§ 4001 Objectives.
(a) The primary objective of the Council on Real Estate Appraisers, to which all other objectives and purposes are secondary, is to protect the general public, specifically those persons who are the direct recipients of services regulated by this chapter, from unsafe practices and from occupational practices which tend to reduce competition or fix the price of services rendered.
(b) The secondary objectives of the Council are to maintain minimum standards of practitioner competency and to maintain certain standards in the delivery of services to the public. In meeting its objectives, the Council shall develop standards assuring professional competence; shall monitor complaints brought against practitioners regulated by the Council; shall adjudicate at informal hearings; shall promulgate rules and regulations; and shall impose sanctions where necessary against licensed practitioners.
§ 4002 Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter shall have the meanings ascribed to them under this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) "Appraisal" shall mean an analysis, opinion, or conclusion relating to the nature, quality, value, or utility of specified interests in, or aspects of, identified real estate as of a specific date. An appraisal may be classified by subject matter into either a valuation or an analysis. A valuation is an estimate of the value of real estate or real property. An analysis is a study of real estate or real property other than estimating value. A competitive market analysis is not an appraisal.
(2) "Appraisal management company" means a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, subsidiary or other business entity that directly or indirectly performs appraisal management services, regardless of the use of the term "appraisal management company," "mortgage technology provider," "lender processing services," "lender services," "loan processor," "mortgage services," "real estate closing services provider," "settlement services provider," "vendor management company" or any other term, and that does any of the following:
a. Administers an appraiser panel of independent contract appraisers to perform real property appraisal services in this State for clients.
b. Receives requests for real property appraisal services from clients and, for a fee paid by the client, enters into an agreement with 1 or more independent appraisers to perform the real property appraisal services contained in the request.
c. Otherwise serves as a third-party liaison of appraisal management services between clients and appraisers.
(3) "Appraisal management services" means the process of receiving a request for the performance of real property appraisal services from a client, and for a fee paid by the client, entering into an agreement with 1 or more independent appraisers who are part of an appraiser panel to perform the real property appraisal services contained in the request.
(4) "Appraiser panel" means a group of independent appraisers that has been selected by an appraisal management company to perform real property appraisal services for the appraisal management company.
(5) "Appraisal review" means the act or process of developing and communicating an opinion about the quality of another appraiser's work that was performed as part of an appraisal assignment, but does not include an examination of an appraisal for grammatical, typographical or other similar errors that do not communicate an opinion related to the appraiser's data collection, analysis, opinions, conclusions, estimate of value or compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
(6) "AQB" shall mean the Appraisal Qualifications Board appointed by the Appraisal Foundation to establish the minimum education, examination, and experience requirements for real estate appraisers providing appraisals in federally-related transactions.
(7) "Certified general real property appraiser" shall mean a person, who has met the certification requirements of this chapter pertaining to the appraisal of residential and nonresidential real property utilized in connection with federally-related transactions, and who holds a current, valid certificate issued under this chapter.
(8) "Certified residential appraiser" shall mean a person, who has met the certification requirements of this chapter, pertaining solely to the appraisal of residential real property utilized in connection with federally-related transactions, and who holds a current, valid certificate issued under this chapter.
(9) "Classroom hour" shall mean 50 minutes out of each 60-minute hour.
(10) "Controlling person" means any of the following:
a. An owner, officer or director of a corporation, partnership or other business entity seeking to offer appraisal management services in this State.
b. An individual who is employed, appointed or authorized by an appraisal management company and who has the authority to enter into a contractual relationship with clients for the performance of appraisal management services and to enter into agreements with independent appraisers for the performance of real property appraisal services.
c. An individual who possesses, directly or indirectly, the power to direct or cause the direction of the management or policies of an appraisal management company.
(11) "Council" shall mean the State Council on Real Estate Appraisers established in this chapter.
(12) "Division" shall mean the State Division of Professional Regulation.
(13) "Excessive use or abuse of drugs" shall mean any use of narcotics, controlled substances, or illegal drugs without a prescription from a licensed practitioner, or the abuse of alcoholic beverage such that it impairs the ability to perform the work of an appraiser.
(14) "Federally-related transaction" shall mean a real estate-related financial transaction, which a federal financial institution regulatory agency, such as HUD/FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or the Resolution Trust Corporation engages in, contracts for, or regulates, and which requires the services of an appraiser.
(15) "FIRREA" shall mean the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, the act of July 21, 2010 [P.L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 2190].
(16) "Licensed real property appraiser" shall mean a person, who has met the licensing requirements of this chapter and who may appraise noncomplex 1 to 4 residential units having a transaction value less than $1,000,000 and complex 1 to 4 residential units having a transaction value of $250,000 or less, and who holds a current, valid license issued under this chapter. Licensed appraisers cannot appraise a property with a market value in excess of $1,000,000.
(17) "Person" shall mean an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, association, joint stock company, limited partnership, limited liability company, and any other legal entity and includes a legal successor of those entities.
(18) "Personal supervision" shall mean the active oversight by the state-licensed or certified real estate appraiser of the real property appraiser trainee. The trainee may assist in the completion of an appraisal report, including an opinion of value, and may co-sign an appraisal, provided that the trainee has been under the personal supervision of the state certified or licensed real estate appraiser, and provided further that the state-certified or licensed real estate appraiser shall review and sign the appraisal report and accept total responsibility for said appraisal report.
(19) "Real estate appraiser" means any person who advises, consults, or prepares analyses with respect to real estate values, uses, sales, developments or disposition, including acquisitions by eminent domain, or renders opinions relevant to the marketability of real estate, as a whole or partial vocation.
(20) "Real estate-related financial transaction" shall mean a transaction involving the following:
a. Sale, lease, purchase, investment in or exchange of real property, including interests in property or the financing thereof.
b. Refinancing of real property or interests in real property.
c. Use of real property or interests in property as security for a loan or investment, including mortgage-backed securities.
(21) "Real property" shall mean 1 or more defined interests, benefits, and rights inherent in the ownership of real estate.
(22) "State" shall mean the State of Delaware.
(23) "Substantially related" shall mean the nature of the criminal conduct for which the person was convicted, has a direct bearing on the fitness or ability to perform 1 or more of the duties or responsibilities necessarily related to the practice of real estate appraisal.
(24) "Trainee" shall mean a person who has completed classroom hours of education on real estate matters satisfactory to the Council, as indicated in the rules and regulations, including classroom hours on the topic of Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
(25) "Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice" (USPAP) shall mean the standards of appraisal practice established by The Appraisal Foundation.
§ 4003 Council on Real Estate Appraisers; appointments; composition; qualifications; term; vacancies; suspension or removal; unexcused absences; compensation.
(a) There is created a State Council on Real Estate Appraisers, which shall administer and enforce this chapter.
(b) The Council shall consist of 9 members, who are residents of this State, and are appointed by the Governor. Four of the 9 members shall be licensed or certified appraisers engaged primarily in the real estate appraisal business or in the appraisal management business, including at least 1 certified general real property appraiser and at least 2 certified residential appraisers. One of the 9 members shall be a certified real estate appraiser also engaged in the real estate brokerage business. One member shall be from the banking community. Three of the 9 members shall be public members. The public members shall not be, nor ever have been, appraisers nor members of the immediate family of an appraiser; shall not have been employed by an appraiser or a company engaged in the practice of appraising; shall not have a material interest in the providing of goods and services to appraisers; nor have been engaged in an activity directly related to appraising. The public members shall be accessible to inquiries, comments and suggestions from the general public.
(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, each member shall serve a term of 3 years, and may succeed himself or herself for 1 additional term; provided, however, that where a member was initially appointed to fill a vacancy, such member may succeed himself or herself for only 1 additional full term. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Council shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term of the former member. Each term of office shall expire on the date specified in the appointment; however, the member shall remain eligible to participate in Council proceedings unless and until replaced by the Governor.
(d) A person, who has never served on the Council, may be appointed to the Council for 2 consecutive terms; but no such person shall thereafter be eligible for 2 consecutive appointments. No person, who has been twice appointed to the Council or who has served on the Council for 6 years within any 9-year period, shall again be appointed to the Council until an interim period of at least 1 term has expired since such person last served.
(e) Any act or vote by a person appointed in violation of this section shall be invalid. An amendment or revision of this chapter is not sufficient cause for any appointment or attempted appointment in violation of subsection (d) of this section, unless such an amendment or revision amends this section to permit such an appointment.
(f) A member of the Council shall be suspended or removed by the Governor for misfeasance, nonfeasance, malfeasance, misconduct, incompetency, or neglect of duty. A member subject to disciplinary hearing shall be disqualified from Council business until the charge is adjudicated or the matter is otherwise concluded. A member may appeal any suspension or removal to the Superior Court.
(g) No member of the Council, while serving on the Council, shall hold elective office in any professional association of real estate appraisers; this includes a prohibition against serving as head of the professional association's Political Action Committee (PAC).
(h) The provisions set forth in Chapter 58 of Title 29 shall apply to all members of the Council.
(i) Any member, who is absent without adequate reason for 3 consecutive meetings, or who fails to attend at least 1/2 of all regular business meetings during any calendar year, shall be guilty of neglect of duty.
(j) Each member of the Council shall be reimbursed for all expenses involved in each meeting, including travel, according to Division policy; and, in addition shall receive not more than $50 for each meeting attended but not more than $500 in any calendar year. After 10 meetings have been attended, the member shall not be compensated for any subsequent meetings attended in that year.
§ 4004 Organization; meetings; officers; quorum.
(a) The Council shall hold regularly scheduled business meetings at least once in each quarter of a calendar year, and at such times as the chair deems necessary, or, at the request of a majority of Council members.
(b) The Council annually shall elect a chair and vice-chair. Each officer shall serve for 1 year and shall not succeed himself or herself for more than 2 consecutive terms.
(c) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business. No disciplinary action shall be taken without the affirmative vote of at least 5 members of the Council.
(d) Minutes of all meetings shall be recorded and the Division shall maintain copies. At any hearing where evidence is presented, a record from which a verbatim transcript can be prepared shall be made. The expense of preparing any transcript shall be incurred by the person requesting it.
§ 4005 Records.
The Division shall keep a register of all approved applications for certified real estate appraiser, certified residential real property appraiser, licensed real property appraiser, and real property appraiser trainee, and complete records relating to meetings of the Council, examinations, rosters, changes and additions to the Council's rules and regulations, complaints, hearings, and such other matters as the Council shall determine. Such records shall be prima facie evidence of the proceedings of the Council.
§ 4006 Powers and duties.
(a) The Council on Real Estate Appraisers shall have authority to:
(1) Formulate rules and regulations, with appropriate notice to those affected; all rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the procedures specified in the Administrative Procedures Act of this State [Chapter 101 of Title 29]. Each rule or regulation shall implement or clarify a specific section of this chapter.
(2) Designate the application form to be used by all applicants and process all applications.
(3) Designate the written, standardized examination, endorsed by the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB), or its successor, and approved by the Council, and graded by the testing service, to be taken by all persons applying for licensure and certification; applicants, who qualify for licensure or certification by reciprocity, shall have achieved a passing score on all parts of the designated examination or a comparable, alternative national or regional examination, if the designated examination was not available at the time of the applicant's original licensure.
(4) Evaluate the credentials of all persons applying for a license or a certificate as an appraiser in this State, in order to determine whether such persons meet the qualifications for licensing or certification set forth in this chapter.
(5) Grant certificates and licenses to, and renew certificates and licenses of, all persons who meet the qualifications for certification or licensure.
(6) Register applicants as real property appraiser trainees.
(7) Issue temporary certificates or licenses to persons who qualify.
(8) Establish by rule and regulation continuing education standards required for license or certification renewal.
(10) Refer all complaints from certificate holders, licensees and the public concerning certified or licensed appraisers or concerning practices of the Council or of the profession, to the Division for investigation pursuant to § 8735 of Title 29; and assign a member of the Council to assist the Division in an advisory capacity with the investigation of the technical aspects of the complaint.
(11) Conduct hearings and issue orders in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 101 of Title 29.
(12) Where it has been determined after a hearing, that penalties or sanctions should be imposed, to designate and impose the appropriate sanction or penalty after time for appeal has lapsed.
(b) The Council on Real Estate Appraisers shall promulgate regulations specifically identifying those crimes which are substantially related to the practice of real estate appraisal.