Selling Guide

Published June 3, 2020

The Selling Guide is organized into parts that reflect how lenders generally categorize various aspects of their business relationship with Fannie Mae. To begin browsing, select from any of the sections below. You may also download the entire Selling Guide in PDF format.

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A3-3-04, Document Custodians (05/01/2019)


This topic provides general information on document custodians, including:


General Requirements

Certain documents related to Fannie Mae loans must be held by a Fannie Mae-approved document custodian. The document custodian is acting on behalf of the seller/servicer and Fannie Mae when certifying loan documents and data at the time of acquisition by Fannie Mae. The roles and responsibilities of the document custodian are described in the Fannie Mae Requirements for Document Custodians guide (RDC Guide).


Selection of a Document Custodian

For whole loans and MBS loans (excluding eNotes), the seller/servicer must use one of Fannie Mae's active document custodians.

For whole loans or MBS loans delivered as eNotes, Fannie Mae is the document custodian but has designated certain third parties to certify eNotes. The seller/servicer must use an approved third party to certify eNotes to Fannie Mae.

Fannie Mae may require a seller/servicer or document custodian to transfer documents to a different document custodian, even if the current custodian satisfies Fannie Mae's requirements.

Refer to Fannie Mae's Active Document Custodians for a complete list of eligible document custodians.


Documentation of the Relationship

The seller must add the document custodian to its profile within the Loan Delivery application. For all mortgage loans, the document custodian will certify the loans through the Document Certification application.

Each custodian arrangement must be evidenced by the execution of a Master Custodial Agreement (Form 2017). Form 2017 covers custodial arrangements for both whole loans and MBS loans. The seller/servicer sends the completed Form 2017 to the document custodian for execution. Upon receipt, the document custodian will send the seller/servicer ancillary documentation for completion. After the documentation and onboarding are complete, Fannie Mae and the document custodian will execute Form 2017. A copy of the fully executed Form 2017 will be returned to the seller/servicer for its records.


Additional Seller/Servicer Obligations Related to Document Custodians

The following table contains additional seller/servicer responsibilities regarding document custodians.

Topic Description
General Responsibilities The seller/servicer is responsible for the safekeeping of Fannie Mae custody documents and for all losses incurred by Fannie Mae because the document custodian it selected failed to perform its fiduciary responsibilities. Fannie Mae may also require the document custodian to make Fannie Mae whole if the document custodian breaches its fiduciary obligations to Fannie Mae.
Seller/Servicer’s Compensation of the Document Custodian The seller/servicer must pay all fees and charges of the document custodian. Fannie Mae is under no obligation to pay compensation to the document custodian.

A seller/servicer must establish appropriate methods for monitoring the financial viability and operational capabilities of any document custodian it uses, which include, at a minimum:

  • an annual review of information about the document custodian’s internal audits, and

  • a quarterly review of the document custodian’s financial rating (or its parent’s or subsidiary’s ratings if the custodian is not a regulated institution).

Should the financial rating fall below the minimum criteria, the seller or servicer must immediately notify their Fannie Mae Servicing Consultant and send an email notification to Fannie Mae's Custodian Oversight and Monitoring department (see E-1-03, List of Contacts). Fannie Mae will determine whether it will allow the documents to remain with the current document custodian or require them to be transferred to an acceptable document custodian.

Providing Loan Information The servicer must provide to the document custodian an electronic list that identifies, by Fannie Mae loan number, the loans serviced by the servicer for which the document custodian holds custodial documents within 30 days of such a request from the document custodian.

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