Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae on Tuesday announced a redesigned standard application that borrowers will use when they apply for a single-family mortgage, the first redesign of its Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) in more than 20 years.
Beginning in 2018, applicants and lenders will submit the revised URLA for single-family loans submitted to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, as well as mortgages federally insured by the Federal Housing Administration, the Veterans Administration, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Housing Service.
“The redesigned URLA allows much greater flexibility than in the past by acknowledging that not all loan applications are the same,” said Samuel Oliver, vice president of Single Family Business Transformation Management at Freddie Mac. “It does a great job of capturing new data that aligns with the needs of Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and other agencies, eliminating irrelevant underwriting data fields, and displaying information in an easier-to-read format.”
This redesign will feature more simplified terminology and an easier-to-follow layout for borrowers, plus currently absent data fields such as mobile phone number, email address, and military service.
Other new features will include clearer instructions designed to help borrowers complete the application with less help from the lender and revised government monitoring information that incorporates revised Home Mortgage Disclosure Act demographic questions. A Spanish-language version will also be available.
According to FHFA director Melvin Watt, the application must still undergo safe-harbor review by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but FHFA believes that the publication of the redesigned form now will “give the industry ample time to analyze and prepare for its use in 2018.”
“It also fulfills a scorecard item for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and FHFA will continue to work with the two enterprises and other stakeholders as this project moves forward,” Watt said.
Andrew Bon Salle, executive vice president of Single-Family Business at Fannie Mae, said, “The redesigned URLA is the result of extensive collaboration with industry stakeholders.”
The GSEs collaborated with lenders, technology solution providers, mortgage insurers, trade associations, housing advocates, borrower groups, and other government agencies and for the first time conducted extensive consumer and lender usability testing across the U.S. to gather their feedback on the URLA designs, Freddie Mac reported.