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Frequently Asked Questions - LASS System

 
Q1: What are the LASS authorized user roles and what is needed to grant an individual one of these roles?
A1: There are three (3) roles:

  • Lender Submitter - This user completes the lender's LASS reporting package and submits it to both the Independent Public Accountant (IPA) for attestation and to HUD for review and recertification. The lender submitter must be either the lender's Application Coordinator or a Standard User of the FHA Connection. Both of these users are roles within FHA Connection and must be assigned only to employees of the lender. To register as a lender submitter, or as an FHA Connection user, see the "Lender Registration" section of the LASS User Manual.
  • Auditor Data Entry - This user can complete the lender's LASS reporting package, but cannot submit it to the IPA for their attestation or to HUD for review and recertification. The Auditor Data Entry role can only be assigned to an employee of a Certified Public Accountant firm that is independent of the lender. The employee must have an Independent User ID, be assigned the Auditor Data Entry role within the FHA Connection, and be assigned to a specific lender by the lender's FHA Connection Application Coordinator. To register for an Independent User ID, see the "Auditor Registration" section of the LASS User Manual.
  • Independent Public Accountant - This user performs the attestation (agreed-upon-procedures) function on the lender's LASS reporting package. The IPA must be an employee of a CPA firm that is independent of the lender. The IPA must have an Independent User ID, be assigned the IPA role within the FHA Connection, and have a Unique IPA Identifier. To register for an Independent User ID, see the "Auditor Registration" section of the LASS User Manual.
Q2: How does an Application Coordinator authorize a Standard User ID on the FHA Connection as a Lender Submitter and authorize an Independent User ID as either an Auditor Data Entry or Independent Public Accountant?
A2: Please see the "FHA Connection Coordinator Instructions" section of the LASS User Manual for information on how an Application Coordinator sets the roles for Standard and Independent User IDs.
Q3: What is the difference between a Lender Submitter role versus an Auditor Data Entry role?
A3: A Lender Submitter is an employee of the lender and performs the data entry of the financial data template and the data collection form. In addition the Lender Submitter submits the LASS reporting package to the IPA for their attestation and to HUD for review and recertification.

The Auditor Data Entry role can only be assigned to an employee of a Certified Public Accountant firm that is independent of the lender. The Auditor Data Entry role performs the data entry of the financial data template and data collection form. However, the Auditor Data Entry role cannot submit the lender's LASS reporting package to the IPA or to HUD. The Lender Submitter must submit the reporting package to the IPA for their attestation and to HUD for review and recertification. It is not required to have both data entry roles. The Auditor Data Entry employee and the Independent Public Accountant cannot be the same person.
Q4: What is the Independent Public Accountant role?
A4: The Independent Public Accountant (IPA) must be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) employed by an independent CPA firm. The IPA performs the attestation function. The Independent Public Accountant and Auditor Data Entry employee cannot be the same person.
Q5: What is a Unique IPA Identification (UII)?
A5: The UII is a five (5) digit ID for the independent CPA firm as a whole. If the audit firm has previously done work with REAC, they may have a UII already. It is associated with the CPA firm's tax ID number and zip code. If the CPA firm does not have a UII, auditors may apply for a UII on the Secure Systems website after they have been assigned the role of Independent Public Accountant in the LASS system. The UII number will be instantaneously given to the auditor. The auditor should then provide the number to the individual doing the data entry (the Lender Submitter or the Auditor Data Entry employee). The UII is entered on the Data Collection Form (DCF), general information tab, question G2200-009.

For information on how to apply for a UII number, see the "Auditor Registration" section of the LASS User Manual.
Q6: Where do lenders and auditors log on to access LASS?
A6: Lenders always log on via the FHA Connection (https://entp.hud.gov). If you receive an "Unauthorized" message when attempting to log on, please review the LASS User Manual to verify you followed the appropriate steps to register to access the system. If those steps were followed, please refer to the question, "I have received my FHA Connection user ID, but am unable to sign on to the FHA Connection." in the Registration and Sign-on section of the Frequently Asked Questions.

Auditors always log on via the Secure Systems website (http://www.hud.gov/offices/reac/online/reasyst.cfm).
Q7: We are prompted for a username and password when accessing the system. What do we enter for these fields?
A7: Enter your user ID for the username field. For lenders, the user ID starts with the letter "M" and for an auditor it starts with an "I".

For the password, enter the password that was entered on the registration form (either what it was set to when you last changed it, or what it was reset to). Please remember that the password is six characters long, is case sensitive, and must contain at least one numeric caracter.
Q8: Please provide a general overview on how to submit electronically.
A8:
  1. Financial Data Template and Data Collection Form (DCF) are completed by LASS authorized user.
  2. Independent Public Accountant performs attestation function.
  3. Lender submits reporting package to HUD.
  4. Reporting package reviewed by HUD and deemed sufficient: Lender status changes to "Complete".
  5. Reporting package reviewed by HUD and deemed insufficient: Lender is contacted and submits cure(s), if time allows (i.e., cure period has not elapsed). Lender status changes to "Rejected" or "Insufficient Cure". If a submission is late, it is automatically deemed insufficient. If applicable, lender will be permitted to submit cure(s), if time allows.
For a more detailed explanation on completing the lender's LASS reporting package, see the LASS User Manual.
Q9: What lines within the LASS templates are mandatory?
A9: Lines that are mandatory are identified with an asterisk (*).
Q10: What if the mandatory lines are not applicable?
A10: If the mandatory line is not applicable, enter zero (0).
Q11: An error appears when the "Submission Completeness Check" button is clicked. What does this mean?
A11: Follow the error detail(s) to the indicated form(s) and edit data by consulting the hardcopy financial statements and reports. If further guidance is needed, consult your auditor. See question 23.
Q12: How are the footnotes, audit findings (if applicable) and corrective action plans (if applicable) attached to the original submission?
A12: The documents must be saved in Rich Text Format (RTF) in order to be attached to the original submission. Open document, select "Save As" from the "File" menu and select Rich Text Format from the drop-down list. Do not just change the extention on the document to .rtf.
Q13: How is the status of the submission checked?
A13: Lenders log on to the FHA Connection (https://entp.hud.gov/clas) with their user IDs and passwords. Follow the "Single Family FHA" and "Lender Assessment" links to access LASS. Status will be displayed.
Q14: What does each status mean?
A14:
  • Review - Submission was on time and is under review at HUD.
  • Review Cure - Submission was either late or a cure to a deficient submission was submitted and is under review at HUD.
  • Insufficient Cure - Lender needs to address deficiencies in submission and resubmit to HUD. Lenders can review their deficiencies by accessing "Reports" and clicking on "Lender Deficiency Report".
  • Rejected - Lender needs to address reason for rejection.
  • IPA Review - the IPA is performing attestation.
  • IPA Agree - the IPA agreed to the data and it must be submitted to HUD by the lender.
  • IPA Disagree - the IPA disagreed to the data and it must be edited by the lender and resubmitted to the IPA for attestation.
  • Withdrawn - the lender was withdrawn from the LASS system. Contact the LASS analyst by calling HUD at (202) 755-7400. Follow the prompts to connect to the LASS analyst by last name. You can also call the accounting helpline at (202) 755-7400 ext. 100 to be connected to your LASS analyst or e-mail the LASS Security Administrator.
Q15: What needs to be done if the submission status is "Insufficient Cure"?
A15: If the submission is marked insufficient cure, additional information must be submitted to HUD for evaluation. A submission is marked deficient for various reasons and a letter will be sent via certified mail to the lender's address of record outlining the deficiency(ies). (Please note that lenders who did not submit on-time and have received a late letter from HUD will not receive another letter if their submission is deemed insufficient. Lenders should check their status periodically via the LASS inbox.) Lenders can review their deficiencies by accessing "Reports" and clicking on "Lender Deficiency Report". The lender has 30 days from receipt of the letter to submit an acceptable cure through LASS. Unlike the original system, which only accepts RTF files, cures can either be in RTF or JPG. See the "Response to a Deficient Submission" section of the LASS User Manual for detailed step-by-step instruction on how to respond to a deficient submission.
Q16: Who can attach a cure to a deficient submission?
A16: The Lender Submitter Role and the Auditor Data Entry role both have the capability of attaching cures to the deficient submission. However, only the Lender Submitter Role can submit the cures to HUD.
Q17: What could be the problem if the lender cannot successfully attach a cure to the submission?
A17: Make sure the cures are in an acceptable format. They can be either in Rich Text Format (RTF) or JPG.

Cure files that are too large may present problems when you are trying to attach them. As the LASS system provides four cure tabs, divide larger files into four smaller files.
Q18: If the cure requires a scanned document, how are they attached?
A18: Scanned documents can be saved as JPG files and attached to the submission. However, if the scanned document is too large or illegible as a JPG file, it can be saved as a text file and submitted as an RTF file. For example, if using Microsoft Word, first save the JPG file on your computer, open Word, select "Insert" - "Picture" - "From File". Select the JPG file, click on "Insert" and the file is now in Microsoft Word format. The file will then need to be saved as an RTF file and attached to the submission. See the "Response to a Deficient Submission" section of the LASS User Manual for detailed step-by-step instruction on how to respond to a deficient submission.
Q19: What needs to be done if the submission status is "Rejected"?
A19: The submission has been rejected so that the data can be edited. A submission is rejected for various reasons and a letter will be sent via certified mail to the lender's address of record outlining the reasons for rejection. The lender has 30 days from receipt of the letter to correct the submission through LASS. See the "Response to a Rejected Submission" section of the LASS User Manual for detailed step-by-step instruction on how to respond to a rejected submission. (Please note that lenders who did not submit on-time and have received a late letter from HUD will not receive another letter if their submission is deemed insufficient. Lenders should check their status periodically via the LASS inbox.)
Q20: How are passwords reset?
A20: Both lenders and auditors are locked out of their respective systems after three unsuccessful log-in attempts and must have their passwords reset.

Lenders - Passwords for FHA Connection user IDs can be reset by their FHA Application Coordinator, by e-mailing SFADMIN@hud.gov or the LASS Security Administrator, or by calling the Home Ownership Center that covers your state.

Auditors - The Technical Assistance Center (TAC) can reset all auditors' passwords, regardless of which REAC system the auditor is associated. Auditors' passwords can also be reset by e-mailing the LASS Security Administrator.

Auditors are prompted by the system to change their passwords every twenty-one (21) days. If the twenty-one days expire without the password being changed by the auditor, they must get it reset.

Q21: Can additional detail lines be added to the Financial Data Template?
A21: No, it is not possible for a user to add detail lines. Please make sure the Financial Data Template does not already provide a line for the account. Definitions of each line are provided in the Line Item Definition Guide. There is also an icon on each page of the Financial Data Template (FDT) titled "Line Item Definitions", which allows the user to search for line item definitions by line number.

If there are additional detail lines are needed, combine the accounts in the most logical way and indicate in the description each account included. Please do not input "Other" on the detail description line.
Q22: The error message reads that I do not have access to the LASS system - why?
A22: The error message may appear if the FHA Application Coordinator has not granted the user access to the LASS system. The FHA Coordinator must grant rights to users, including themselves, who will be working in the LASS system as either a Lender Submitter, an Auditor Data Entry employee or as the Independent Public Accountant (IPA).

The error message may also appear if the user has been locked out of the system due to unsuccessful login attempts or the expiration of their password. Users will need to have their password reset. Please see question 18 for guidance on resetting passwords.
Q23: Who do I contact if I have technical problems concerning LASS?
A23: Contact the Office of Lender Activities at (202) 755-7400 ext. 163 for LASS system access problems and LASS technical assistance. Questions not related to LASS or recertification should be directed to the Office of Lender Activities at (202) 755-7400 ext. 161.
Q24: I am not able to change the amount on Financial Data Template (FDT) line 403, Loss/Gain, on the Cash Flow Statement; therefore, my cash flow statement is not balancing. How do I correct this?
A24: FDT line 403 is auto-populated from the summation of FDT line 703, 704, 705, 706, 707, 708, 715 and 716 from the Income Statement. These FDT line items are gains or losses reported by the lender. Gain and loss transactions are usually not cash transactions; therefore, the net income is adjusted for gains and losses on the Cash Flow Statement. In order for the Cash Flow Statement to balance, the lender should report the cash portion of the gain and loss transactions in the Operating Activities and/or Investing Activities section, whichever is appropriate.