting forth the applicant's qualifications for registration. The application shall be accompanied by the applicable fee under G.S. 93E-2-6 and any other information the Board deems necessary pursuant to rules adopted by the Board. Upon receipt of a properly completed application and fee and upon a determination by the Board that the applicant is of good moral character, the Board shall issue to the applicant a certificate of registration authorizing the applicant to act as a real estate appraisal management company in this State.

(b) The registration required by subsection (a) of this section shall include the following information:

(1) Legal name of the entity seeking registration.

(2) Business address of the entity seeking registration.

(3) Phone contact information of the entity seeking registration.

(4) If the entity is not a corporation that is domiciled in this State, the name and contact information for the company's agent for service of process in this State.

(5) The name, address, and contact information for any individual or any corporation, partnership, or other business entity that owns ten percent (10%) or more of the appraisal management company.

(6) The name, address, and contact information for the compliance manager.

(7) A certification that the entity has a system and process in place to verify that a person being added to the appraiser panel of the appraisal management company holds a license in good standing in this State pursuant to the North Carolina Appraisers Act if a license or certification is required to perform appraisals.

(8) A certification that the entity has a system in place to require that appraisers inform the appraisal management company of their areas of geographic competency, the types of properties the appraiser is competent to appraise, and the methodologies the appraiser is competent to perform.

(9) A certification that the entity has a system in place to review the work of all independent appraisers that are performing real estate appraisal services for the appraisal management company on a periodic basis to validate that the real estate appraisal services are being conducted in accordance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.

(10) A certification that the entity maintains a detailed record of each service request that it receives and the independent appraiser that performs the residential real estate appraisal services for the appraisal management company.

(10a) A certification that the entity has obtained a surety bond as required by this Article.

(11) An irrevocable Uniform Consent to Service of Process.

(12) Any other information required by the Board pursuant to G.S. 93E-2-3.

(c) Any registrant having a good faith belief that a real estate appraiser licensed or certified in this State has violated applicable law or the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice or engaged in unethical conduct shall promptly file a complaint with the Board.

(d) Registered appraisal management companies shall pay fees to an appraiser within 30 days of the date the appraisal is transmitted by the real estate appraiser to the registrant, except in cases of noncompliance with the conditions of the engagement. In such cases, the registrant shall notify the real estate appraiser in writing that the fees will not be paid.

(e) To qualify to be registered as an appraisal management company, each individual who owns, directly or indirectly, more than ten percent (10%) of the appraisal management company shall be of good moral character, as determined by the Board, and shall submit all information the Board deems necessary pursuant to the rules adopted by the Board. Additionally, each owner shall certify that he or she has never had a license to act as an appraiser refused, denied, cancelled, or revoked by the State of North Carolina or any other state.

(f) A registered appraisal management company shall not enter into any contracts or agreements with an independent appraiser for the performance of residential real estate appraisal services for properties located in this State unless the independent appraiser is licensed or certified in good standing pursuant to the North Carolina Appraisers Act.

(g) Each applicant for registration or for a renewal of a registration shall post with the Board and maintain a surety bond in the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000):

(1) The bond shall be in a form satisfactory to the Board.

(2) The bond will accrue to the Board for the benefit of a claimant against the registrant to secure the faithful performance of the registrant's obligations under this Article and to a real estate appraiser who has performed an appraisal for the registrant for which the appraiser has not been paid.

(3) The aggregate liability of the surety shall not exceed the principal sum of the bond.

(4) A party having a claim against the registrant may bring suit directly on the surety bond, or the Board may bring suit on behalf of the party having a claim against the registrant, either in one action or in successive actions.

(5) A claim reducing the face amount of the bond shall be annually restored upon renewal of the registrant's registration.

(6) The bond shall remain in effect until cancellation, which may occur only after 90 days written notice to the Board. Cancellation shall not affect any liability incurred or accrued during that period.

(7) The surety bond shall remain in place for no less than two years after the registrant ceases operations in this State. However, notwithstanding this provision, the Board may permit the surety bond to be reduced or eliminated prior to that time to the extent that the amount of the registrant's outstanding obligations to appraisers is reduced.

(h) A registered appraisal management company that requires a real estate appraiser to submit to a criminal background check as a condition of employment, contractual relationship, or access to an appraisal portal shall accept a criminal background check that has been performed within the preceding 12 months and that substantially conforms to the criminal history record check required under G.S. 93E-1-6(c1).

(i) For appraisal assignments of property secured by the principal dwelling of the consumer, an appraisal management company shall compensate appraisers in compliance with section 129E(i) of the federal Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) and regulations promulgated thereunder. The Board shall adopt rules necessary to enforce this subsection. Rules establishing customary and reasonable rates shall be based on objective third-party information, such as academic studies and independent private sector surveys. (2010-141, s. 1; 2013-403, s. 5; 2015-200, s. 2; 2016-61, s. 1(a).)