(a) Recordkeeping system. Each participating housing counseling agency must maintain a recordkeeping system. The system must permit HUD to easily access all information needed for a performance review. This system must meet the requirements of 2 CFR part 200, subpart D, 24 CFR 1.6, and 24 CFR part 121.
(b) File retention requirements. Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records and all other pertinent records, both electronic and on paper, shall be retained for a period of 3 years from the date the case file was terminated for housing counseling. If the housing counseling agency is a recipient of a HUD housing counseling grant, then the client files for the housing counseling grant year must be retained for 3 years from the date the final grant invoice was paid by HUD.
(c) Grant activities. Recipients of HUD housing counseling grants are required to report activities under the grant in a format acceptable to HUD and within the designated time frames required by the applicable grant agreement.
(d) Race, ethnicity, and income data. Participating agencies must maintain current and accurate data on the race, ethnicity, and income of their counseling clients and education participants.
(e) Client file. The housing counseling agency must maintain a separate confidential file for each counseling client to document the action plan and the services provided to the client, as described in § 214.300. For all counseling, except for HECM counseling, the client file must include an action plan. The client file may be for an individual or household or for a group of clients with the same housing need.
(f) Group education file. The housing counseling agency must maintain a separate confidential file for each course provided. This file must contain a list of all participants, their race, ethnicity and income data, course title, course outline, instructors, and date of each course.
(g) Confidentiality. Participating agencies must ensure the confidentiality of each client's personal and financial information, including credit reports, whether the information is received from the client or from another source. Failure to maintain the confidentiality of, or improper use of, credit reports may subject the agency to penalties under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (14 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.).
(h) Termination of services. The housing counseling agency must document in the client's file termination of housing counseling. Termination occurs or may occur under any of these conditions:
(1) The client meets his or her housing need or resolves the housing problem;
(2) The agency determines that further housing counseling will not meet the client's housing need or resolve the client's housing problem;
(3) The agency attempts to, but is unable to, locate the client;
(4) The client does not follow the agreed-upon action plan;
(5) The client otherwise terminates housing counseling; or
(6) The client fails to appear for housing counseling appointments.