Home Appraisal Discrimination

Home Appraisal Discrimination Initiative

In January 2024, at the direction of Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) and the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) launched an initiative to combat home appraisal discrimination. A home appraisal establishes the value of a property for the purpose of obtaining a home loan or other financing. In a typical home purchase or mortgage refinancing transaction, a lender hires an appraiser to provide an unbiased and objective opinion of the market value of a home. Research demonstrates that the burden of undervaluation (the undervaluing of properties) falls disproportionately on buyers and sellers of color, leading to persistent racial disparities in rates of homeownership and in wealth.

In New Jersey, the Law Against Discrimination (LAD) prohibits discrimination in home appraisals. The LAD makes it unlawful for any person to discriminate in a home appraisal transaction based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and other protected characteristics. That prohibition applies home appraisers, appraisal management companies (AMCs), and mortgage lenders.

Report Appraisal Discrimination & Bias

To ensure DCR and DCA can address discrimination in the home appraisal process, it is important to report suspected appraisal discrimination. You can address possible discrimination in at least three (3) ways:

  • To report appraisal bias to the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, email appraisal@njcivilrights.gov or call 1-833-NJDCR4U (711 for relay service).
  • To report professional misconduct by an appraiser you can file an on-line complaint with the State Real Estate Appraiser Board at the Division of Consumer Affairs at njconsumeraffairs.state.nj.us/board-complaints or by calling 973-504-6480.
  • If you believe you have received an unfair, inaccurate, or discriminatory home appraisal, you also have the option of requesting a Reconsideration of Value from your lender. A home buyer or homeowner can request that their lender or financial institution reconsider an appraisal the consumer believes is inaccurate and ask for the appraiser to reassess the value of a home.

Public Education & Outreach

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