The new Uniform Residential Loan Application

GSEs announce March 2021 required use date for URLA

Revised implementation timeline

The GSEs have published the revised implementation timeline for the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) and updated automated underwriting systems (AUS). Here are the dates you need to know:
  • August 1, 2020: Limited Production Begins
  • January 1, 2021: Open Production Begins
  • March 1, 2021: Mandate and Pipeline Transition Period Begins
  • March 1, 2022: Retirement Date
  • To review the announcement from the GSEs click here.

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Now available: URLA Instructional Guide

Ellie Mae has created the Uniform Residential Loan Application Instructional Guide that provides detailed instructions for the completion of the redesigned URLA and a quality control checklist to verify accurate completion based on the borrower’s specific loan scenario.

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The Modern Lender’s Guide to the New URLA

Six steps for a seamless transition
Minimize the potential for disruption in the mortgage process with this insightful eBook. It is your ultimate guide for redesigns of the new mortgage application input workflow, updates to documents and forms and compliance with the Uniform Loan Application Dataset (ULAD) and more.

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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

During the optional use phase, can I pilot usage of the application with a subset of my organization?
Will an unmarried borrower pair be able to share the same application, or will they have to continue to have separate URLA’s?
South Carolina requires the branch NMLS# on the loan application. Where can that information be placed on the form so that it will appear on all South Carolina applications only?
Will the new URLA have signature/date lines on each page for states that require it?
Will the new application have the verbiage to authorize the lender to pull credit?
How does the new URLA affect disclosure requirements?
Where is the rate and term of the loan shown at on the URLA?
Will Encompass Consumer Connect be leveraging the new URLA?
At the bottom of each page on the new URLA, it says borrower name, is a signature required on each page?
Will each borrower be signing their own application?
Is Ellie Mae planning on making the Limited Production and Open Production Phases of the new URLA available?
When will Ellie Mae be providing customers with the ability to test the new URLA?
Is the format in the borrower summary and 1003 pages forms going to change?
Will all fields be changing in the new URLA?
When will the 3.2 format be replaced be MISMO?
Will Ellie Mae be providing a matrix of all old and new fields?
Will Ellie Mae be providing ongoing information and education about the changes affecting Encompass and related products and services with the new URLA?
Will lenders be able to control access to the preferred language question for borrowers with Limited English Proficiency on the URLA now that this is an optional field?
19. Will HELOCs be a designated loan type on the new URLA?
What is Ellie Mae doing about the recently announced changes and timeline for the new URLA?
If optional, would that be at the loan officer or loan template level?
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During the optional use phase, can I pilot usage of the application with a subset of my organization?

Yes, if you wish to perform a pilot test with a subset of your loan files during the Limited and/or Open Production phases, you can provide access to users at the persona level to Change URLA Form Version (under Personas, Loan Tab, Other). This will allow the selected users to modify the URLA form version on the loan level without enabling the company setting to set all loans to 2020 by default. You could use this with your existing personas or create a pilot group persona(s) for controlling access and assign to your pilot group users.

Will an unmarried borrower pair be able to share the same application, or will they have to continue to have separate URLA’s?

There is not a technical constraint on this, but you should review with your own compliance and legal counsel with regard to how your organization will treat these scenarios. The new URLA also includes support for an unmarried addendum, where the borrower(s) will disclose additional details about their relationship and community property status.

South Carolina requires the branch NMLS# on the loan application. Where can that information be placed on the form so that it will appear on all South Carolina applications only?

As mentioned previously, there has been no indication at this time as to whether or not any states (including the District of Columbia) will be revising any of their existing requirements based on the new URLA format, nor has there been confirmation from the GSE’s on how to accommodate any state specific requirements. We will share any information we receive if and when information is made available.

Will the new URLA have signature/date lines on each page for states that require it?

There has been no indication at this time as to whether or not any states (including the District of Columbia) will be revising any of their existing requirements based on the new URLA format, nor has there been confirmation from the GSE’s on how to accommodate any state specific requirements. We will share any information we receive if and when information is made available.

Will the new application have the verbiage to authorize the lender to pull credit?

Although there is verbiage in the Acknowledgements and Agreements covering this, lenders will need to work with their credit providers to assess if the following language will meet their needs:

(6) Use and Sharing of Information
I understand and acknowledge that the Lender and Other Loan participants can obtain, use, and share the loan application, a consumer credit report, and related documentation for purposes permitted by applicable laws.

How does the new URLA affect disclosure requirements?

Lenders should consult with their own compliance resources to determine to what extent the URLA might impact existing disclosure requirements.

Where is the rate and term of the loan shown at on the URLA?

These are shown on the lender pages. The lender has the option to provide the borrower with only the borrower application or the borrower and the lender application.

Will Encompass Consumer Connect be leveraging the new URLA?
Yes, Encompass Consumer Connect will be supporting the new URLA as will Encompass Loan Officer Connect and Encompass TPO Connect.
At the bottom of each page on the new URLA, it says borrower name, is a signature required on each page?

This will depend on jurisdiction. The footer shows the borrower to which the page applies. As there can be multiple copies of the URLA for different borrowers in the package, the name on the bottom is a guide for identifying which borrower is associated with that particular page.

Will each borrower be signing their own application?

All borrowers will receive their own application, and the lender will be able to control which version the co-borrowers on the application receive. For any co-borrower on a borrower pair, the Lender has the option to indicate “Use Additional Borrower (Joint) Format” to provide the co-borrower with their own application, but a reference back to the borrower’s application for joint assets and liabilities. By default all borrowers will receive their own application with a full listing of their individual and joint assets and liabilities.

Is Ellie Mae planning on making the Limited Production and Open Production Phases of the new URLA available?

Yes, we will be supporting the concurrent use of both the current 1003 and new URLA. This will be policy driven and in the control of the lender.

When will Ellie Mae be providing customers with the ability to test the new URLA?

We are targeting to have the updates to the new URLA in Encompass in the 20.1 Major Release planned for May 2020 with regular updates through Q3 2020. However, since we released most of the changes in 2019, customers have the ability to test the new URLA now.

Is the format in the borrower summary and 1003 pages forms going to change?

No. We are going to retain the same user experience in the Encompass Smart Client. There will be new URLA pages to replace the existing 1003 pages but will follow a similar format and flow.

Will all fields be changing in the new URLA?

The short answer to this is no! There is significant reuse of data between the existing 1003/65 and the new URLA. With the recent minor updates to the new form, some fields were changed, and others were moved. The GSEs have provided an excellent guide to compare the old and new forms, to which Ellie Mae is updating a companion data guide to assist our clients in understanding how the comparison relates to Encompass fields. This will be made available again on the Ellie Mae resource center once it has been updated.

When will the 3.2 format be replaced be MISMO?

Since we are aware that there will be a significant period of time of transition for the new MISMO format, we will plan to support both FNMA 3.2 and MISMO 3.4 for the foreseeable future.

Will Ellie Mae be providing a matrix of all old and new fields?

Yes, we have a provided a list of all data fields, with mapping to the new fields. This is available on the Ellie Mae Resource Center.

Will Ellie Mae be providing ongoing information and education about the changes affecting Encompass and related products and services with the new URLA?

Similar to how we handle all major industry changes, Ellie Mae has been and will continue to provide ongoing education and documentation for all changes in business process and software. A recorded webinar series was previously launched with helpful information on using the new form. We also have URLA Training Roadshows scheduled across the U.S. that offer hands-on training with all the new URLA functionality in Encompass. In addition, Ellie Mae will continue to provide detailed documentation and instructions about all changes that affect Encompass and related products and services which can be found in the Ellie Mae Resource Center.

Will lenders be able to control access to the preferred language question for borrowers with Limited English Proficiency on the URLA now that this is an optional field?

Lenders have the option to show or hide this field on the Consumer Connect and TPO Connect applications, as well as controlling access to the field within Encompass. We are investigating adding additional controls to show or hide the fields within Encompass, but that will be a later enhancement to the solution.

19. Will HELOCs be a designated loan type on the new URLA?

No, the new URLA, like the existing 1003/65, does not include HELOC as a loan type.

What is Ellie Mae doing about the recently announced changes and timeline for the new URLA?

Ellie Mae and the GSEs (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) have strategic partnerships and have remained in constant communication on many industry topics including the new Uniform Residential Mortgage Application (URLA). On December 18, 2019 the GSEs announced the new planned implementation timeline for the new URLA based on the form changes announced in October 2019. In summary, lenders may choose to use the updated URLA starting in June 2020. The GSEs will require applications taken after November 1, 2020 be on the new form. Most of the updates have already been released in the 19.3 and 19.4 releases in the Encompass Digital Lending Platform Major Releases launched in the last half of 2019. Ellie Mae is also assessing the impacts that these changes will have on our partner integrations, including the AUS engines used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Our product plan is the make the new URLA generally available early May 2020 to provide these updates with the 20.1 Major Release. Testing on the new URLA may be done in advance of the 20.1 release. For more specific information about these updates, here is the link to the announcement.

If optional, would that be at the loan officer or loan template level?

The policy will be company level, and will drive a mandatory use date.

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