Exploring the iLAD Specification

September 12, 2019

This is the second in a series of articles about the new Industry Loan Application Dataset (iLAD) specification released by MISMO® (Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization). This article looks into the details of the iLAD specification worksheet. The first article was an overview of the iLAD Specification, its purpose and its components and the next article delves into the navigating the iLAD Wrapper / MISMO Schema files.

iLAD Worksheet Highlights

Over my decades of taking on roles as a business data analyst and data integration specialist, I’ve had the opportunity (and misfortune) to work with many specification documents of varying degrees of quality.  The iLAD Specification is at the upper end of the scale - it is very detailed, concise, and precise.  It provides exactly what data analysts and data mappers need without much excess baggage.

The iLAD specification is provided as an Excel file with multiple tabs.  Here are the highlights:

Cover - This tab contains the typical information, but it should be noted that the document’s primary editor is Lynn Calahan. Lynn also led the development of the MISMO HMDA Implementation Toolkit. If you have seen the meticulous detail put into that work product, you will be glad to know that Lynn also led the work on the iLAD specification.

Read Me - I generally either don’t read “Read Me” pages or only refer to them as a last resort.  Because the iLAD Specification is a superset of data from several other specifications, this “Read Me” tab provides a good overview of how the worksheet data is organized and why it was organized that way. 

Source Versioning Information - This tab identifies the version of each source specification for each dataset that makes up the iLAD Specification. As updates are released for each source specification in the future, iLAD will also be updated, so it is important to know which versions are included.  In this initial 1.0.0 version, iLAD is comprised of:

ULAD - Uniform Loan Application Dataset1.72/26/2019
DU - Desktop Underwriter1.75/15/2019
LPA - Loan Product Advisor Request5.0.053/15/2019

Revision History - As updated versions of iLAD are released, this tab identifies what has changed - a big time saver for analysts and developers.

iLAD Specification - If you have spent time with the ULAD, DU, and LPA specifications, you realize that they were created by different teams with different points of view. The ULAD and DU specs are oriented around how the URLA form is laid out, so the same MISMO data elements are sometimes repeated in those specs.  The LPA Request spec is oriented to how the MISMO data file would appear, so sometimes an individual MISMO data element appears in multiple places on the URLA form.  The iLAD specification allows you to view the data from either the form layout or the data layout perspective. 

Diving into the iLAD Specification Worksheet Tab

Column Help Tips - When you click on any of the worksheet column headers, a Help Tip window will pop-up providing a bit of explanation about the column data.

MISMO iLAD Column Help Tips

Optional Sort Columns - The iLAD Specification provides several “Sort” columns, that allow the iLAD specification data to be re-ordered depending on your preference:

  • (B) iLAD XML Sort ID: Ordered as it would appear in an ULAD XML data file.
  • (C) iLAD Business Sort: Ordered based on where the data appears on the URLA Form, followed by additional DU data, then by additional LPA data, and lastly by additional Fannie Mae 3.2 “Flat File” data.
  • (E) ULAD Sort ID: Ordered as it would appear on the URLA form.  Any data not on the URLA form has a value of “NA”.
  • (G) DU Sort ID: Ordered as it appears in the DU specification (which is URLA form order).
  • (I) LPA XML Order Sort ID: Ordered as it appears in the LPA XML data file.

To re-order the specification, click the “Data” tab and then the “Sort” button. From the pop-up window, select which column sort you would like to use and then click “OK”.

MISMO iLAD Column Sorting

Unique ID Columns (A, D, F, H, K) - Each source specification (ULAD, DU, LPA and “Flat File”) provides a unique identifier assigned to each data element.  These columns in the iLAD spec have the same values used in the original source spec, making it easy to locate an iLAD data element in the original source spec. Unique ID values should not change as specifications are updated.

The iLAD Columns (L thru U) - These columns list the MISMO V3.4.0 data point name, definition, XPath, parent container, data type, etc. for each of the data elements included in the iLAD spec.

The Dataset Usage Columns (V, W, X, Y) - The columns of the iLAD spec are particularly useful for implementers of the spec.  Below is a snippet of the worksheet showing the usage of the Loan Identifier Type data values.  The “X” values indicate which dataset specifications contain these Data Point Names and the Enumeration values, either as Required (R), or Conditionally Required (C).  If the element is optional in the source dataset, then it is NOT marked with an “X”.

MISMO iLAD Dataset Usage Columns

The ULAD Columns (AA thru AE) - These columns carry over the ULAD Form Section Name, Field ID, Field Name, etc. from ULAD spec.

The “Flat File” Columns (AG thru AV) - These columns carry over the “Flat File” information from the Fannie Mae DU 3.2 specification.

Identifying “Extension” Data within the iLAD Specification

The majority of the data elements in the iLAD Specification are defined in the MISMO v3.4.0 Data Model. However, each of the source specifications that make up the iLAD Specification contain some data elements that were not in the MISMO v3.4.0 Data Model.  These data elements were added as “Extensions” to the MISMO Data Model using the methodology specified by MISMO for doing so. The sections below show how these “Extensions” are identified within the iLAD Specification.

ULAD Extension Data Elements

Each of the data elements names that have been added to the ULAD spec as “Extensions” to MISMO v3.4.0 will begin with the character prefix - “ULAD:”.  In technical terms this prefix is called a “namespace”.  This just means that data element names that have this prefix “belong to” or were defined by the ULAD specification, not the MISMO specification.

To find these ULAD Extension elements, you can click on the drop-down arrow at the top of column L - (iLAD Data Point Name) and filter the list by names that begin with ULAD:.

 MISMO iLAD Extension Elements

The worksheet will then display only the seventeen (17) ULAD Extension elements.  For example:


DU Extension Data Elements

To display the DU Extension data elements, filter the column by those that begin with “DU:” and the nine (9) DU Extension data elements will be shown.

LPA Extension Data Elements

To display the DU Extension data elements, filter the column by those that begin with “LPA:” and the nine (9) elements will be shown.

iLAD Extension Data Elements

The “iLAD Extension” data elements are actually the Fannie Mae “Flat File” data elements that did not have equivalent values in the MISMO v3.4.0 Data Model.  To display the iLAD Extension data elements, filter the column by those that begin with “ILAD:” and the three (3) elements shown below will be displayed.




What’s in the Next Article

For those involved in developing data mapping specifications or the data translations for exchanging iLAD data files, the next article will be focused on your needs.  This article will cover the XML Schema files included with iLAD, as well as techniques to use if you are generating iLAD data files, and techniques to use if you are importing iLAD data files. 

Written by

Mike Bixby

Mike Bixby

Mike Bixby is the president of Bixby Consulting Inc. which has been providing data integration support to the mortgage industry for over twenty years. Mike was one of the founding members of MISMO and has served on MISMO's Residential Governance Committee, MISMO's Board of Directors and was the Chair of MISMO's Credit Reporting Workgroup from 2000– 2010. Mike is also the Chair of MISMO's Information Management team, which reviews and approves all changes to the MISMO Reference Model, Logical Data Dictionary, Implementation Guides, and other MISMO products. Mike Bixby is also a partner in GridML LLC, which developed the Grid-ML XML Schema Viewer

Grid-ML XML Schema Viewer

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An easy-to-use online tool for viewing, searching, and comparing XML schemas.