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UAD and Residential Softwares
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9/8/2011 at 8:27:14 PM GMT
Posts: 83
UAD and Residential Softwares
After the last few days, I am extremely grateful I have managed to diversify my appraisal practice, based on the straightjacket my residential appraisal software program has suddenly become.

For those of you who know me well, you know that I frequently ask "Why?" When I've asked that of the software tech support staff I've been told that's because this is the way the GSEs want it. They do not want extensive narrative addenda (despite what is stated in the FAQ, apparently, where, if you don't like the way you are to fill in the blanks, you are told to use the addendum); only in exceptional circumstances should an appraiser need to expand narrative comments beyond the cells on the 1004 form. 

That may work in some markets, but it certainly doesn't in mine - it's not just the diversity of housing itself, but the economic climate and specific submarkets, which cannot be explained in 2 or 3 lines on page 1. Even if I use microscopic font sizes I cannot get everything into the cells on the forms!

I have major concerns about the potential number of potentially misleading residential mortgage lending appraisal reports that may be generated in the next few weeks/months, if appraisers who are trying to meet deadlines become frustrated in the additional time it takes to include the UAD specific comments and neglect to provide adequate data, analyses and reconciliations.

We've had comments about a lack of use of this forum, so here's your opportunity:

What software are you using? How much of a hassle it been to incorporate UAD requirements into your reports? Ignoring the learning curve, how much more time does it take for the extra keystrokes? Do you have any additional "restrictions" on what you can enter into fields or what addenda you can use as part of your software? Or, address other issues, too, if you'd like.

I'd like to focus on implementing the UAD, in a professional manner, rather than griping about the existence of the UAD. We can start a different thread on the potential impact this will have on residential appraisers in the future.


9/8/2011 at 10:23:03 PM GMT
Posts: 297

After looking over the information from Fannie and listening to their speaker at the luncheon meeting at our conference I came to the conclusion UAD was a pain but I could deal with it. (ok I resigned myself to the fact I had no choice)

Oh my gosh! Then I tried using my ACI software. It is my personal opinion that there has been a major miscommunication between the GSEs and ACI. Based on what the guy from Fannie stated at the luncheon at the conference and what I have read they want us to explain. Tech support at ACI operating under a misconception is restricting our ability to do an adequate report. I do not know but I have heard this is not a problem with other software. Currently I am not fighting the UAD as much as I am fighting my software.  I have a chart showing the fields and what they want.  This is ridiculous. My gosh even in the area shown on the form stating describe the condition of the property which has 4.5 lines this program will only allow the C3, kitchen. bath updated or whatever you chose and nothing else. The only way in my opinion I can do an adequate job using the ACI program and their definition of the UAD is to write the appraisal on the regular 1004 form, put in my comments as I always do then convert to the UAD. This puts their C3 etc comments first in the fields but when I tried it yesterday it did leave my comments in place. it did have a few little glitches, and  I had to go over the converted report carefully but I liked it better than what I was being forced to do starting the report on their definition of the UAD.

Is anyone having these problems with other software? I got so frustrated that when the sales person from ala mode called I said send me a demo. They sent it right away and I plan to try it out this weekend. This is from an appraiser who has used ACI since it was the DOS version.

9/9/2011 at 9:23:20 PM GMT
Posts: 7

We've had several UAD classes in our area and I'm receiving emails for help regularly.  It appears that the change is creating similar problems for everyone.  I use WinTotal and have had no software problems - it's just the brain that is slow to wrap around all this stuff at one time.  There likely will be many reports which have questionable credibility as a result.  I don't believe there was ever an intention that we minimize remarks that are necessary to convey the message. 


For those who are having software issues, alamode will help you out for free for 100 days.  Most alamode users who have current support contracts received the email message which is being posted here on Labor Day.  I believe they are sincere in wanting to help, and they are hoping to get new customers when the dust settles, but use their resources if you need them.  I don't know if they are limited this only to ACI users, but would bet they're open for anyone.


Also, Fannie Mae's UAD page,, has an interactive reference manual which walks you through every field that is affected by UAD.  There is also a tutorial there for those who haven't had UAD training, need Fannie's perspective on it, or need a quick answer.


A la mode's letter (with many line breaks removed) : 

We need your help as a customer of ours – and your colleagues do too. We’re hearing a lot about ACI users who are stuck on UAD because of crashes and problems with ACI’s UAD updates. Many of them mention that they spoke to a la mode users they knew, and could tell there was a huge difference in how well it’s working in TOTAL 2011 and WinTOTAL. However, there seems to be confusion as to what they would have to spend to switch, what that would entail, and how quickly they could do it. You can help by reaching out to them with these facts. They’re your friends. You know them. We don’t. Please forward this email to them. Here’s the quick scoop: Any ACI user can download TOTAL 2011 at no charge whatsoever using the special "UAD Rescue” page at The TOTAL 2011 copy they get is a 100 day free trial; they’re obligated to nothing by using it. It just gets them up and running now, with UAD. They can delete it later, though we of course hope they stay with us. We created that page originally for AMCs and lenders who need to get large numbers of ACI users rescued quickly, so in the "AMC Code” field, they can just type "LABORDAY”. They can learn an awful lot about our UAD solutions, and be trained on UAD in general, at There are training videos, webinars, help documents, and downloads all on one convenient page. Thanks for passing this on. It’s to everyone’s benefit. Also, don’t forget that we’re fully staffed today. (We snapped the picture below this morning.) If you have any questions that warrant a phone call, we’d highly recommend doing it today instead of later this week. We expect the coming week to be crazy. Remember to use the same link we posted above ( for getting trained on the UAD concepts and rules overall, and on how to use our UAD features. As always, thanks for the business, and thanks for passing this on.
Dustin Moore
President, Real Estate Solutions Division
a la mode


Hope this info helps someone out there!






9/10/2011 at 4:50:25 AM GMT
Posts: 297

Thanks Pam

If nothing else these people really understand marketing. I signed up to to the free download, I have not even done it yet. This was my plan for a wonderful weekend :-( They have already sent an email asking if I need any help.

9/13/2011 at 2:03:16 AM GMT
Posts: 297

Well yesterday I discovered I could not do the mismo thing. Today I called ACI sales and they informed me that a few years ago I dropped the web service portion of my contract. They probably billed me on one of those days when I said I will NEVER work for an AMC again so why would I need it.  Obviously I have not missed it because I did not know I no longer had it. For only $150.00 I could get this back. :-(  I told them that I did not need it at this point was just trying to keep up to date and if I felt a need for it I would call back.

Just as I was feeling like ACI had no loyalty to their customers and it seemed ala mode was the way to go I got a call from George Opelka at ACI. What could he do to help me, what are my concerns?  He said they are listening, they value their customers, the = in the sales comparison area will be back, they are working on the ability to turn on and off the required fields in the UAD report, they have an update that will make the program more stable. 


9/22/2011 at 5:10:24 PM GMT
Posts: 19


Now that I have completed a few of these new beasts of a report, I can honestly say how thankful I am that the majority of my business is commercial work. That being said, at a minimum, this is a bit frustrating. I don't believe Fannie and Freddie are going to get the results they expected - but I am looking at this from the eyes of an appraiser, who knows how they view it. But, I do have one thing over Fannie Mae - I make money - they don't ;-)

So - are you preparing for it to start snowig sideways up in your neck of the woods?


9/23/2011 at 5:05:16 AM GMT
Posts: 297

Beth: Love your "I make money" comment.

I confess, I have not done a UAD report for a client. I am just grumpy, even with the additional work involved they are still quoting really low  (in my opinion)  fees.  The world is upside down. I get my full fee for a manufactued home report in my area and the 1004C is not part of the UAD.  Just trying to keep up I have done a couple of test reports and it appears that after the latest update ACI is working properly. I spoke with a friend today who does quite a bit of AMC work and although he said it is taking about twice as long to do what he previously considered a fairly simple report his ACI is now working when he sends it to a client. 


9/27/2011 at 3:15:27 AM GMT
Posts: 19
Carol - I think all the software has some issues - we will get through it eventually. I think ACI users had the most issues - but that could be propaganda put out by other software companies. Regardless, capitalize on your strengths - let the rest go - and keep on keep'n on.

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