a la mode releases free UAD Reader to view and manage newly required XML appraisal files

Oklahoma City, OK — a la mode, inc., the dominant market share leader in the appraisal technology sector, announced its “UAD Reader” product today. UADReader is a free desktop tool which allows anyone to open, view, error-check, and manage appraisals in the new “UAD” MISMO 2.6 XML format. It works with any UAD-formatted appraisal, regardless of which software was originally used to create the report.

UAD (Uniform Appraisal Dataset) is the appraisal format designed and required by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and adopted by FHA as well. All GSE-destined appraisals as of September 1st, 2011 must be in strict UAD format. FHA has announced it will require UAD after January 1st, 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.

The problem is basic and unavoidable, as Dustin Moore, president of a la mode’s Real Estate Solutions Division explained. “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 Moore. “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 out separately, it 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 GSE’s tightly defined rules. Any errors flagged are hyperlinked to the actual GSE descriptions of what the form field should contain, and the offending data is also clearly highlighted on the form. For lenders or 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 on screen, several different UAD Reader communications tools streamline the client delivery process. Lender staff, as well as any real estate agents who encounter UAD files, are given a convenient “Send to Borrower” e-mail function which not only provides proof of receipt to comply with Dodd-Frank timely disclosure rules, but also includes a “How to Read This Appraisal” guide explaining the abbreviations, formats, and conventions of the UAD report. The delivery also ensures GLBA compliance by not attaching the files directly to the email. Borrowers follow a coded link, providing both security and an audit trail.

Due to a la mode’s direct integration with the GSEs’ Uniform Collateral Data Portal, or UCDP, lenders and AMCs can also submit the UAD appraisal report to UCDP from within the UAD Reader. The report is automatically pre-checked for any UAD rules compliance before it leaves the UAD Reader. Careless mistakes such as accidentally submitting the wrong XML file are also eliminated since the report is clearly displayed on screen at the time.

For appraisers, the same functions allow them to send the report to any lender or AMC using a la mode’s free DataCourier service, regardless of the brand of software used to create the report. DataCourier sends the client a GLBA-compliant email, provides access to the XML and PDF, and also routes the client to the links for convenient installation of UAD Reader itself.

By having UAD Reader at both ends, appraisers and their business partners can quickly discuss any issues while seeing the exact same XML data on screen. Since the XML data is checked by the GSEs for compliance errors, the content of the XML itself is not a tangential issue. Quickly drilling down visually to particular XML fields is a critical time-saver.

UAD Reader runs on any modern Windows PC, but also taps into the power of a la mode’s massive Mercury Network cloud-based appraisal management and review infrastructure. DataCourier is a la mode’s zero-configuration slimmed down “skin” on the robust Mercury Network SaaS backbone. Lenders and AMCs can migrate from DataCourier to a full Mercury Network configuration in just a few clicks, with no loss of data and no account fees.

UAD Reader is a free download, available now at www.alamode.com/UADReader.

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About a la mode
Celebrating 26 years as a technology leader, a la mode develops desktop, mobile, and Web tools for the real estate and mortgage industries. a la mode’s mission-critical products are used by hundreds of thousands of appraisers, agents, inspectors, and lending professionals to complete the nation’s real estate transactions. a la mode’s state-of-the-art offices are located in Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, and Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.alamode.com.

About Mercury Network
a la mode's Mercury Network is the nation's premiere Vendor Management Platform in the appraisal and BPO industries, offering both interfaceless "black box" MercuryDirect services and APIs, as well as “turn key” MercuryManaged web front ends for use by loan officers and compliance staff. It’s used in both capacities by a lengthy roster of the nation's largest lenders and AMCs, as well as by numerous community banks, credit unions, wholesale and correspondent lenders, and mortgage brokers, simplifying full compliance with appraisal independence standards and banking security regulations. It’s been used by more than 200,000 mortgage professionals since 2002 to automate the full “round trip” of tens of millions of appraisals. For more information, visit www.mercuryvmp.com.

Press inquiries, contact:
Molly Dowdy
EVP, Marketing
Mortgage Solutions Division
a la mode, inc.
(405) 359-6587 x 339