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Collateral Underwriter® (CU®) is a proprietary appraisal review application developed by Fannie Mae that performs an automated analysis of appraisals.

The purpose of Collateral Underwriter is to identify appraisals with heightened risk valuation, appraisal quality, and property eligibility and property compliance violations. Additionally, CU is a powerful source of information and analytics that can help the lender research and manage collateral risk.

Each appraisal receives a score on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0, and 999 if we are unable to score, with 1 indicating the lowest risk and 5 indicating the highest risk. Flags identify the risk factors contributing to the higher risk scores. There are four flags: Overvaluation, Undervaluation, Property Eligibility and Policy Compliance, and Appraisal Quality.

The intention is to help the end-user understand the nature of the risk and to direct reviewers to those aspects of the appraisal that may warrant further attention. For example, are there appraisal quality issues or potential overvaluation? Does the appraisal appear acceptable, but there may be a potential property eligibility issue? This is important because the reviewer’s course of action may vary depending on the situation. However, the messages do not need to be “cleared” and are simply intended to assist in the appraisal review process.

This set of job aids focuses on how to use the CU web-based application to:

  • Evaluate the risk score and flags;
  • Research appraiser comparable messages, data discrepancy messages, and adjustment messages

Lender Obligations

CU does not provide “approvals” or “denials” of appraisals and/or the corresponding loan. It does not replace or alter lenders’ obligations as described in the Fannie Mae Selling Guide. Lenders remain responsible for assessment of the appraisal in accordance with the provisions of the Guide.

CU is intended to assist lenders in reviewing appraisals. Fannie Mae expects lenders to use the CU feedback in combination with human due diligence. Users should understand the limitations of automated analysis.  

Although the risk analysis performed by CU is for exclusive use by the lender in their analysis of the appraisal report, it may be used to inform a dialogue with the appraiser. The lender should carefully review the appraisal report – including all commentary – before seeking clarification from the appraiser. Lenders should not make demands or provide instructions to the appraiser based solely on automated feedback.  

Reminders Regarding Appraisers, AMCs, and Other Third Parties

The Single-Family Shipping & Delivery Applications Schedule of the Fannie Mae Software Subscription Agreement terms regarding CU and the Uniform Collateral Data Portal® (UCDP®)  prohibits Licensees from:

  • providing access to CU’s web-based interface to third parties (including appraisal management companies [AMCs] and appraisers);

  • providing copies or displays of Fannie Mae reports that contain CU findings to AMCs and appraisers;

  • using the licensed application in a manner that interferes with the independent judgment of an appraiser.


The CU web page contains training resources including eLearning courses, FAQs and more.

Availability of Findings

Only appraisals submitted to UCDP on Fannie Mae form 1004 (Uniform Residential Appraisal Report) and form 1073 (Individual Condominium Unit Appraisal Report) are analyzed by CU.  

CU does not process appraisals submitted on the following Fannie Mae forms:

• Exterior Only appraisals (form 2095)

• 2-4 Unit appraisals (form 1025)

• Co-op appraisals (forms 2090 and 2095)

• Manufactured housing appraisals (form 1004C)

• Appraisal Updates and/or Completion Reports (1004D)

• Field Reviews (forms 2000 and 2000a)

NOTE: Findings are only available to the lender who submitted the appraisal or to the aggregator (if any) the submitting lender shared the appraisal within UCDP. Appraisals submitted by correspondent lenders are not automatically made available to aggregators.

CU does not score appraisals in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

The CU risk score, flags, and messages are available in real time through UCDP, and available in the CU application within minutes of the submission of an appraisal to Fannie Mae in UCDP.