|2. Direction of Inquiries
|3. Information Control Procedures
|4. Guidelines for Specific Types of Inquiry
9-A. Log Form ("BITS")
9-B. Web Site
9-C. Federal Register Announcement
Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. April. May June | | | | | | | | | --------------------------------------------- | Information Control | ----------------------------- (1/1-5/15)
Controlling the information released about the loan sales and the sale assets is critical to the success of the sale. Information that is inaccurate, or that is released prematurely and subsequently changed, threatens the sale. Outside parties rely on the information and face potential losses if the information is wrong. Even accurate information can harm the sale if it is released inappropriately or without full explanation.
Because of these concerns, a process has been established to insure that all parties who have access to information about the sale understand fully the information control process; that inquiries are directed to the appropriate parties; and that responsible parties understand fully what information may be released and under which circumstances.
This chapter serves as a guide to the information control process. A training session is held to inform the appropriate parties throughout HUD and the CT of the information control process. Written notices are circulated as appropriate to update the process and to provide needed clarification.
2. DIRECTION OF INQUIRIES
The diagram below illustrates how inquiries were directed for FHA Single Family Mortgage Loan Sale #2, regardless of who received the inquiry:
|Jim Ladd, Henry Fan, Cyle Joseph, Ron Slusser, George Walker, Rick Wolfe
|Joe McCloskey, Bill Richbourg, Jim Ladd, Ron Hughes
|Press and Media
|Carol Steinbach, Jim Ladd
|HUD HQ/Field Offices
|Joe McCloskey, Mary Lou Hinchey
|Kevin McMahan, Jim Ladd, Emelda Johnson, Kathy Rock, Helen Dunlap
FHA Single Family Mortgage Loan Sale #2 drew significant market attention due to an aggressive effort to create a retail market for nonperforming single family loans.
The CT established a phone bank headed by the marketing staff whose role is primarily to deal with potential investors. This staff is trained in how to log investor calls, how to add investors to a database to insure that they receive information on the sale and the bid process, and how to answer their specific questions regarding assets in the sale and the bid process. It is important that all investor inquiries be directed to the CT's marketing team so that all interested parties are included in the investor database and given the opportunity to bid. This helps insure the full participation of a broad range of investors in a competitive auction.
At a time when the market for vendors such as imaging, BPO, and credit report providers has become extremely competitive because of oversupply, the size of FHA Single Family Mortgage Loan Sale #2 and subsequent sales has resulted in significant interest on the part of potential contractors. The CT has developed a plan for contracting for additional services. This plan has been designed to bring needed services to the project, in compliance with agreed upon objectives and guidelines.
The CT designates one individual, who is familiar with the agreed upon terms of the contracting plan and also understands the current status of contracting activities, to spearhead this activity. All inquiries should be referred to this individual, so that service providers are given consistent and accurate information concerning the contracting process.
Press and Media
The press and other media exhibited a great deal of interest in FHA Single Family Mortgage Loan Sale #2. The CT designates a person to be responsible for all interaction with the press. This individual is experienced in dealing with the press and is also well informed about all aspects of the sale. Using the other contacts described above as information sources, the individual responsible for press and media relations will be able to respond to inquiries in a consistent manner that promotes the sale and projects a positive image for HUD and the CT.
Because of the risk that sources may be misquoted or published out of context, other parties involved in the sale are required to refer all press and media inquiries to the individual responsible for this function.
HUD Headquarters and Field Offices
Inquiries internal to HUD are generally answered within HUD. The GTR responsible for the financial advisory services contract under which the sale is being managed has a full understanding of the terms of the sale and the current status of all aspects of the sale. This individual is also thoroughly knowledgeable in HUD operations and policy. With support from the CT in instances where additional or more specific information is required, the GTR is well positioned to respond to inquiries from within HUD.
Congressional, Policy, and Other Inquiries
Congressional and other inquiries regarding HUD policy and the loan sale could have serious implications for the sale. It is therefore important that all such inquiries be immediately referred to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Housing or the designated member of the CT. Either of these individuals can notify other members of HUD or the CT of the need for their support or involvement, and insure the appropriate response to the inquiry.
3. INFORMATION CONTROL PROCEDURES
The following sections describe the general procedures that must be followed by all members of the CT or HUD who are responsible for responding to inquiries. These individuals are responsible for insuring that anyone assisting them in this function is adequately informed of the procedures and for supervising them.
CT staff who interact with third parties are trained to log all inquiries and responses. A log form is provided (see Exhibit 9-A). The call log provides a clear record of the information that has been provided to outside parties, should any controversy arise about this. It provides a means of reviewing what has been said for consistency and accuracy, enabling better responsiveness in the future. The call log also enables the staff to record information that can be added to databases, such as the investor and subcontractor databases.
As depicted in Exhibit 9-A, the call log includes information about the caller and what the caller requested. It also tracks follow up, if appropriate. Call logs are kept on file and reviewed periodically by the appropriate CT staff to improve the content of published information, to modify processes, and to gauge market interest in the sale.
Certain information has been prepared for public circulation, in anticipation of questions concerning the sale. Anyone with requests for additional information to be included in these documents, or with requests to receive the documents, should contact the CT's marketing staff.
General Information Package. The information package (see Exhibit 6-F. of printed document) describes FHA's mortgage loan sales program. It provides interested parties with information regarding the assets in FHA's portfolio and FHA's plans for disposition of those assets. It also provides contact points should further information be desired. The information package is published and maintained by the CT's marketing staff. After an initial distribution that encompasses investors, borrowers, HUD personnel, and contractors, the information is updated quarterly and circulated to interested parties. The information package is also available on the Internet.
FHA Loan Sale Information Center Website. A website has been prepared that provides detailed information on the FHA loan sales and provides a means for interested parties to submit questions (Exhibit 9-B). The CT's marketing and press relations staff maintains the website to ensure that current information is provided on a regular basis. The website address is: http://18.104.22.168/fha/WELCOME.HTM
Federal Register Announcement. The CT provides a Federal Register announcement (Exhibit 9-C) to HUD approximately four months prior to the sale. This announcement summarizes the terms of the sale including borrower settlement policy and the bid process. This announcement serves as public notice of the terms of the sale.
Confidentiality of Nonpublic Information
Every member of the CT is trained in the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of nonpublic information. Details of the loan sale cannot be disclosed prematurely, because of the risk that the details will change later or because such release could give certain parties an unfair advantage. Additionally, members of the CT and its contractors have access to confidential borrower and other information that cannot be disclosed to the public.
All members of the CT and its contractors sign a confidentiality agreement forbidding them to disclose nonpublic information. The project leaders representing the CT and the contractors insure that confidentiality agreements are obtained for every additional team member joining the project. Additionally, the quality control team provides periodic reviews and interviews to detect any breaches in confidentiality.
Those members of the CT who have direct contact with outside parties receive training in what information is appropriate to disclose. A protective attitude must be adopted by the CT where nonpublic information on sale policy or the assets in the sale are concerned.
Notification of Litigation or Potential Roadblocks in the Sale
Any threat of litigation, congressional involvement, or other action that could jeopardize the sale or the timing of the sale requires immediate attention and must be brought immediately to the attention of the CT who notifies HUD. All such threats or actions must be documented in writing (hard copy or electronic mail) and forwarded to the appropriate CT contact identified in the diagram in the first section of this chapter.
4. GUIDELINES FOR SPECIFIC TYPES OF INQUIRY
In addition to the general guidelines outlined in the preceding sections, specific guidelines are provided below for certain types of inquiry.
Loan Sale Information
Many inquiries relate to the loan sale itself. Calls concerning the timing, terms, and assets of the sale and related matters are likely. The information that can be released pertaining to the loan sale consists of:
No information concerning timing or terms of the sale can be released until finalized and approved by HUD and the CT. Upon finalization, all such information is added to the next release of the Q&A, information package and bulletin board, at which time it can be provided verbally to callers.
HUD Field Offices and Headquarters
HUD field offices and headquarters personnel are given full information about the loan sale.
Vendor Requests to Provide Services
Service providers generally seek to be included in any invitations to provide services. All such providers are added to a database for current or future invitations to provide service. Once an invitation to propose or provide a service has been initiated, however, it is important that the rules for that invitation be strictly followed. This means that any vendors not included in an invitation to propose may not be added after the closing period unless a specific circumstance warrants such action.
Service providers may be informed of the terms for proposing or qualifying to provide services, and the timing for proposing or providing the services, but only if these are known and documented. Otherwise, they are advised that a determination has not yet been made.
Once proposals have been accepted or contracts awarded, any contractor who asks about details of the winning offeror, or the criteria for selecting the winner, is informed that this is not public information. All contracts awarded by the CT are private contracts, not subject to government contracting regulations, and should be treated as private matters by any party receiving an inquiry.
Congressional inquiries demand immediate attention at the highest level within the CT and HUD. Any information released pursuant to a congressional inquiry is only made on the advice of the appropriate CT or HUD representative.
Exhibit 9-A. Log Form ("BITS")
Exhibit 9-B. Web Site
Exhibit 9-C. Federal Register Announcement