Oklahoma City-based a la mode Inc. has released its UAD Reader product, a free desktop tool that allows anyone to open, view, error-check and manage appraisals in the new UAD MISMO[R] 2.6 extensible markup language (XML) format. It works with any UAD-formatted appraisal, regardless of which software was originally used to create the report.
UAD is the appraisal format designed and required by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and adopted by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) as well. All GSE-destined appraisals as of Sept. 1, 2011, must be in strict UAD format. FHA has announced it will require UAD after Jan. 1, 2012.
The UAD specification standardizes both the technical XML file structure as well as the particular words, number formats and abbreviations that appraisers are allowed to use in the report. Some industry members will find UAD appraisals to be hard to read and understand as a result of the new terminology, but first they have to be able to view the reports on screen at all, which is harder than it seems, according to a la mode.
"Appraisals are now delivered as .XML files, not as .PDF files, so anyone in the entire workflow chain will start encountering documents they can't open, or which look like gibberish on screen," said Dustin Moore, president of a la mode's Real Estate Solutions Division. "UAD Reader solves that problem, plus others."
With a la mode's UAD Reader, anyone double-clicking a UAD XML file gets the embedded PDF on screen just as they're used to seeing, along with a variety of appraisal document review and management features. It not only allows the user to save the PDF separately, but also shows the XML appraisal data in a handy visual split-screen mode.
Beyond the visual display of the appraisal, the UAD Reader also verifies that the appraisal file passes the GSEs' tightly defined rules. Any errors flagged are hyper-linked to the actual GSE descriptions of what the form field should contain, and the offending data are also clearly highlighted on the form. For lenders or appraisal management companies (AMCs), this makes it easy to request revisions from the appraiser. For the appraiser, it allows errors to be caught before sending to the client in the first place.
With an appraisal...