URLA Update: GSEs Postpone URLA Optional Use Start Date | Wolters Kluwer
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  • URLA Update: GSEs Postpone URLA Optional Use Start Date

    by Sue Burt, JD, Sr. Consultant, Compliance Professional Services, Compliance Center of Excellence, Wolters Kluwer

    Published June 19, 2019

    Under the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) announced a delay in the start date for optional use of the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) form.  Optional usage was previously scheduled to begin on July 1, 2019. 

    The announcement by the GSEs did not commit to a new optional start date, stating only that the effective date of the redesigned URLA (which currently shows 07/2019) will be revised. The announcement makes no mention of changing the mandatory usage date of February 1, 2020.

    In the meantime, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is working to finalize the issuance of an updated URLA, corresponding datasets and a new implementation timeline. The GSEs will also continue to support the customer test environment.

    By way of background, the URLA (Fannie Mae Form 1003 / Freddie Mac Form 65) has undergone a complete overhaul.  The first redesign in over 20 years supports changes in mortgage industry credit, underwriting, and eligibility policies, as well as new regulatory requirements.  In addition, the new form is more consumer friendly and available in a dynamic electronic fillable format.  A paper form is available for those lenders unable to utilize the dynamic format.

    While the industry awaits further information regarding a new optional use date, mortgage lenders should continue working towards implementation of the redesigned URLA. Lenders should be actively reviewing their operational procedures, integrating the redesigned forms into their automated underwriting systems and testing the application. From there, staff training should take center stage.  Employees must understand not only how to use and complete the new form but also the impact on the loan origination workflow.  Make no mistake, the redesigned URLA is more than just a simple document update.  

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