A new loan application, also known as a 1003 (ten-o-three), required by the government sponsored enterprises recently left some lenders scratching their heads as they saw questions pertaining to the race of the applicant, as well as questions about how the information was obtained.

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, an act which requires lenders to report certain data in order to ensure fair lending, will begin requiring lenders to gather more information about the race of the applicants. Any lender wishing to use the GSEs to sell the loan into the secondary market must use this form when originating the mortgage.

In August, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced their new Uniform Residential Loan Application that they said will be available starting January 2018.

Now, however, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau moved the date that lenders can use the application up to January 1, 2017, according to an article by Richard Andreano, an attorney with Ballard Spahr.

The CFPB announced that "at any time from January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017…at its option, [lenders may] permit applicants to self-identify using disaggregated ethnic and racial categories as instructed in appendix B to Regulation C, as amended by the 2015 HMDA final rule."

So while reporting ethnicity to HMDA won't become a requirement until 2018, lenders will be allowed to begin collecting the data in 2017.