Escrow Resource Guide


This resource guide provides a review of the tools, tips, and guidance to support multifamily property owners and staff in planning, managing, and accounting for escrow savings generated by participants in the FSS program.

Resource types includes:

  • Primers
  • Tools
  • Trouble Shooting Guidance/Preparation
  • Examples
  • HUD Rules and Presentations

Note: All multifamily FSS resources created in this series are available at huduser.gov.

1. Multifamily FSS Resources: Primers

A. Multifamily FSS Escrow Accounting and Reporting Basics

Good for: Planning and Setup; Enrollment and Program Start; Ongoing Processes; Escrow Challenges and Considerations

This document describes the basic requirements, key considerations, and best practices for:

  1. Calculating and recording escrow
  2. Tracking FSS financial data (enrollment, escrow, and billing)
    1. Data multifamily FSS programs need to track
    2. Property management software packages
  3. Document retention and management Quarterly reporting to HUD

B. OARQ Adjustment Basics

Good for: Planning and Setup; Ongoing Processes; Escrow Challenges and Considerations

This document provides recommendations and examples for:

  1. Posting an FSS OARQ adjustment
  2. Positive OARQ adjustments
  3. Negative OARQ adjustments

2. Multifamily FSS Resources: Tools

A. Multifamily FSS Escrow Credit Worksheet

Good for: Enrollment and Program Start; Ongoing Processes

This Excel worksheet will calculate escrow credit for each household. It is meant to be used for initial calculation and at each recertification. The inputs are information found on the Contract of Participation and the latest form 50059 for the household. The second tab includes an example, filled out form for reference.

B. Enrollment and Escrow Tracker Worksheet

Good for: Enrollment and Program Start; Ongoing Processes

This Excel workbook allows owners to track enrollment and ongoing escrow credits. (Note: you will still have to use the Multifamily FSS Escrow Credit Worksheet to calculate the escrow after each recertification.) This resource will allow owners to track escrow credits by household over time if their property management, accounting, and other systems do not have this capability.

C. Your FSS Escrow Savings Account (a participant-facing FAQ)

Good for: Enrollment and Program Start; Ongoing Processes

This document is designed to help potential, new, and ongoing FSS participants understand the FSS escrow savings account, including how the account works, its potential, and its limitations. This information can also help property staff explain the account to residents or answer questions.

3. Multifamily FSS Resources: Trouble Shooting Guidance/Preparation

A. Common Challenges in FSS Escrow Accounting and How to Avoid Them

Good for: Planning and Setup; Escrow Challenges and Considerations

This document describes common challenges in FSS escrow accounting and strategies for avoiding or addressing them, including:

  1. Accurately tracking households’ escrow balances
  2. Allocating interest to participant households
  3. Submitting timely and accurate OARQ adjustments to HUD
  4. Accounting for FSS escrow accrual by tenants who fail to report their full income as required

4. Multifamily Resources: Examples

A. An FSS Escrow Case Study: Jana Williams

Good for: Planning and Setup; Enrollment and Program Start; Ongoing Processes

Topics covered in this case study include:

  1. Enrolling a participant in FSS
  2. Calculating & tracking escrow credit
  3. Posting a positive OARQ adjustment to the voucher
  4. Posting a negative, retroactive OARQ adjustment to the voucher
  5. Accounting and documentation for escrow credits and OARQ adjustments

5. HUD Guidance and Presentations

A. HUD Notice H-2016-08 (Family Self Sufficiency Program in Multifamily)

  1. Most sections of the Notice have information relevant to FSS escrow administration. Section E (Page 20-26) focuses in particular on the FSS Escrow Account.
  2. Section E covers: establishment of an FSS escrow account, reporting to FSS participants, FSS escrow credit calculation, disbursement of FSS account funds, succession to FSS account (if the head of household leaves), and forfeiture of FSS escrow account funds. (Many of these topics are also touched on in Multifamily FSS Escrow Accounting and Reporting Basics, described above).

B. Complying with Multifamily FSS Program Requirements

HUD PowerPoint presentation, delivered October 2016.

  1. Slides 11-14 focus on the FSS escrow account (establishing the account, billing HUD for escrow funds, and escrow forfeiture (including accounting and adjustments if this occurs)).
  2. Slides 15-16 focus on quarterly reporting to HUD, including the relationship between OARQ adjustments records and quarterly reporting and what information HUD will compare and verify in the report.

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