FICRAS National Chief Compliance Officer

Louisiana State General Certified Appraiser #394 Texas State Certified Appraiser # TX 1380278 G


Cheryl Bonnaffons Bella is a General State Certified Appraiser in the State of Louisiana and the State of Texas. She has earned both the MAI and AI-GRS designations through The Appraisal Institute. Cheryl is an active member of the Local and State Chapters of the Appraisal Institute, serving in various State and Regional offices including La. Chapter President in 2013. She is also a member of the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors. Ms. Bella obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University in Business Administration with a concentration in Property Law and Finance. She has been active in the Louisiana real estate market since 1987 as a fee appraiser in both the Baton Rouge and New Orleans metropolitan areas. In 2015 Cheryl Bella was appointed by the Governor of Louisiana to serve as a member of the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board.

Ms. Bella’s banking employment began in 1992, when she was hired to establish the Appraisal Department for City National Bank (First Commerce Corporation) in Baton Rouge Louisiana and served as Vice President of First Commerce Corporation. Ms. Bella wrote the corporate wide training class and training manual on FIRREA, created order and review procedures and managed the appraisal department. Ms. Bella also participated in due diligence analysis as part of bank acquisitions. In 1998, after the acquisition of First Commerce Corporation by Bank One, Ms. Bella was promoted to the Manager of the Appraisal Department for the State of Louisiana. In 1999 Ms. Bella joined Hancock Bank to establish and manage a Hancock Bank Appraisal Department for Louisiana. In that position Ms. Bella wrote Corporate-wide appraisal policy and procedures, and authored lender training classes and manuals. Ms. Bella’s duties also included establishing an approved appraiser list, monitoring appraisal ordering and review procedures, and performing in-house appraisals. Ms. Bella authored the appraisal engagement and review forms used corporate wide by the Hancock Bank Appraisal Department in Mississippi and Louisiana.

In 2001 Ms. Bella became an independent consultant to financial institutions needing assistance in education, policy and procedure formulation, appraiser list formulation, appraisal review, and procedural documents. Ms. Bella has worked with numerous financial institutions since that date. Her contract for services varies relative to the needs of each institution. Ms. Bella has assisted institutions wishing to bring their appraisal departments into regulatory compliance and improve risk management on real estate loans. She has also assisted banks that have had regulatory exam issues. In 2014 Ms. Bella participated in the development of an appraisal management and compliance program that allows banks to manage their appraisal process in-house. The program is FICRAS (Financial Institution Compliant Appraisal Practice) and Ms. Bella serves as the Chief Compliance Officer.

Ms. Bella’s financial institution instruction experience also includes authoring education offerings to instruct lenders on appraisal related regulatory issues, appraisal development, and appraisal review. Ms. Bella co-wrote and presented “Can We Talk” seminars across Louisiana to bankers and appraisers along with Louisiana Office of Financial Institution’s Chief Examiner and FDIC case manager. Ms. Bella was invited to speak at a Louisiana Office of Financial Institution’s annual meeting on regulatory and USPAP issues in 2011. Ms. Bella has also written and instructed the Louisiana Bankers Association Appraisal Compliance seminar, along with similar programs for other state banking associations.

Ms. Bella’s instruction experience also includes teaching various courses for the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors (GBRAR), private realty companies and has been the guest speaker at Home Builder Association meetings and Appraisal Institute Chapter meetings. Over the past 15+ years Ms. Bella has been teaching the Indoctrination Course at the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors on a bi-monthly basis and has written the house measuring section in the teaching manual. This course instructs real estate agents and appraisers on house measuring techniques of the local market and incorporates the American National Standards Institute’s national measurement standards. Over the past 8 years Ms. Bella has been teaching commercial indoctrination classes titled Property Identification and Property Pricing. She has also written and participated in the presentation of several continuing education classes over the years. A recent example is the 2014 “Can We Talk? Appraiser-Real Estate Agent Education Forum”, sponsored by the Louisiana Chapter of the Appraisal Institute and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS. Ms. Bella developed this CE opportunity to improve the communication environment between real estate agents and appraisers.

The Louisiana Real Estate Commission contracted with Cheryl Bella, MAI, AI-GRS to develop the 2015 mandatory education course focusing on single family residential measurement and pricing. Accordingly, Ms. Bella developed the course titled “Property Measurement and Pricing” for live instruction and on-line instruction to all real estate agents in Louisiana. She also conducted several “Train the Trainer” programs to instruct others on the method of teaching the material in addition to teaching the class for various vendors throughout 2015.

In 2016 Ms. Bella presented Appraisal Compliance seminars at both the Appraisal Institute National Convention and the American Society of Appraisers International Appraisers Conference.

As a private contractor, Ms. Bella seeks educational opportunities to learn from and instruct lenders, real estate agents and appraisers on appraisal related issues, including regulatory, appraisal theory, and appraisal practices, along with measurement methods for various property types.