2020 has been a year unlike any other—and that includes for the mortgage industry, which faced some of the biggest changes the industry has ever seen.
Starting March 1, 2021, all lenders who intend to sell closed residential mortgage loans to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will be required to use the new Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA), the standard form that borrowers use to apply for a mortgage loan.
The first big change with these forms is in the Uniform Loan Application Dataset, or ULAD, for short. This dataset is used to submit your application data to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The GSEs mapped ULAD to MISMO version 3.4. They used 3.4 because the GSEs would have to engage in extensive use of extensions to have used a lower version of MISMO. They also state that you must use ULAD to submit your data to Desktop Underwriter and your Loan Product Advisor if you're using the new, redesigned URLA. The two things need to go together. If you are interested in the data transmission of your application data to the GSE's automated underwriting systems, they did provide ULAD testing cases on their website, which you can find at fanniemae.com or freddiemac.com.
Understanding the New URLA
The new URLA is bringing us into the 21st century. Along with improving accuracy and the clarity of information being provided by the borrower, the coming changes will make the process more efficient for lenders. As with all changes, there is a learning curve. The key to preparing for a smooth transition is understanding the changes, identifying where they will be on the new forms and beginning testing to eliminate workflow interruptions.