A crucial handbook that provides general guidance for tasks associated with the Department of Housing and Urban Development involvement in multifamily projects will be revised by October.
The book of policies and procedures, titled HUD Handbook 4350.1, hasn’t been updated since 1992.
Loan management multifamily officers use it in carrying out asset management and loan servicing in helping owners and managing agents maintain projects in good physical and financial condition.
“The hope is that I can have that on (Acting Federal Housing Administration Director) Carol Galante’s accomplishment list by October,” said Mark Van Kirk, director of HUD’s Office of Asset Management. “I know that’s aggressive, but we’ve disseminated the risk. It’s not that hard. We can do this.”
Deborah Martin, vice president at Greystone Servicing Corporation, told Van Kirk "that’s been one of our big issues for years. I’m very pleased that you are taking the bull by the horns and charging forward and tasking your staff with getting that done. I think that is one of the key pieces to help us transition a lot of the asset management functions to the lenders."
Van Kirk made the declaration Monday at the Mortgage Bankers Association commercial/multifamily servicing and technology conference in Dallas. “That’s the standard operating procedure that you’re supposed to use," he said. "How do you expect to be effective when it’s that dated? We are taking that on immediately.”
Van Kirk said the update probably won’t be finalized by October, “but if we can get to at least a working draft to work from, that’s where we want to go. If we make it by December, that would still be a good accomplishment. But I’m telling everybody by October.”
The handbook focuses on the HUD/mortgagor/managing agent relationship. Van Kirk and his staff are moving forward.
“It’s in everybody’s best interest. Nobody loses in that,” he said. “The individuals get fulfillment, reward and a knowledge base that they work with. The lenders and borrowers get better information. Everybody along the food chain gets complimented by having subject matter experts. It has to be done. It needs to be done.
Van Kirk became director of the office in March, making him responsible for the oversight of multifamily project assets after the development phase, the development of policy and the oversight of field office asset management operations.
Before joining the HUD Multifamily leadership team in March, Van Kirk was the chief operating officer of Pillar Multifamily, a Fannie Mae lender. He also served with Fannie Mae for nearly ten years in the multifamily division focused on multifamily credit, asset and portfolio management.