AQM FAQ

What is the AQI report?
The AQI, or Appraisal Quality Index, is a report that highlights all the potential collateral risks that our AQM system flagged. There are currently five categories of collateral risk measured, and all the issues flagged in each category are listed on the report with a numerical score for each category.  The scores for each category are tabulated into an overall AQI score.  That score appears at the top of your AQI report.  Generally, a score of 80 - 100 indicates lower risk.  Scores between 0 and 50 indicate you should consider additional substantiation to make a lending decision.  Scores ranging from 50 - 80 may need additional substantiation if the lender required it to make a lending decision.

Who sees this report?
Only the entity requesting the AQI will see the report.  Mercury Network doesn't share this report with anyone else.  You can choose to include it in your loan file or not.

Can I see a sample report?
Yes.  Visit www.MercuryVMP.com/AQM to read more about the system.  You can also send your own appraisal reports through the system for free and see the results.  Just call 1-800-434-7260.

What does the score mean?
The score is meant to place this particular collateral risk on a spectrum to aid underwriters and processors in triaging reports internally. Lower scores generally should be routed to more experienced underwriters because there are several issues highlighted for consideration.  Higher scores typically warrant less review and/or substantiation.

Does this mean my appraiser didn't do a good job?
No.  The AQI isn't a score of the appraiser.  It highlights issues for your consideration in the appraisal report.  Some of these may be issues an appraiser can address for you, like missing information.  Or the issues could be things that are inherent to the property (called "incurable") and should be highlighted for underwriting, like the absence of recent sales.

How do you calculate this score?
More than 600 lenders and AMCs use Mercury Network to power over 20,000 appraisals a day.  In addition, Mercury Network has written several quality control rule sets for lenders and AMCs, so we're exceptionally experienced in appraisal quality assurance.  We've combined all of that experience into the rule set run by AQM, and a proprietary algorithm calculates the score for watch report.  To see a list of partners who rely on Mercury Network's quality assurance tools, visit www.MercuryVMP.com/partners.

Which rules does AQM run?
There are more than 600 standard quality assurance rules, and you can also add your own.  

Can I skip some of the rules or just pass them so they don't affect the score?
Yes.  You can hide all the rules related to manual checks we recommend, and you can remove rules to suit your own business practices.

Can I add my own rules that I want checked on every report?
Yes.  We can add your custom rules very quickly.  Just contact 1-800-434-7260.

How can I raise the score on the AQI?
Typically, there will be some issues that are flagged just due to missing information in the appraisal or the need for more explanation on specific issues.  When you use AQM, our Appraisal Quality Management system, you can request revisions from your appraiser in compliance with Appraisal Independence Requirements (AIR) and then re-submit the report to get a higher score.

If I run the report through AQM, get a score, then re-submit after revisions for a higher score, will I be charged twice?
No.  If you are using the QC module to request revisions from your vendor, you can re-calculate for a final score and you won't be charged again.  However, if you are not using the QC module and are just uploading the report to get the AQI score, you will be charged for each AQI score you pull.

I want to run a few of my own reports through the system and see what it does.  How do I do that?
We can help.  Call 1-800-434-7260 and we can help you, or you can do it yourself by creating a Mercury Network account here (it's free).  Once you have your account, you can upload reports and then submit them to AQM to see your results.

How can I get the appraiser to add explanation to the report?
Our AQM system includes a revision request tool that complies all the revisions you need into one message to your appraiser.  The requests are already pre=written (you can edit them, too), so you just press Send.  When the appraiser sends you the revised report, you can verify your changes were made or addressed, and then submit it to AQM again and see the new score.

Which agencies have appraisal quality control requirements?
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FDIC, and the CFPB all have appraisal quality control requirements.  

What's required to be in compliance with the appraisal quality control requirements?
AQM has all the tools you need for compliance.  According to the regulations, you must have a system and processes for achieving your QC standards.  You must keep and be able to specify your QC findings.  You must develop severity levels to categorize defect, and report on your QC findings monthly to senior management.  

What's the difference between AQI and AQM?
AQI is the final report that our AQM system produces.  AQM is the actual rules engine system, complete with revision request tools and annotation tools.  This of it this way:  AQM is the machine, and AQI is the final report with the score.

Who should use AQM?
All lenders and AMCs should incorporate it in their collateral value quality assurance strategy.  It's used by appraisal desks, processors, and underwriters.

I already get other reports.  What will this add to my process?
Yes.  If you're ordering additional valuation products (BPOs, desk reviews, etc.) on all your appraisals, you may not need to incur those expenses if your AQI score is high.  You can use the AQI as a gauge to determine when/if you need additional substantiation.  In addition, AQM gives you the full audit trail to document your due diligence, so it memorializes your quality control functions so you can include them in the loan file to be prepared for any regulatory exams or buyback requests based on collateral valuations.

If I run it on all my reports, do I get a discount?
Yes.  There are volume discounts available.  Just contact us at 1-800-434-7260.

Are there minimums or contracts?  Set up fees?
No.  None of that.  Use it on one report or a thousand, and you can stop using it at any time.

Can I get a personal walkthrough of the system?
Yes.  We'd love to show it to you.  Just call 1-800-434-7260.