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FAQs: Uniform Residential Loan Application / Uniform Loan Application Dataset

The following provides answers to questions frequently asked about the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) and the corresponding dataset, the Uniform Loan Application Dataset (ULAD)

FAQs updated June  29, 2021

Uniform Residential Loan Application 

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Technology Integration 

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URLA

  • Q1.
    What is the Uniform Residential Loan Application?

    The URLA (also known as the Freddie Mac Form 65 / Fannie Mae Form 1003) is a standardized document used by borrowers to apply for a mortgage. The URLA is jointly published by the GSEs and has been in use for more than 40 years in all U.S. States and Territories. 

  • Q2.
    Does the redesigned URLA change the application origination process?

    The loan application relationship exists between the applicant(s) and the lender. The GSEs do not prescribe how the lender should interact with applicants or process loan application data. 

  • Q3.
    How should the interactive URLA files be retrieved from the GSE webpages and used?

    The GSEs recommend that the interactive URLA components be downloaded then opened using a PDF document reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro® . If the forms are opened within a web browser, the fillable PDF fields may lose some functionality and as a result, not perform as designed. The URLA was created using Adobe Acrobat 7 Pro, which was released in 2005. Updated versions of Adobe Acrobat software should be compatible with the redesigned URLA.

  • Q4.
    What documents are available to assist with using the URLA?

    The GSEs have published the following supporting documents to their respective URLA webpages:

    • URLA Rendering Design Options - guidance addressing the updated interactive URLA components’ appearance and functionality.
    • URLA Instructions - directions for completing new URLA form fields and clarifying existing usage.
    • ULAD Mapping Document - ties each data field on the URLA to its equivalent data point(s) in the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization’s Reference Model Version 3.4 (MISMO v3.4). ULAD is not a specification but can be used to familiarize organizations with the standard MISMO terms used to support the URLA.
    • Translation Aids - non-executable versions of Form 65 / Form 1003 and translation aids in Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese are available on our Multi-language Resources webpage.
  • Q5.
    Will a lender be required to repurchase a loan if the AUS data format submitted and the URLA form do not match?

    The GSEs do not intend to require a lender to repurchase a mortgage loan started before the mandate date solely due to the lender’s use of the legacy AUS data format with the redesigned URLA (and vice versa). However, it is a lender’s responsibility to ensure the data used to underwrite and determine eligibility is accurately reflected in the transaction, and that the lender has otherwise complied with the terms of their contracts with the GSEs. Lenders must apply all policies that may or may not be represented on the new vs. old URLA form and included or not included in either of the GSE's data file formats: MISMO v2.3.1, v2.4, v3.4, or the RLD 1003, v3.2 (1003 Flat File).

Data Requirements

  • Q1.
    What are the automated underwriting system specifications (AUS Specs)?

    The AUS specs define the requirements that must be used to create the loan application submission files for each GSE’s AUS. Each GSE has published data specifications for their AUSs using the MISMO® v3.4 Reference Model. The Freddie Mac LPA and Fannie Mae DU Specification replace the legacy specifications which were based on MISMO 2.X or a flat file.

  • Q2.
    What is the Uniform Loan Application Dataset Mapping Document?

    The ULAD Mapping Document, created jointly by the GSEs, contains a cross reference between all the form fields in the redesigned URLA to the MISMO® v3.4 data dictionary. The ULAD Mapping Document is not an AUS data file specification.

  • Q3.
    Do the GSEs publish a list of software providers that have been approved to support the URLA and updated AUS specs?

    Yes, the list of Freddie Mac-approved and Fannie Mae-approved software providers are published on their URLA webpages.

  • Q4.
    What is the difference between the ULAD Mapping Document and each GSE’s AUS spec?

    While the ULAD Mapping Document provides a useful cross-reference from the form fields on the  URLA to the data in the MISMO v3.4 data dictionary, each GSE’s AUS spec includes all the business requirements governing when the data must be included in an AUS Request file (e.g., conditionality, cardinality, implementation notes). The GSE specifications are aligned as much as possible but continue to differ based on each GSE’s unique credit and underwriting policies. Information collected on the URLA will be submitted to each GSE’s AUS based on their respective AUS specs, not the ULAD Mapping Document.

  • Q5.
    What schemas should I use for my AUS file validations?

    The GSEs recommend you download the full list of schema (XSD) files from MISMO.org. Download Freddie Mac Loan Product Advisor Schema Extension and the ULAD v3_4 Extension files from either the Software Partner Resource Center or the Freddie Mac URLA/ULAD webpage. Download the Fannie Mae DU Schemas zip file from the Fannie Mae Technology Integration webpage.

  • Q6.
    How does the implementation of the URLA and AUS data submission requirements affect data delivery requirements for the Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD) and the Uniform Loan Delivery Dataset (ULDD)?

    Lenders and software providers will continue to comply with the data requirements set forth in the UCD and ULDD specifications on the GSEs’ webpages. The GSEs identified and analyzed equivalent data points across Loan Product Advisor/DU, UCD, and ULDD with the understanding that the purpose and lifecycle stage of each dataset may have intentional data differences across datasets. Each Uniform Mortgage Data Program (UMDP) dataset is in a different MISMO version (ULDD – v3.0 | UCD – v3.3 | Loan Product Advisor/DU – v3.4 | UAD – v2.6) and standard data structures and names have changed over time. The GSEs make every effort to align the collection of data across UMDP datasets. Continue to contact your account representatives with any questions and periodically review the respective dataset webpages for any updates.

  • Q7.
    Will the GSEs be updating the Freddie Mac Form 1077 / Fannie Mae Form 1008 Uniform Underwriting and Transmittal Summary as part of the URLA project?

    The GSEs updated the form in December 2018. Because this form is not delivered electronically and is not supported by a data specification, this effort was undertaken separately from the URLA/ULAD project. The GSEs considered additional changes to the form but have decided not to make any more changes. Lenders and software providers may use the December 2018 version now if they so choose.

iLAD and SCIF

  • Q1.
    What is happening with the Fannie Mae 1003 Flat File used as the de facto industry standard for data exchange between industry partners for loan application data?

    Fannie Mae no longer supports the 1003 Flat File. The GSEs are participating in and supporting the MISMO Loan Application Data Exchange Development Workgroup (iLAD) that has created and is maintaining an industry standard for data exchange of loan application information. This dataset includes the data points for the following: 

    • The complete dataset for the URLA Form (ULAD Mapping Document).
    • Each of the updated AUS specs from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
    • Other origination-oriented data deemed relevant by the workgroup.  

    iLAD is expected to replace the many peer-to-peer data exchanges that currently utilize the Fannie Mae 1003 Flat File. Future enhancements may include other government agency (i.e., FHA, VA, and USDA) specifications for their use of the new URLA data when available. Version 2.01 of the iLAD data set is available and posted on the MISMO website at iLAD Dataset. Anyone interested in participating in this collaborative, industry-wide effort should send an email with the subject line, "Join Loan Application Data Exchange Development Workgroup" to [email protected]. More information about the iLAD Development Workgroup and other MISMO workgroups is available at mismo.org.

  • Q2.
    How is MISMO’s iLAD different from the ULAD Mapping Document and GSE AUS specifications?

    The iLAD is a “superset” of loan application data based on MISMO v3.4 that includes all the data in the ULAD Mapping Document and the GSE AUS Specifications. iLAD also includes additional origination data points requested by the industry that may be needed for exchange of loan information. iLAD is agnostic to investor and business process so it does not include conditionality (rules) and cardinality (acceptable number of data repetitions). This is a driving factor behind why the iLAD Exchange File will not be accepted by the GSEs in place of their AUS submission files.

  • Q3.
    Will the GSEs be releasing the Voluntary Consumer Information Form (VCIF) to collect language preference from the borrower? If so, when?

    Based on requests from industry, the VCIF is now known as the Supplemental Consumer Information Form (SCIF). The GSEs began work on developing the SCIF in 2020. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mortgage industry, we postponed work on the SCIF until January 2021. The GSEs have re-engaged with industry stakeholders to review requirements for and design the SCIF. The SCIF will be finalized in Q3 2021 and its publication date will be communicated to the industry. 

  • Q4.
    Will the SCIF be voluntary for borrowers and for the lender to provide to the GSEs?

    Completion of the SCIF is entirely voluntary for borrowers. Use of the SCIF (all or in part) will be voluntary for lenders. Lenders may use the SCIF at their own discretion.

Implementation and Timeline

  • Q1.
    Now that the URLA/ULAD mandate has been reached, is the project officially over?

    The URLA/ULAD project is now in the final Pipeline Loan Closing Period when only “slow-closing” loans, such as new  construction loans, may be resubmitted in legacy formats until February 28, 2022. Additionally, loans that were submitted to either legacy AUS before May 1 may continue to be processed in that AUS through February 28, 2022 (with the exception for Fannie Mae if loan casefile is subject to the DU archive policy or retirement of a DU version).

    Effective March 1, 2022, the GSE AUSs will no longer underwrite any loans in legacy format, regardless of start date or original AUS submission date.

Historical FAQs

  • Q1.
    Why was the URLA redesigned?

    Changes in the mortgage industry and the regulatory environment led the GSEs to reassess the information obtained at the time of loan origination. The URLA/ULAD initiative has the following objectives:

    A. Update the URLA form to collect loan application information that is relevant and useful to the industry in making a loan underwriting decision, as well as update the physical format and layout to enhance the collection of information and usability of the form.

    B. Develop and publish a corresponding standard dataset to support the URLA. The ULAD Mapping Document provides a cross reference for every field on the redesigned URLA to the equivalent data point(s) in the MISMO Version 3.4 Reference Model.

    C. Publish GSE-specific automated underwriting system (AUS) specifications for Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) and Loan Product Advisor® updated to MISMO v3.4 and including the new URLA data fields. 

  • Q2.
    Who participated in the URLA redesign?

    The GSEs began by interviewing a group of lenders and software providers to understand the current loan origination process and data flow, and to assess how the URLA is used today. This was followed by meetings with the government housing agencies (FHA, VA, and USDA-RD) to understand their data needs. From this research, the project team drafted the first version of the redesigned URLA.

    The project team continued to expand outreach to other lenders, software providers, Ginnie Mae, CFPB, mortgage insurance companies, the trade associations, housing advocates, and consumer groups to obtain feedback on the several iterations of the proposed redesigned URLA and the associated AUS specs. All this feedback was reviewed by the project team and most was incorporated into subsequent versions of the redesigned URLA.

    Later drafts of the redesigned URLA underwent eight rounds of extensive usability testing with borrowers, mortgage loan processors, underwriters, and loan officers. The project team also provided previews of the redesigned URLA at various industry meetings and conferences.

  • Q3.
    Why are the GSEs still supporting the URLA in its paper form?

    The GSEs serve the entire mortgage industry from the smallest bank to the largest, most sophisticated lending and servicing operations. We have heard from many small to mid-size lenders and credit unions that they still need a paper form to collect and present loan application information from and to the borrower. 

  • Q4.
    What is the page length of the redesigned URLA?

    The length of the redesigned URLA will vary depending on the number of borrowers, the type of loan and the type of transaction. The form allows borrowers to indicate which sections of the application may not apply, which may also impact the page length. The URLA Rendering Design Options Document provides additional formatting guidance for technology solution providers and lenders to tailor production of the form according to system requirements. 

  • Q5.
    Why are the updated AUS datasets based on MISMO Version 3.4 instead of the MISMO Version 3.3 used by the Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD)?

    In order to support the redesigned URLA, many modifications were necessary to MISMO v3.3, which were incorporated into MISMO v3.4. If MISMO v3.3 had been selected, extensive use of EXTENSIONS would have been necessary.

  • Q6.
    Why were the preferred language and housing counseling questions removed from the redesigned URLA?

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) determined that the redesigned URLA is not the appropriate vehicle to collect data on a borrower’s preferred language or information on housing counselling the borrower may have completed. The data collected on the URLA is based on two principles:
    a) Information that is most relevant and useful in making a loan underwriting decision; and
    b) Data that is statutorily required to be collected at application (e.g., demographic information required by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)). 

This communication relates to the Uniform Mortgage Data Program®, an effort undertaken jointly by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae at the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.