Selling Guide

Published August 29, 2017

General Income Documentation Requirements

DU indicates the minimum income verification documentation required to process a loan application. This level of documentation may not be adequate for every borrower and every situation. The lender must determine whether additional documentation is warranted. If the lender is unable to determine the stability of the borrower’s income on the basis of the available documentation, the income must be removed and the loan resubmitted to DU.

The standards for employment documentation are the same for DU loan casefiles as they are for manually underwritten loans. For example, paystubs, W-2s, and tax returns must meet the same requirements without regard to the underwriting method. The following information describes DU considerations for specific types of income. For additional information, see B1-1-03, Allowable Age of Credit Documents and Federal Income Tax Returns, and Section B3–3.1, Employment and Other Sources of Income.

Note: Only actual employer information should be entered in Section IV. For example, do not enter “retired” or “homemaker” as the borrower’s current employer.

Reduced Income Documentation Requirements for DU Refi Plus

DU offers a reduced level of income documentation for DU Refi Plus mortgage loans. Refer to B5-5.2-02, DU Refi Plus and Refi Plus Underwriting Considerations, for additional information.

Alternative Documentation Requirements for Income Validated by the DU Validation Service

When a component of the loan file is validated by the DU validation service, DU will issue a message indicating the required documentation. This documentation requirement may differ from those described below. See B3-2-02, DU Validation Service.

Base Pay (Salary or Hourly) Income

DU will require the following:

  • a completed Request for Verification of Employment (Form 1005), or

  • the borrower's recent paystub and IRS W-2 forms covering the most recent one-year period.

Bonus and Overtime Income

DU will require the following:

  • a completed Form 1005, or

  • the borrower's recent paystub and IRS W-2 forms covering the most recent two-year period.

Commission Income

DU will require the following documentation based on the percentage of commission income to the borrower's total annual employment income:

  • Commission income less than 25% of borrower’s total annual employment income:

    • a completed Form 1005, or

    • the borrower's recent paystub and IRS W-2 forms covering the most recent two-year period.

  • Commission income equal to or greater than 25% of borrower’s total annual employment income:

    • a completed Form 1005 or the borrower's recent paystub and IRS W-2 forms covering the most recent two-year period; and

    • copies of the borrower's signed federal income tax returns covering the most recent two-year period.

Secondary Employment Income (Second Job and Multiple Jobs)

When the second job income is not from self-employment, DU will require the borrower's recent paystub and IRS W-2 forms covering the most recent two-year period.

Note: The income from any second or multiple jobs must be included in the Base Income field in Section V.

Self-Employment Income

For DU loan casefiles where two years of the most recent signed personal and two years of the most recent signed business federal income tax returns are required, business tax returns do not have to be provided unless the business is a corporation, an S corporation, a limited liability company, or a partnership. Under certain conditions, the requirements for business tax returns may be waived.

For certain loan casefiles, DU will issue a message permitting only one year of personal and business tax returns, provided lenders document the income by

  • obtaining signed individual and business federal income tax returns for the most recent year,

  • confirming the tax returns reflect at least 12 months of self-employment income, and

  • completing Fannie Mae’s Cash Flow Analysis (Form 1084) or any other type of cash flow analysis form that applies the same principles.

Refer to B3-3.2-01, Underwriting Factors and Documentation for a Self-Employed Borrower for additional information about waiving the business return requirement and for required forms and calculations. A copy of the written analysis must be included in the permanent loan file.

Note: The net income from self-employment should be entered in the Base Income field in Section V. The lender should answer “Yes” in the self-employment indicator.

Verbal Verification of Employment

A verbal VOE is required for each employer. For requirements regarding verbal VOEs, see B3-3.1-07, Verbal Verification of Employment.

Other/Non-Employment Income

Other/non-employment income must be entered as “Other Income” in Section V. The other income types available in DU are listed below. Income types not in the Other Income List must be entered as “Other Types of Income” (for example, housing or parsonage income).

Refer to B3-3.1-09, Other Sources of Income, B3-3.1-05, Secondary Employment Income (Second Job and Multiple Jobs) and Seasonal Income, and B5-6-03, HomeReady Mortgage Underwriting Methods and Requirements, for information on how to verify these sources of income:

  • accessory unit

  • alimony or child support

  • automobile/expense account

  • boarder income

  • capital gains

  • dividends/interest

  • employment-related assets

  • foreign income

  • foster-care

  • housing choice voucher program (Section 8)

  • military base pay, clothes allowance, combat pay, flight pay, hazard pay, overseas pay, prop pay, quarters allowance, rations allowance, variable housing allowance. (All military income can be combined and entered as Base Income in Section V for conventional loans.)

  • mortgage credit certificates

  • mortgage differential payments income

  • non-borrower household income

  • notes receivable and installment debt

  • other types of income

  • pension and retirement income

  • royalty payment

  • seasonal income

  • Schedule K-1

  • Social Security disability income

  • temporary leave (see data entry instructions below)

  • tip income

  • trust income

  • unemployment and public assistance income

  • VA benefits (non-education)

Temporary Leave Income

When income from temporary leave is being used to qualify for the mortgage loan, the lender must enter the appropriate qualifying income amount into DU based on the requirements provided in B3-3.1-09, Other Sources of Income.

  • If the borrower will return to work as of the first mortgage payment date, the lender can consider the borrower's regular employment income in qualifying and must enter the income into DU using the applicable income type.

  • If the borrower will not return to work as of the first mortgage payment date, but is able to qualify using the lesser of the borrower's temporary leave income (if any) or regular employment income, that “lesser of” income amount must be entered into DU. Entry of the income into DU depends on what was derived as the “lesser of” amount:

    • When the borrower's temporary leave income is used, enter the income amount into DU as an Other Monthly Income amount of “Temporary Leave.”

    • When the borrower's regular employment income is used, enter the income amount in DU using the applicable income type.

  • If the borrower's temporary leave income is less than the regular employment income and the lender is able to “supplement” the temporary income with available liquid reserves (per B3-3.1-09, Other Sources of Income), the following must be applied:

    • The lender must enter the combined temporary leave income and supplemental income from reserves in DU as an Other Monthly Income amount of “Temporary Leave.” The combination of these two incomes may not exceed the borrower's regular monthly employment income.

    • As DU is not able to determine that supplemental income is being used, nor is it able to determine the amount of reserves used to supplement the temporary income, the lender must manually reduce the amount of the borrower's total liquid assets by the amount of reserves used to supplement the temporary income (in order to avoid the reserves being used for both income and assets).

Nontaxable Income

DU does not provide any unique messaging identifying the use of adjusted gross income.

See B3-3.1-01, General Income Information (7/25/2017), for guidance on how to calculate adjusted gross income for nontaxable income. This topic also defines the requirements that nontaxable income must meet to be considered for qualifying purposes in DU. If these requirements are not met, the borrower’s income must be adjusted downward.

Note: Certain loan origination systems offer an automatic calculation of adjusted gross income when nontaxable income types are entered in the loan application.

Related Announcements

The table below provides references to the Announcements and Release Notes that have been issued that are related to this topic.

Announcements and Release Notes Issue Date
Announcement SEL-2016–08 October 24, 2016
Announcement SEL-2015–10 September 29, 2015
Announcement SEL-2015–09 August 25, 2015
Announcement SEL-2013–04 May 28, 2013
Announcement SEL-2012–07 August 21, 2012
DU Version 9.0 July 24, 2012
Announcement SEL-2012–04 May 15, 2012
Announcement SEL-2011–13 December 20, 2011
Announcement SEL-2010–16 December 1, 2010
Announcement SEL-2010–13 September 20, 2010
DU Version 8.2 September 20, 2010
Announcement SEL-2010–02 March 2, 2010
Announcement 09–19 June 8, 2009