Written By: Stacey Sprain, Op-Ed Writer
One of the standard FHA processor responsibilities is obtaining GSA checks on all FHA loans. But what on earth are these things and what do they mean? Let’s take a closer look at these lists.
GSA stands for General Services Administration which is the federal agency that provides the EPLS listing. EPLS stands for Excluded Parties Listing System. The Excluded Parties Listing System (EPLS) is the electronic version of the lists of parties excluded from federal procurement and non-procurement programs which identifies those parties excluded throughout the U.S. Government (unless otherwise noted) from receiving Federal contracts or certain subcontracts and from certain types of Federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits.
EPLS suspensions are imposed for criminal and/or serious HUD program violations which can include use of false documents to originate FHA-insured mortgages, diversion of project assets, embezzlement, theft, forgery, false statements; false claims and bribery. Persons found on the list have been added from such occupations as landlords, loan officers, builders and developers, real estate brokers and agents, management agents, appraisers, inspectors and contractors.
As a processor, your responsibility is to conduct a name search for each borrower, seller, loan originator, real estate broker/agent and appraiser to assure that none of the parties to the FHA transaction are found on the EPLS list.
To conduct GSA checks you will need to follow these steps:
1. Go to http://www.epls.gov/
2. Click on Multiple Names which can be found in the left hand column of the page
3. Enter the name of each borrower, seller, real estate agent, appraiser and loan originator (last name, first name) in the data fields
4. Make sure that Exact Match is the search method selected and click Search
5. Print out each search result screen and add it to the FHA loan file
6. Add comments in section 16 of HUD 92900 Mortgage Credit Analysis Worksheet in your software system to confirm each check has returned no results.
The goal of the search is to receive a message indicating “Your Search Returned No Results.” However, if the search does return a result, you must first determine if the party identified in the result is the actual party associated with the FHA transaction. Often this may require that you complete additional search methods. If after conducting a more specific search you indeed do determine that an individual is the same person associated with the FHA transaction, you would need to contact the federal agency that took the listed action against the party. Agency contact information will be available with a link included with the search result.
You will find helpful search tips athttp://www.epls.gov/epls/jsp/searchHelp.jsp,
Frequently asked questions at http://www.epls.gov/epls/jsp/FAQ.jsp
You’ll find further explanation of Government Debarment and Suspension in Part 24 of Title 24 athttp://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_06/24cfr24_06.html.
Need FHA Training? CLICK HERE: http://www.FHA-Classes.org
About The Author
Stacey Sprain - As an op-ed writer, Ms. Stacey Sprain is currently a NAMP® Certified Ambassador Loan Processor (NAMP®-CALP). With over 15+ years of mortgage banking experience, Stacey is also a Quality Control Manager for a major mortgage lending institution.