Occasionally, once a counselor has developed a budget with a client they learn that the client’s income does not support their expenses. How should this be reported in Section 10c (sustainable household budget) on the HUD-9902 form?
Date Published: April 2018
The purpose of developing a budget is to assess a client’s income and expenses and determine any changes a client may need to make in order to achieve an improved bottom line. For example, the budget process may reveal that the client cannot afford their current housing, or that they need to pay off debt or reduce non-critical expenses such as cable bills. The usage of an action plan can provide options to help a client achieve a sustainable budget. Developing a budget in these cases may demonstrate that the client’s finances in their current state are not sustainable. However, as long as the budget provides the client with a clear path to a positive or zero bottom line, HUD would consider it a sustainable household budget that should be reported in Section 10c of the HUD-9902 form.
Similarly, for clients that are unemployed with no income, it may still be possible for the counselor to develop a sustainable household budget with the client. For example, the client may have savings or assets they can tap into, or may be able to obtain a loan or temporary financial assistance to help them through their gap in employment. In that case, the counselor may be able to develop a budget to demonstrate how the client can reduce expenses and achieve a zero bottom line long enough for them to regain employment. Again, as long as the budget provides the client with a clear path to a positive or zero bottom line, HUD would consider it a sustainable household budget that should be reported in Section 10c of the HUD-9902 form.