CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Government e-mails turned over to the Associated Press last week revealed that the new executive director of the agency charged with regulating real estate appraisers quit hours after the AP exposed widespread problems with the agency on Aug. 18.
It was Linda Nessi's one and only day on the job at the Appraisal Subcommittee, and she left without warning or explanation, according to the e-mails, which were obtained by the AP after a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
The AP's investigation illustrated why Nessi's predecessors made a conscious decision since the agency's inception never to take action against states that fail to discipline rogue appraisers.
The job remains vacant and the agency is "working hard to fill the position as soon as possible," said Deborah Lagomarsino, a government spokeswoman.
Dozens of messages for Nessi during the past several weeks have gone unanswered. She remains in her original post at the U.S. Housing and Urban Development, where she is associate deputy assistant secretary for housing operations.
The performance of the Appraisal Subcommittee was among the subjects detailed in a six-month AP investigation that identified key failings in the nation's regulation of appraisers.
The AP found that since 2005, more than two dozen states and U.S. territories have violated federal rules by failing to investigate and resolve complaints about appraisers within a year. Some complaints sat uninvestigated for as long as four years and, as a result, hundreds of appraisers accused of wrongdoing have remained in business. The AP's inquiry also revealed Appraisal Subcommittee officials ignored complaints from appraisers who said they were pressured by lenders and mortgage brokers to inflate property values.