It’s rare for financial forms to last twenty years virtually unchanged. The Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA), otherwise known as Form 1003 or Form 65, is a notable exception. For two decades, it has served as the industry standard form used by lenders to evaluate borrowers seeking mortgage loans.

That is about to change with the new URLA published by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in August of 2016. The August release was intended to allow those in the mortgage loan industry time to establish a transition plan for the new form, supporting systems such as the Uniform Loan Application Dataset (ULAD), and corresponding changes in automated underwriting systems (AUS).

The changes were driven in part by increased reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). As a means of ensuring that discrimination does not take place in lending practices, the new URLA is designed to collect more information about gender, race, and ethnicity (primarily through subcategories of race and ethnicity) and maintain the data in a more usable form through the ULAD.

In addition, the new URLA is expected to be more consumer-friendly by making the format similar to the redesigned Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms Opens a New Window. required during the home buying process. By making the form clearer and easier for borrowers to understand, the new URLA is intended to gather more accurate and detailed information in order to allow lenders to better assess risk.

The current form Opens a New Window. and the new form Opens a New Window. still contain the basic information lenders require — employment and income status, assets and liabilities, purpose of the loan and information about the property in question, and information on other real estate holdings — but the new form provides improved organization and structure.

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