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When the Contract Administrator’s Software Can’t Handle a Certification That TRACS Will Accept

What do you do when the Contract Administrator’s (CA’s) software has limitations in processing a particular certification but the site software has complete functionality?   This has been an ongoing issue for many years.  The CA imposes their limitations and expects the site to work around it.  It’s always good to try and work things out, but the site is not obligated (in some cases such as this).  Here is the scenario:  I processed a Move-In certification. The CA caught an error on the SS#, where we mistakenly duplicated two of the family members SSN.  A Move-In correction Certification was processed and submitted.  It has been over a month since the client moved in. Now the CA is telling me my Move-In correction certification is failing due to the fact the original Move-In was never processed and that I must have a fresh Move-In, not a correction. I spoke with the HUD Multifamily Help Desk and they told me that they would accept the transaction with a TRACS discrepancy error message of CE251 “No matching certification found for correction submitted, TRACS stored the certification, no action required”.

It all boils down to this…right now TRACS 202C is in force.  According to the 202C MAT Guide it states in section 4.22.1 that: “Both the Site and CA software must be compatible with TRACS. If CA software cannot accept or correctly process a legal transaction that TRACS accepts, the problem is one for the CA to resolve. The record must not be rejected and the site must be paid if there are no other problems with the transaction. This is not to say that a CA may not refuse to pay on a certification that TRACS accepts but rather that CA software limitations may not dictate what is paid and what is not paid”.

Because some CA’s were asking for original certs (not corrections) clarification was also added to the TRACS 202D specifications: CA’s must accept (as does TRACS) a full or partial certification marked as a correction even in cases where the CA does not have a corresponding original certification (not marked as a correction). TRACS will return a message saying that a correction was recorded even though the original certification was not found–CE251. This is acceptable and does not need to be addressed by the owner/agent even though the discrepancy is displayed on the Certifications with Discrepancies errors.

If the CA’s software can’t handle a certification that TRACS will accept, it remains the issue of the CA to resolve with their software vendor.

Property managers constantly get caught between the CA and their software vendor. If the site software is in compliance with the TRACS business rules, and the CA software is not, the Contract Administrator may want to invest in a new CA compliant software application.  The MAT User Guide is the prevailing business rules that all affordable housing software must conform to.

In this case, the software vendor was able to submit a valid transmission and shouldn’t be denied due to the CA’s software being unable to handle the transaction. Having to spend time manually creating the MAT records takes more time, time that is not always available at the site.  To learn more about TRACS 202D, register here:  http://www.ahtcsonline.com/regform.php

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