4 URLA questions to ask yourself before March 2021

Are you prepared for the huge impact the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) will have across your entire workflow come March 1, 2021? At Ellie Mae, we've been working for over a year to ensure that our customers are set up to make a seamless transition to the new form. 

The redesigned URLA has 48 new data points including additional demographic information to help the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other regulatory agencies to identify patterns of discrimination in the mortgage industry. With all these new data requirements, preparation is the key to avoiding any disruption to your business.

If you haven't started planning yet, here are four questions to ask yourself when mapping out your URLA journey. 

1. When is the right time for me to start preparing for the new URLA?

The government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) have published the revised implementation timeline for the redesigned 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

The March 2021 mandatory date is not far off, so the time to prepare is now.

2. Where do I start my transition?

When navigating your URLA transition, a key step is to ensure your loan origination system (LOS) offers end-to-end support for the redesigned form. 

Here are the first steps to consider when getting starting:

  • Review process and impacts
  • Set up a pilot program plan
  • Review new concepts and adjust
  • Run your pilot
  • Enable limited production
  • Enable full production

3. How do I evaluate what changes need to happen within my system?

To avoid disruption within your workflow, lenders should formulate implementation plans with clear goals and objectives, then execute against specific milestones. Plans should be designed to minimize disruption, support the concurrent use of old and new URLA forms, and coordinate changes across multiple vendor solutions. The overriding goal should be to prepare your organization, including training, testing, operations and technology, for this potentially jarring transition. 

4. How will the new form impact my loan delivery process to investors?

Lenders also should keep their investors’ needs in mind and be aware of where each investor stands in the transition process. Now is the time to start having these conversations to ensure that your rollout timelines are aligned and that the investors you work with will be able to process loan file data and documents in the new URLA format. 

Looking for a worry-free transition? 

Partner with Ellie Mae and let us keep your transition on track so you can focus on what's important to your business today. We're working closely with the GSEs and other industry stakeholders to help our clients facilitate a smooth implementation of the new form. Click here to learn more about the Advisory Consulting URLA Readiness Service packages that Ellie Mae offers.

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Visit our URLA Resource Page and sign up for our "I LOVE URLA" Community to join lenders just like you who are receiving the latest news and content to help plan their move to the redesigned form.

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