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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A3-3-05, Custody of Mortgage Documents (05/01/2019)


This topic contains information on the custody of mortgage documents, including:

Overview of Custodian Documents

Custodial documents are the legal mortgage documents an approved document custodian takes into physical custody when Fannie Mae purchases or securitizes a loan. The following documents are key custodial documents for whole loans and MBS loans. All other documents may be held in the individual loan file maintained by the seller/servicer.

Type of Document
Original note and note addenda
Other documents needed for certification of whole loans or certification for inclusion in an MBS such as
  • powers of attorney, and

  • interest rate buydown agreements

For mortgages not registered in MERS, original, unrecorded assignments of the mortgages to Fannie Mae (or corresponding documents for co-op share loans, if applicable)

See E-2-01, Required Custodial Documents for additional documentation requirements.

Release of Custodial Documents

The document custodian must not release custodial documents for either whole loans or MBS loans unless it receives a written request (including in electronic form) containing substantially the same information as required by Request for Release/Return of Documents (Form 2009).

Transfer and Recertification of Custodial Documents

The servicer of any Fannie Mae loan may transfer related custodial documents to any document custodian with which it has executed a Master Custodial Agreement (Form 2017). The servicer must send a request to Fannie Mae’s Custodian Oversight team and include the name of the transferor and transferee custodians and the list of loans requested for transfer (see E-1-03, List of Contacts). Fannie Mae will provide approval for the transfer, which the servicer will be responsible for providing to the transferee and transferor document custodians. The servicer must make appropriate arrangements for the safe transfer of the custodial documents to the new custodian’s facilities and for the payment of all costs related to the transfer.

Recertification of custodial documents is required when there is a transfer of

  • documents by the existing servicer to a new document custodian, or

  • servicing (whether or not there is a change in document custodian).

If a transferee servicer does not want to use the same document custodian that has been holding custodial documents for loans included in a servicing transfer, it must inform Fannie Mae of the change in document custodian arrangements when it sends the Request for Approval of Servicing or Subservicing Transfer (Form 629). The transferee servicer should not submit a custodial agreement executed by the new document custodian(s) until after it receives notification that the servicing transfer has been approved.

The transferor servicer must provide the existing document custodian and the new document custodian with a data file that provides certain loan-level information for each loan for which custodial documents are being transferred. The servicer must include the documentation in a separate loan file for each loan being transferred. When the servicer sends individual files, it should band (or box) them together with the trial balance to ensure that the new document custodian can associate the documents with what is delivered in each box.

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