FHA amends identifier requirement for lenders, other entities seeking government business

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) this week published a mortgagee letter (ML) amending a 2022 requirement for mortgage lenders, and anyone seeking to do business with FHA, to obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) in order to be eligible for such business.

In ML 2024-09, the agency’s UEI policy for FHA-approved lenders has been updated to streamline reporting requirements from a policy established in the summer of 2022 and implemented by the end of that year.

“In August 2022, FHA implemented a UEI policy that required those doing or seeking to do business with the federal government, to register for, obtain, and maintain a UEI number in the General Services Administration’s (GSA) System for Award Management (SAM.gov),” the notice reads. “FHA is implementing this government-wide requirement at the direction of the GSA.”

The GSA is a wing of the U.S. government that is designed to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. In ML 2022-14, the original guidance described the need for a UEI as an important compliance measure.

“An active SAM.gov registration and UEI is vital to HUD’s compliance with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, as amended by the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 which require[s] federal agencies to report data about federal awards and which are tracked using the UEI,” the 2022 Mortgagee Letter explained.

ML 2024-09 “amends FHA’s eligibility requirements to remove the home office geographic address from data that must be the same in both the Lender Electronic Assessment Portal (LEAP) and SAM.gov,” FHA explained. “This change will streamline data reporting and support lender compliance by reducing potential contradictory information between the LEAP and SAM.gov platforms.”

The new provisions impact all FHA-approved lenders and any other entity — such as mortgage underwriters, appraisers, housing counselors and real estate brokers — seeking to do business with the FHA. The rule is effective immediately.

All lenders and entities covered by the policy must review their SAM.gov registration every year and maintain an active registration in the database on the website.