Below is the training handbook for contractors.
This is the updated version with the new 2012-2013 guidelines.
As a contractor for ARC you will be performing cleanup and repair of foreclosed properties. The point
behind performing this work is to place the property in convey condition so that the property may convey
to HUD. You will often here convey condition also referred to as CC or ICC. Every work order that is
issued to you will be working toward placing the property in CC. You are only to complete the work that
is listed on each work order and to bid all other cc issues that are still needed at the property.
We are a mortgage field service company based in Dallas, Texas. ARC Preservation Services
currently does work in 6 states, (Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi). Mortgage Field Services is the clean up, repair and
maintanance of foreclosed properties. If you become a contractor for ARC, you will receive work orders for properties in your area. You will be paid per
each work order on a job by job basis. Each property falls into one of two categories, either a preservation property or a REO property.
Preservation properties are properties that we are placing in convey condition for the mortgage company so that they may convey to become HUD homes.
Conveyance of these properties falls under many rules and regulations of HUD. We teach each contractor how to handle preservation properties in our hand book.
This usually includes removing all trash and debris from the property, changing the locks on the doors, securing the properties, bi-weekly grass cuts at the
properties, and repair of all damages to the property. The handbook goes over this in more detail once you hired as a contractor.
REO properties are properties that we are making ready for sale by the mortgage company so that they may be put back on the market and up for sale.
For these properties to be put back up for sale each property must made ready to sale. We teach each contractor how to handle REO properties in our hand book.
This usually includes removing all trash and debris from the property, cleaning the inside of these properties, changing the locks on the doors, installing lockboxes,
securing the properties, bi-weekly grass cuts at the properties, and repair of all damages to the property. The handbook goes over this in more detail once you hired as a contractor.
We do not require our contractors to carry insurance though we do suggest it. You do not have to have experience in property preservation work though it is a plus. We do
require that you have a trailer, lawn equipment, air compressor, generator, general hand tools, digital camera, and windows computer with internet access.
Example: You may receive an Initial Secure work order that tells you to change the back door to 35241,
complete the initial grass cut, to winterize the property, and to bid all cc issues.You would complete
the lock change on the back door, winterize the property, and complete the initial grass cut if within
the allowable. You would then bid all other work that is still needed at the property. Everything that you
do at the property must have before and after photos from the same angle to support the work you complete.
At the same time if your work order tells you to bid all cc issues you must take photos of all cc issues
and damages that are being bid on. The clients will not accept a bid without the photos to support the bid.
As you will see below there are certain photos that are required for each item you complete at the property.
Obviously, the first thing that needs to be confirmed is that the property is not occupied. Knock hard
on the door and ring the doorbell every time. Check the electricity as it may be turned on or off, which
can help in your determination.Try to look in the windows to ensure that the property is vacant. If you
cannot visually confirm that the property is vacant, and nobody answers the door, try to talk to a neighbor
and ask if anyone has been living there lately. Usually they will be cooperative and let you know the
occupancy status. If it is confirmed that the property is occupied, either by direct contact, a neighbor
confirmation, or there is a combination of utilities on and a large amount of personals in livable condition
inside, just take a picture of the exterior of the property, address, street sign and report it as occupied.
If there are things such as cars in the driveway or personals presents used to determine occupancy take photos
of those also. You must give detailed reasons why you are reporting as occupied in the comments section of your report.
95% of the properties you are sent to will already be vacant. There are few instances that the owner was
believed to have vacated the property and hasn't. This doesn't happen often, but it will happen, so take caution.
You are never to do work on a property that you or ARC determines to be occupied..
Safety is paramount!
*** At no time are you to discuss ANY information about the property with a third party.*** Do not give
anybody the bank name or what the status of the property is, i.e., that it is a foreclosure property. If they would
like to obtain any information, just direct them to the securing sticker that is displayed on the front of
the property. Do not use the “F” word (foreclosure) when speaking with them. This could get you into an argument or lawsuit.
The only information you may give to a third party, like a nosey neighbor, is that you are out there working on behalf of
the bank/mortgage company. If they insist on speaking with someone you may give them the ARC number to call.
*** You must always keep an eye on your surroundings.*** Neighbors and passers-by have no idea of your intentions
with this property. If they see you entering the property, they might think you are a burglar or vandal and call
the police or local authorities. If they confront you and get belligerent,explain that you are doing work for the
bank/mortgage company. If they escalate their aggressiveness, simply tell them that they can call the police at any
time and you can explain to the authorities the nature of your work. You are to always carry a copy of the work order
to the property. If the police show up for some reason show them your work order and explain you are there on behalf
of the mortgage company. Tell them that you work for ARC and give them Robert's direct number if they request it.
(214)534-4649. You must cooperate with any law enforcement officer that questions you about the nature of your visit.
If you are dressed well, speak to them professionally, and show them your paperwork, all is usually fine.
You are never to get in a confrontation with someone at the property or neighbor, verbal or physical. This can and
will result in your termination and possibly a lawsuit.
If at any point a conflict arises or escalates that you are unconfortable with you are to leave the property and call the office immediately!
Personal property is handled in different ways depending on the client. If you find a home that has personal
property that is set up in an organized fasion to where someone could possibly be living there you are to
consider the property occupied. Immediately exit the property, take a photo of the front of the property, address,
street sign, and leave. If you drill the lock and then find personals inside set up in an organized fasion, you
will need to secure the property back with a lock before leaving, take the required lock change photos, front of
the property, address, street sign, and leave. Some work orders will state not to do any work if there is a certain
dollar amount of personals present. If you receive a work order with these instruction you will follow the rules
outlined above. If you find a property with a few personals inside, that is vacant, and your work order does not give
any restrictions from working on it, you are to bid to remove the personal items in cyds seperate from the debris.
You are NEVER to remove any personal items from a property without permission from the client. This is considered
theft and you will be held liable for such actions with the local police. As long as you use some common sense and
follow therules you will be fine. If you are ever in doubt about what to do in a circumstance please contact the office
and we will advise you on how to proceed.
Below are some of the common abbreviations we will be using durin this training and you need to get to know them.
CC - convey condition
BATF - bid after the fact
WINT - winterization
LOCK CHANGE AND SECURING
Lock work is one of the more simple tasks you will encounter during your securing visit. Lock work provides
authorized access to the property while denying unlawful entry. Authorized access allows groups of professionals
like realtors, appraisers and insurance adjustors, who, in general, are working on behalf of the servicer, to gain
access to the property as needed. Generally this access will be granted in one of three places: the front, and side
and/or rear doors. Read your work order carefully, it will tell you which door to secure and to which key code.
When you have confirmed the property is vacant, you can obtain access a few ways. Whichever method you use,
no damage can be made to the property. If you decide to drill the lock out, take care not to damage to door during
the process. Drilling the lock out takes practice, so take the time to practice before you attempt this on a bank
property. Here is a list of things to try before you resort to drilling out the lock:
1.Try every door and see if they are unlocked. You'd be suprised how many are left unlocked.
2.Check the garage door. These are left open 50% of the time.
3.Windows. You can just crawl through the window if they are unlocked, but take care not to damage screens or sunscreens.
4.Pick locks. Takes practice. Make sure you know all applicable laws about the possession of picking devices as some require a license.
The most widely accepted and common lock work instructs the contractor to change the front door, back door, or all locks.
You must only change the locks that you are told to change on your work order and you must use the correct
5 digit key code. The 3 key codes that ARC will have you use are 35241, 44535, and 67767. Some work orders will request
that you place a lockbox on the door. The 2 most common codes that ARC will use is ARL and OCN. There are a few clients
that will request you use a 4-digit numerical lockbox though these are rare.
SECURING WINDOWS AND OPENINGS
In this section you will learn how to properly secure windows and other openings to HUD specs. Your work order will state
to secure windows and BATF (Bid After The Fact) or it will tell you to bid to secure all windows. Either way all openings
must be secured for the property to be in convey condition. Some clients will ask that the windows be boarded to HUD specs
while the bid to reglaze is waiting to be approved. Windows must be reglazed for a property to be in cc. HUD will no longer
allow us to convey a property with broken windows boarded.
When boarding a window you must board the entire window even if only part of the window is broken. Windows are boarded in
united inches. You must measure the height and width of the entire window in inches and this is the size you must report.
You must use 1/2 inch plywood when boarding anything including windows. You can not use OSB plywood or partical wood under
any circumstance. You must use two 2x4's and four carriage bolts, two on each 2x4, per window.
Example #1 You arrive at a property with a broken window and your work order tells you to board all broken windows
and BATF. You would measure and report the window in united inches, board the window to HUD specs, and take the
required photos. Since you would be boarding the windows per the work order instructions you must also submit a
bid to reglaze the windows. Below are the required photos you must take and are required for boarding.
Conclusion: You board a window 36 x 62 inches to HUD specs and submit a bid to reglaze two windows 34 x 30 inches each.
Example #2 You arrive at a property with a broken window and your work order tells you to bid all broken windows
Conclusion: You would measure and bid to board the window in united inches. Then measure the two windows and bid to reglaze
them in united inches.
You must take photos of the windows to support your bid. The required bid photos are below.
Example #3 You arrive at a property with a missing window and your work order tells you to bid all broken windows
Conclusion: You would have 2 bids. You would measure and bid to board the window in united inches. Then measure the window
and bid to install a new window with frame in the missing hole.
You must take photos of the windows to support your bid. The required bid photos are below.
POOLS AND SPA'S
INGROUND POOLS - If there is a inground pool present it must be secured. A inground pool may be secured in one of three ways:
1. Boarding the pool - this is the most common method and will be the way most clients will ask the pool to be secured.
2. Tarping the pool - this is also an acceptable method of securing a pool, though it usually cost more than boarding.
3. Securing the pool gate - Placing an A389 padlock on a 6ft taller fence that goes around a pool is also an acceptable way to secure.
Your work order will instruct you on how to proceed. If the work order states to board the pool and BATF it must be completed.
Below are the instructions of how to board a pool to HUD specs.
ROOF TARPS AND REPAIRS
Any time you are at a property it is required that you check for damage to the roof or a roof that shows signs of
leaking. If you find any signs of a roof leak you will need to submit bids to repair the roof and any damages
that the roof leak has caused. You must give dimensions of the roof area that needs repairing and details on
what is needed to repair it. You must also give dimensions and details of any interior damages that need
repairing. Depending on your work order instructions you will either tarp the roof or bid the roof. When tarping
a roof you will tarp only the damaged area of the roof. You must tarp the roof to the top peak of the roof and
have at least one foot of over hang. You must use a blue tarp with 1x2's to secure down the tarp.
Please see the diagram below.
The following photos are required when tarping
When there is damage to the property caused by a leak you must take photos and bid the damages.
Grass cuts are considered seasonal services. Grass cut season starts April 1st and goes through October 31st.
When you receive a work order to complete a grass cut during grass cut season you will need to read your work order
carefully as each client is different on the allowables for cutting the grass. The allowable is up to 12" and up to 15,000 sq ft on all clients except LPS.
This is the allowable you are to cut unless the work order states to cut more than allowable. LPS allowable is up to 12" and up to 1 acre.
If your work order has a BATF stated on it then you may cut more than the allowable. If it does not say BATF on the work order then you are to cut the allowable.
All clients are the same when cutting the grass. You must cut the grass to 3" or less, you must weed eat and edge, and
the most important item, YOU MUST TAKE ALL OF THE 20 REQUIRED PHOTOS TO BE PAID FOR THE GRASS CUT.
The following photos are required for a grass cut if it is bid on.
The following photos are required for a grass cut if it is completed.
You must take a minimum of 20 photos in order to get paid for a grass cut.
Photo of the street sign and address.
Before and after photo of a tape measure showing the height before you cut it and after.
2 photos of the walking measuring stick while you are walking off the lot size.
Two action photos showing the lawn being cut.
Six before photos, three of the front and three of the back
Six after photos, three of the front and three of the back
MCS Rules - You may cut up to 15000sq ft and up to 3ft tall for the allowable. If the lot size is over 15000 then you will cut 15000sq ft and bid the rest. If the 75% of the lawn is taller than 3ft then you will cut 15000sq ft and BATF according to the price sheet above.
Corelogic Rules - You may cut up to 15000sq ft and up to 3ft tall for the allowable. If the lot size is over 15000 then you will cut 15000sq ft and bid the rest. If the 75% of the lawn is taller than 3ft then you will cut 15000sq ft and BATF according to the price sheet above.
LPS Rules - You may cut up to 43560sq ft and up to 3ft tall for the allowable. If the lot size is over 43560 then you will cut 43560sq ft and bid the rest. If the 75% of the lawn is taller than 3ft then you will cut 43560sq ft and BATF according to the price sheet above.
Winterizations are a seasonal service. There are 2 different types of winterizations, dry and wet winterizations.
The most common type of winterization in the southern part of the united states is a dry winterization, though you
will come across a wet winterization from time to time.
Steps to completing a dry winterization:
1. Locate and turn off the water meter. Once turned off, place a plastic zip tie on the meter.
2. Locate the breaker box and turn off the power to the water heater.
3. Locate the hot water heater and hook a water hose up to the drain valve.
4. Run the water hose outside and open the drain valve on the water heater.
5. Hook up your air compressor to the hot/cold valves at the washer hook up.
6. Turn on your air compressor and set the regulator on your air compressor to 35psi.
7. Open the hot and cold water valves to allow 35psi pressure on the system.
8. Post the proper wint stickers on all fixtures, water heater, breaker box, and front door.
9. Shut the drain valve on the water heater after it is done draining.
10. Open each fixture to allow all water to be blown out of the line. This includes the outside water valves.
11. Shut off the water valve behind each toilet. Flush the toilet, holding down the handle until the rear tank is empty.
12. Clean the toilet if it is dirty. Empty the water from the bowl of the toilet with a pump.
13. Pour pink non toxic RV antifreeze in every sink fixture, drain, front/rear bowl of a toilet.
14. Let the air compressor run until there is 35psi on the system.
15. Disconnect your air compressor and shut the hot/cold valves at the washer hook up.
Below are the required photos for a dry winterization. If you miss even one photo the client
will not pay for the winterization.
Debris is broken down into 3 categories: INTERIOR DEBRIS and EXTERIOR DEBRIS and PERSONALS
Interior debris is anything that is inside the home, attached garage, or other struture that is secure.
Exterior debris is anything on the outside of the home or other structure that is not secure.
Personals is any item inside or outside that has value. The easiest way to determine if some thing is debris
or personals is that most personal items will have a value over $100.
No matter if it is interior debris, exterior debris, or personals, it is bid on or removed in cyds. You must
seperate int., ext., and personals into 3 categories. One cyd is about the size of a washing machine (3x3x3ft)
How to figure out how much your trailer holds:
It is strongly suggested that you measure your own trailer to figure out how much debris it can hold. ARC and the clients
use this as one of the determining factors when paying for debris removal. If your photos do not support the amount you are saying
was removed then your debris you removed will be cut and you will only be paid for what is shown in your photos.
Measure your trailers width and length. Lets say your trailer is 7'x12' and you stack debris 4ft tall on it. You would
multiple 7x12x4 = 336 and divide it by 27 = 12.44 cyds. Always multiple the width x length x how tall debris is stacked and
divide it by 27 to find out how many cyds is actually on your trailer. This is how much you should be billing for. To be properly
paid for debris your before and after photos must support the amount of debris you are saying was removed and your load photo must also support it.
YOU ARE NEVER TO REMOVE DEBRIS OR PERSONALS WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE CLIENT
WHICH WILL BE OUTLINED ON YOUR WORK ORDER. IF YOU REMOVE AN ITEM FROM A
PROPERTY WITHOUT PERMISSION, YOU ARE COMMITTING THEFT. THIS WILL RESULTS
IN YOUR IMMEDIATE TERMINATION AS A CONTRACTOR FROM ARC AND POSSIBLE CRIMINAL
CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST YOU BY LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.
When removing debris or personals after receiving permission, you MUST take before and after photos from the
same angle. Without before and after photos showing the debris removal the clients will not pay for the debris
removal. Anytime anything is removed from a property you must take a load photo showing the items removed on
your truck or trailer. If the debris that is removed is interior debris or personals the property will need to
place the interior of the property in broom swept condition. This would include sweeping the floors and cleaning
dirty toilets. Any time your work order tells you to place a property in broom swept condition you will need to take
action photos showing that you placed the property in broom swept condition.
Below are some examples of interior debris removal along with placing the property in broom swept condition.
Any and all damages must be bid on. Failure to report damage damage will results in having to repair the damage for free.
As always the damages and bids will require bid photos. The client will not accept a bid with out a bid photo. Below are some examples
Photos are one of if not the most important things you do at a property. You the contractor are the eyes and ears
for the clients and banks. The clients will not pay for the work you complete with out the proper photos. If you are
a photo it will be your responsibility to return to the property to take the missing photo at your own cost. If you
forget to bid an item or take a bid photo the client can and will make you return and complete at your cost. All
work completed at a property must have before and after photos from the same angle. Photos that are not from the
same angle are useless and the client will not accept them. Night Photos are also useless and the clients will not
CAMERA SETTINGS - Your camera must be set to 640x480 and have the date stamp turned off.
You must take bid photos for every item that needs to be bid on at a property.
You must take before and after photos from the same angle of all work completed as outlined above.
DUPLICATE PHOTOS FROM A PREVIOUS JOB WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED BY THE CLIENT AND
THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.
EVERY WORK ORDER MUST HAVE THE FOLLOWING PHOTOS NO MATTER WHAT.
Signage and Posting
Each property must have the correct signage posted at the property. You may download them by going to the
stickers tab on the left side of the page and printing them. You must take a photo of all signage you post.
If the correct signage is already in place, you must take a photo showing it already in place.
MCS general posting - On any MCS work order you must post the MCS general posting in a front window or door and take a photo of it.
MCS occupied form - On any MCS work order you find the property to be occupied, you will need to post this letter.
MCS winterization - On all MCS winterizations an MCS winterization posting must be printed and placed in a front window or door,
it also must be placed on all fixtures as outlined in the winterization section above.
MCS client 660 - On all MCS client 660, a 660 signage must be posted.
MCS client 660 winterization - On all MCS 660 winterizations an MCS 660 winterization posting must be printed and placed in a front
window or door, it also must be placed on all fixtures as outlined in the winterization section above.
LPS general posting - On any LPS work order you must post the LPS general posting in a front window or door and take a photo of it.
LPS Chase general posting - On any Chase LPS work order you must post the Chase LPS general posting in a front window or door and take a photo of it.
LPS winterization - On all LPS winterizations an LPS winterization sticker must be placed in a front window or door, it also must be placed on all
fixtures as outlined in the winterization section above.
(NOTE:LPS DOES NOT ALLOW COPIES OF STICKERS TO BE USED. YOU MUST USE THE ACTUAL BLUE STICKER. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE
LPS BLUE STICKERS YOU MUST EMAIL JON@ARCPRESERVATION.COM ASKING FOR THEM AND HE WILL SEND THEM TO YOU.
Corelogic general posting and winterization - On any Corelogic work order you must post the Corelogic general posting in a front window or door and take a photo of it.
(NOTE:Corelogic uses the same sticker for general postings and winterizations.
MM general posting and winterization - On any MM work order you must post the Corelogic general posting in a front window or door and take a photo of it.
(NOTE:Corelogic uses the same sticker for general postings and winterizations.
Each work order is paid per work order. The photos that you submit are how the clients and ARC pays you as a contractor.
Photos are very important, if you do not take the required photos you will not get paid for the work. Even missing one photo
can cause you not to get paid. Taking photos is part of the job and is just as important as the work itself.
Checks are processed on the 1st and 15th of each month. It usually takes 2-5 days to process checks and get them mailed.
As a contractor you are paid for the job once the bank pays for the job. ARC does work for about 37 different banks and
mortgage companies. Each bank pays on a different timeline. Some banks pay as quick as 2 weeks, some take up to 45 days.
Depending on the client ARC receives checks from the clients all different times of the month. Some clients pay the Tuesday
of every week, some pay every other week, some pay on the 1st and 15th, some pay once a month, and so on. ARC processes all
checks received every 2 weeks for the next pay period.
What this all means for you the contractor. When you start work it will take 14-45 days from the day of completion to receive payment.
ARC will help new contractors in the beginning. Example: Let's say you do $2000 of work the first week you work for us, then do $4000
of work the second week, then another $1800 the third week. Then you are running low on cash and haven't made it to your first check yet,
ARC will give you an advance of on part of the work you have completed to hold you over until you start receiving checks. Once you make it
to your first check you will start receiving a check every 2 weeks around the 1st and 15th. ARC will also help on large jobs if you need it.
Example: If you receive a bid approval work order for $7000 and the materials will cost $2000, ARC will give you advance of $2000 on that
job to cover the materials. Then when that job pays we would take it back and you would receive $5000. It is always better if you can afford
to cover the jobs yourself, but we will help.