The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is rolling out a new initiative at government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) that aims to streamline home appraisal and loan delivery data. The effort, called the Uniform Mortgage Data Program, sets standards on data and collection processes. The FHFA previously directed Fannie and Freddie to create common data sets and standards for electronic submission and loan delivery data. “This initiative is a major step toward meeting industry requests for uniformity in appraisal and loan data," said FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco in a statement (download here). "Improvements in data quality will benefit all mortgage market participants and strengthen the housing finance system." The GSEs, which will implement the program in phases, structured the standards to build on existing originator/appraiser technologies and to encourage the use of electronic forms and documents in the mortgage process. Under the program, the GSEs will collect more data on loan characteristics, borrower information, the property securing the loans and the identity of the parties creating the transaction. "The importance of data quality to the mortgage market's long-term success makes this the right call at the right time," said Freddie CEO Charles Haldeman Jr. in a statement. "The additional loan and appraisal data requirements, standard data definitions, and a common framework for capturing these new data sets will support the mortgage industry's efforts to manage risk, reduce costs, and respond more efficiently to market changes." A joint system for electronic delivery of appraisal data will be available beginning October 2011. The new appraisal data standards will be required for use by appraisers beginning on Jan. 1, 2011. Then, electronic delivery of appraisal data will be required for all loans delivered on or after April 1, 2011 with application dates of Jan. 1, 2011 or later. A new joint GSE data set specifications through MISMO 3.0 will be available June 2010, and will be required for all loans delivered to the GSEs on or after Sept. 1, 2011. "The program will complement Fannie Mae's previously announced Loan Quality Initiative by collecting additional information about properties and appraisals and securing additional loan data at delivery in an industry-standard format," said Fannie president and CEO Michael Williams in a statement. Write to Diana Golobay. Disclosure: the author holds no relevant investments.