Compiled by Debora Vrana / Times correspondent

Appraising for HUD: Strategic Mortgage Services in Costa Mesa has signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide appraisals for its property disposition group.

“Through this agreement with HUD, SMS continues to gain a significant presence in the national appraisal market,” said Steve Currit, president of the appraisal division of SMS, which has $140 million in annual sales and more than 1,800 employees in 130 locations nationwide.

HUD acquires single-family properties through its mortgage insurance program. After default of an insured loan, HUD acquires the property and has it appraised for resale.

HUD, looking to minimize its losses, will now have SMS provide more extensive appraisal information to be used in establishing the value of the property.