A Greek philosopher once wrote that nothing is permanent except change, and nowhere is that more true than in today’s mortgage industry. By staying on top of industry changes and requirements, we can give our clients adequate time in advance to change processes, adjust workflows and test capabilities – and help them stay compliant.
Take the GSEs’ recent requirement for lenders to begin using a newly designed Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) to help lenders better capture relevant applicant data and support the industry’s move toward a digital loan origination process. When the new requirement was announced, Black Knight began preparations to incorporate the new 1003 form into the origination workflows of its Empower® loan origination system (LOS) and was able to launch the new form well ahead of the mandatory implementation deadline. Our clients had time to get familiar with the changes and prepare their teams for the transition.
The redesigned URLA comes as the first major update to the form in decades and addresses changes in both the mortgage industry and regulatory environment. Standardized datasets make it easier for lenders to exchange information with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the GSEs) and to share data among various stakeholders within the industry. By leveraging established and accepted data standards, the redesigned and expanded URLA will help the industry further digitize the loan origination process.
Black Knight teams spent about a year working to seamlessly integrate the new URLA into the origination workflows of all Empower lending channels. The redesigned form launched within Empower in January 2021, the same month the GSEs began openly accepting loan applications on the new form, and well before the March 1, 2021, implementation deadline. Additionally, Black Knight has created several useful resources to provide clients an overview of the form changes, as well as user guides and videos to help them prepare and implement the redesigned URLA.
The efforts to successfully integrate and launch the new form shows Black Knight’s commitment to the customer experience and readiness to take new challenges head-on. Moving forward, the expanded URLA data fields and their reliance on accepted data standards will help Black Knight – and the industry at large – further digitize the mortgage origination process, which will benefit both lenders and borrowers.