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 Field Service Glossary


24 Hour Rush

Any type of inspection that has a turn-around of twenty-four hours. It may be an occupancy inspection, face-to-face interview or any contact or no contact field service. Results must be returned with twenty-four hours of receipt..

Access Denied

Access Denied means the field rep can not gain access for some reason. The field request inspection form will normally have a circle to fill in or a check box to check to indicate there was a problem getting close enough to the property for inspection.

Some common access denied situations are:

  • gated community
  • condo with a security force
  • locked gate
  • posted property
  • card access properties

Access Denied does not include weather, road conditions, etc.

Access Denied means the field rep is at the property or as close as he or she can be but is not allowed on the property.

Administrative Fee
Administrative fee is the professional wording used for penalizing a contractor. Also known as a CHARGE-BACK.

Some companies use their Quality Control Department to penalize reps by charging administrative fees, thereby becoming more of a profit center than a quality control department.

Administrative Penalty 
A system used to gouge others. A method to extort from, swindle, or overcharge. To engage in swindling or overcharging.

Allow Access

A service performed which gives access to a property secured with a HUD master key, or the key code specified by the regulatory specification for the loan type. Properties not previously secured will require a lock change or the keys to the property will need to be provided.

Also described as “The service performed whereby one allows the individual(s) access to property for the length of time requested, then ensure the property is secured prior to departing the premises”.

Alternate Rep

An independent contractor or business that works in the same areas as another field rep.

Attractive Nuisance

Under the attractive nuisance doctrine of the law of torts, a landowner may be held liable for injuries to children trespassing on the land if the injury is caused by a hazardous object or condition on the land that is likely to attract children who are unable to appreciate the risk posed by the object or condition. The doctrine has been applied to hold landowners liable for injuries caused by abandoned cars, piles of lumber or sandtrampolines, and swimming pools. However, it can be applied to virtually anything on the property of the landowner.

According to the Restatement of Torts standard, which is followed in many jurisdictions, there are five conditions that must be met for a land owner to be liable for tort damages to a child trespasser. The five conditions are:

  1. The place where the condition exists is one on which the possessor knows or has reason to know that children are likely to trespass, and
  2. The condition is one of which the possessor knows or has reason to know and which he realizes or should realize will involve an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to such children,
  3. The children, because of their youth, do not discover the condition or realize the risk involved in inter-meddling with it or in coming within the area made dangerous by it
  4. The utility to the possessor of maintaining the condition and the burden of eliminating the danger are slight as compared with the risk to children involved, and
  5. The possessor fails to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise to protect the children

Backup Rep

The field rep that is secondary to one or more other reps in a particular area. Most companies will have two or more reps in an area and work can be equally or unequally divided among the reps.

Bankruptcy Inspections

A Drive-by, No Contact, inspection that provides the current condition of the property, the occupancy status and reporting of  any existing damage or potential conditions that could effect the value of the property per investor/insurer guidelines and/or client instruction.

Usually, neighbors may not be contacted to verify whether the property is occupied and. can not discuss the mortgage, bankruptcy, etc. with anyone.

Bankruptcy inspections are normally performed every 30 days.

Board Broken Only

A service performed whereby only the broken windows at a property will be secured by boarding, regardless of the area regulatory requirements for the loan type.

This order also authorizes the field representative to board any broken windows at the property without prior approval.

Photographs of the broken windows, and completed boarding, must be provided.


Secure a property by using plywood to cover broken windows, doors, and any other unsecured access. Additional preservation procedures may be requested such as locks, tarps, and security personnel if necessary.


A BPO (broker price opinion) is a broker’s opinion of value of the property. Normally must be performed by a licensed real estate agent or broker.

Broker Opinion of Value

Valuation of a property. Same as a Broker Price Opinion (BPO) or Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).

This inspection determines the physical condition of the property and compares it to similar properties that have recently been sold. The inspection is used to help determine the market value of the property and usually requires access to the Multiple Listing Service in order to see the data on other listings and sales.

In order to perform this service, one must be a licensed realtor and the report must be signed by a licensed broker. Pictures are required.

Business Site Inspection

Validate the existence or operation of a business enterprise. Customer traffic and photographs may be requested.



A limit placed on the number of field assignments issued to a field rep at one time or a limit placed on the number of field assignments a field rep received but has not completed.

Call-Back Information

A card, letter or other form of written communication. May be pre-printed and designed to be placed in an envelope and left at the time of the visit, or left hanging on the front door knob. Call back information will usually have the name of the person to call, their phone number and an account number to reference.

Cash for Keys

A “Cash for Keys” offer is made to the occupant of a dwelling to have them move out and hand over the keys to the property.

The normal procedure will go something like this:

Meet with the occupant and get their name(s) and contact info. If there are multiple occupants as in an apartment building, ask for their information too. Try to have everyone present at the first meeting and meet with the tenants individually later.

Approach occupants in a casual, friendly and business manner and let them know why you are there. Offer proof of your right to be there, such as a deed or any other documents you may have. Give them three options:

Buy the property

Accept money to vacate (Cash for Keys)

Be evicted.

Advise the occupant(s) that their purchase of the property is the ideal choice, their acceptance of the cash for keys is also good, but eviction is painful for all involved. The next step will be determined by which option the occupants choose. If the Cash for Keys offer is accepted, have occupant(s) sign agreement and exchange cash for keys upon vacancy.

See also: Conveyance Condition

Change in Occupancy

A property that was reported vacant last month but is now reported as occupied. Also, a property that was reported occupied last month but is now reported as vacant.

Charge Back

A practice used by some companies to steal money from field reps. Supposedly the cost of having another rep perform inspections that were not completed by the rep to which the inspection was initially issued.

Charge backs usually result in a huge monetary penalty such as $50 for a $5 inspection, $60 for a $5.50 inspection, etc.

Classic Car Inspection

Inspection of an antique or other special automobile. Most often performed by an experienced auto appraiser but can be performed by an antique car hobbyist with experience and knowledge of antique vehicle values. This appraisal request is intended to place a value on an automobile or other classic vehicle for the purpose of obtaining a loan or insurance.


Performing a number of outstanding inspections that have not been performed because there are no inspectors available in the area, an inspector may have resigned, etc.

A Clean-Up request usually contains hard to locate or rural properties that other inspectors are unable or unwilling to do.

Clean-Up requests usually pay well but require a lot of travel.

Clearing City Violations

Clearing of violations issued by the city for violations of city codes.

Clearing of city violations involves correcting the problem that caused the violation and contacting the city inspectors to have them re-inspect the property and clear the violations. Citations issued by city inspectors may cite a property with city violations due to it’s condition, it’s vacancy, etc. The most common city violations are for grass height or dangerous hazards. Any number of things can force a city or county government to impose a fine against a property owner.

Code Violation Abatement

Services performed on a property to prevent or cure violations cited by a governing authority.

Commercial Inspection

The visual examination and observation of an income producing property.

There are a large variety of commercial inspections and the inspections normally occur on an annual basis and a variety of forms are to be completed during the inspection depending on the type of commercial inspection.

The field rep will be asked to inspect at the least the exterior of the property and may be asked to inspect the interior, the warehouses, the production facilities, etc.

Commercial inspections are nothing more than property inspections in a different environment. The field rep is not at the commercial establishment to inspect the commercial activity but to inspect the physical property that houses the commercial activity.

Some commercial inspections you may be asked to perform are:

Gasoline stores/franchises

Quick food establishments (burgers, chicken, etc.)

Motorcycle shops

Hardware stores

Comparative Market Analysis

A comparison of comparable properties sold and offered for sale in the neighborhood of a property that is going to be sold. Performed by a licensed real estate broker. Performed to determine the correct selling price of a home.

Condition Report

Report on the condition of industrial machinery, business equipment, trucks, construction equipment, vehicles, etc. The inspection may request the VIN or serial number, overall condition, clocked hours or operation, etc. Photographs are usually requested.

Construction Funding Report
The inspection of a property at certain stages of the construction to determine and report on the percentage of completion of work. The construction funding report helps determine the release of construction funds to the owner and/or contractor.

The financial institution loaning money for a home or business construction loan distributes money to the owner and/or contractor only at various stages of construction.

Contact is made with the owner, contractor or representative listed on the inspection request form and an appointment is set for the field rep to perform the inspection.

Photos are usually requested.

Contact Ratio

The number of times personal contact is made with someone at the inspection address contrasted to the number of times no contact is made.

Conveyance Condition 
See also:  HYPERLINK “glossary.html” \l “CC” CC HYPERLINK “glossary.html” \l “ICC” ICC

A visual inspection to determine if property is in conveyance condition. Inspection is completed on conveyance date and includes information about the condition of the property, if locks have been changed, has all debris been removed, is the property secure, etc.)

Once a property has gone to sale, the property must satisfactorily meet certain physical attributes so that its control may be transferred to HUD/FHA.

• The requirements for a property to be considered In conveyance condition are:

• The mortgage company has clear title to the property. This is usually accomplished as a result of the foreclosure sale

• The property is not occupied. If the property is occupied after the foreclosure sale, the mortgage company must go through eviction proceedings

• The property is secure and has been secured following the guideline requirements including lock codes

• Outbuildings are secure and have been secured following the guideline requirements including lock codes

• Boarding, if required, has been completed and was completed following the guideline requirements

• Pools, hot tubs, and/or spas are secure per the guideline requirements

• The property has been winterized per the guidelines

• Utilities have been transferred into the mortgagee’s name, if required by the guidelines. This requirement depends on heating system type and regional variation

• If the property has a sump pump, the sump pump is functional and electricity is on and transferred into the mortgage company’s name.

Exterior debris and health hazards have been removed from the property per the guideline requirements

• Interior debris and health hazards have been removed from the property if guidelines for that area call for removal

• Personal property has been removed from the property per the guideline requirements

• Grass has been cut within two weeks of conveyance, if conveying during grass cut season

The property is free from any damage, other than that due to mortgagor neglect/unfinished renovations, except for fire, water, freeze, flood, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, boiler explosion, vandalism, and roof damages.

There are no outstanding property condition code violations or citations.

If any of the above listed is not completed, the property is not in convey condition.

The only exception to these requirements occurs if HUD has been advised of an issue where the requirements have not been met and has agreed to accept the property as is.

Conveyance Inspection

A visual inspection to determine if property is in conveyance condition. Inspection is completed on conveyance date and includes information about the condition of the property, if locks have been changed, has all debris been removed, is the property secure, etc.).


Damaged Property
This term has special significance in the field services industry. Many inspection request forms will have a notation indicating that a photo is required if the property is damaged. Field reps should look the property over carefully and fully explain the damages in their written reports and furnish pictures that leave no doubt as to the extent of damages.

Date Range
A specific starting date before which a property can not be inspected and an ending date, after which the inspection can not be made.

Date Stamped

A photo that automatically has the date taken applied to the photo.


Debris Removal
A property preservation service in which the interior, exterior and hazardous debris are removed from a property.

Specifications for the service will be dictated by the client or will follow the regulatory specifications for the loan type.

If the service is for a loan type with no applicable regulatory specifications, the HUD specifications, and HYPERLINK “” \t “_blank” HUD reimbursable fee schedule, will be followed.

If the debris, for any loan type, cannot be removed for the published reimbursable fee, a bid for removal is normally provided.

Deferred Maintenance
Repairs not yet made to a property that should have been done but have been postponed. May include painting, repairs to asphalt or concrete parking areas, re-striping of parking lot, replacement of rotten wood, etc.

Delinquency Inspection

A type of inspection for which contact with the occupant(s) is required.   Contractor may be required to ask the owner’s reason for late payments and any other financial information the lender may want.

Talk only with the mortgagor. Do not discuss this with tenants, renters or spouse unless the spouse is also listed on the delinquency interview request.

Desk Topping

The practice of completing an inspection report while at the kitchen table without actually having been to the property.


The fee made by the mortgage servicing company after having a field rep perform services on a property and billing the lender for the service. The field rep and mortgage servicing company agree on this “Discount” beforehand.  HUD, VA, FHA, etc. publish a set  HYPERLINK “$%5Bno%5D&op1=AND&SECT1=TXTHLB&SECT5=MLET&u=./hudclips.cgi&p=1&r=19&f=G” \t “_blank” payment schedule for services. The mortgage servicing company charges the lender the published fee and pays the field rep the published fee less the discount. The discount the mortgage servicing company keeps is their income.

Door Hanger XE “Door Hanger

A stiff paper cut-out designed to hang on a door knob, or a contact letter in an envelope.

Contains information requesting the home owner to call their lender.


An inspection type for which there is no need to contact the occupant! Visual inspection to determine occupancy and condition.

Due Date

This is the date the inspection report is due back to the company. It’s not the date to do the inspection nor is it the date to send the information by mail. If it’s due on the 13th and if the company accepts this type of report by email or fax, then the field rep should email or fax it on or before the 13th.

It’s always a good idea to allow a little room and maybe have it there on the 12th. Be sure to check with your companies. Some say it has to be in their office by 8:30 a.m. on the due date, some say noon, etc. Also, check their policies on returning the inspections on weekends and holidays. If Monday the 4th is a holiday, and the report is due and returned on the 4th, do you get credit for it? Better to be safe and return the report a day early, if possible.



E&O Insurance

Errors and Omissions Insurance, also known as Professional Liability Insurance, protects your business from potentially catastrophic litigation caused by charges of professional negligence or failure to perform your professional duties.

Environmental Inspection

Inspections intended to discover and report existence or non-existence of chemicals, microbes, carcinogens, etc.  These inspection types normally require specialized education, training and licensing.   Common environmental inspections include inspections for  Microbial matter (mold), Lead-Based Paint, Asbestos, Termites, Radon and Water and Septic Testing

Estimated Market Value

An estimation of value.

Extension Request

The term used to ask for more time to complete inspections.


Discharging occupants and their personal property from a property, guided by local and/or state laws. Must be performed according to the regulatory specifications for the loan type, unless otherwise instructed by the local law enforcement official on site, or local or state statute.

Exterior Debris

Anything on the outside of residence. Exterior debris removal is bid by the cubic yard. A cubic yard is about the size of a washing machine.

The following items are considered exterior debris, but they are not bid by cubic yard. They are bid separately.

·  Any type of internal combustion engine – bid to haul off

·  Swing sets and basketball goals – bid to dismantle and haul off

·  Tires – bid for disposal

·  Chemicals – bid as health hazards.

·  Burn piles – bid by size

·  Automobiles, Motorcycles, Lawn Mowers – bid to tow or haul off

·  Dog houses or pens – bid to dismantle and remove


Face to Face Interview

Personally meeting with the property owner. The lending institution uses the information gained to update company information concerning the property owner’s employment, income, financial obligations, additional income and repayment proposals.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Abbreviation for The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act implemented by the Congress to protect consumers from being harassed by debt collectors. Ensures that the collection agencies collect debt payments without adopting unlawful means.

Fannie Mae
Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA)
A congressionally chartered corporation which buys mortgages on the secondary market, pools them and sells them as mortgage-backed securities to investors on the open market. Monthly principal and interest payments are guaranteed by FNMA but not by the U..S. Government.

Fannie Mae Form 30

This inspection is for  Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) loans and is a visual inspection to provide the latest property and area conditions and any conditions that could potentially affect the value or marketability of the property.

This inspection provides the needed property information obtained from a physical inspection for completion of the Fannie Mae Form 30.


Abbreviation for The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act implemented by the Congress to protect consumers from being harassed by debt collectors. Ensures that the collection agencies collect debt payments without adopting unlawful means.

Federal Housing Administration

A division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), this government agency insures residential mortgage loans that are made by private lenders, protecting the lenders against loss in the event of borrower default. The FHA also sets standards for underwriting mortgage loans.


The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is a part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provides federal mortgage insurance which ensures that mortgage lenders will be reimbursed in the event homebuyers default on the mortgage. When a lender is forced to foreclose on an FHA-insured single family home, town home, or condominium because the owner can no longer make payments, the lender can file a claim with FHA for the balance due on the mortgage and convey title of the property to HUD.

Federal National Mortgage Association

HYPERLINK “glossary.html” \l “FNMA” FNMA or  HYPERLINK “glossary.html” \l “Fannie_Mae” Fannie Mae. A congressionally chartered corporation which buys mortgages on the secondary market, pools them and sells them as mortgage-backed securities to investors on the open market. Monthly principal and interest payments are guaranteed by FNMA but not by the U..S. Government.

Field Chase

A term for a field assignment most commonly used by those looking for vehicles of delinquent borrowers. The phrase is seldom used by field inspectors that concentrate on real estate types of field inspections.

Field Inspection

A visual inspection of property or other collateral such as construction equipment, motorcycles, computers, etc. The inspection may involve interviews with the property owners or occupants.

Field Services

An on-site performance of a task for another interested party that does not have the ability or desire to do the task for themselves. The task requires the use of one or more senses – sight, sound, touch, smell, etc.

First Time Vacant

The term used to identify the first report of a vacant property. Commonly called FTV.


HYPERLINK “glossary.html” \l “Federal_National_Mortgage_Association” Federal National Mortgage Association or  HYPERLINK “glossary.html” \l “Fannie_Mae” Fannie Mae. A congressionally chartered corporation which buys mortgages on the secondary market, pools them and sells them as mortgage-backed securities to investors on the open market. Monthly principal and interest payments are guaranteed by FNMA but not by the U..S. Government.

Flood Hazard Verification

Verification of the location of a property on a plat map or a drawing provided to the inspector. Require measurements from specific points to show the property location in relation to other landmarks such as streets, bodies of water, etc.

Floor Plan Financing

A specialized segment of lending where banks provide working capital support for retailers of consumer goods such as automobiles, recreational vehicles, boats, and big ticket appliances. Generally, the large investment and/or slow cash conversion cycle limits a retailers ability to internally finance its inventory. The bank provides funding for the purchase of inventory and normal operating expenses until the inventory is sold.

Source: Texas Department of Banking | ‘Loan Worksheet #3 – Floor Plan Inventory Financing’ | | Oct. 11, 2006

Floor Plan Inventory

A count of items in inventory to determine what has been sold and what is still on site.

Follow-Up List

A list of inspections that can not be closed out until a problem or question is answered to the satisfaction of the company sending the list. Common problems are “your information does not agree with the information we have on file”, “the picture you submitted does not match the picture we have on file”, etc.


A refraining from the enforcement of something (as a debt, right, or obligation) that is due. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam-Webster, Inc. (accessed: March 04, 2007).


Foreclosure is a procedure that varies significantly from state to state, allowing a lender to force the sale of a property (usually at public auction) to pay back a debt secured by that property. A loan typically enters Foreclosure when a Notice of Default is sent warning the borrower that payment is past due and that the property will be sold to satisfy the debt if the borrower does not pay all sums owed

Foreclosure Inspection

Inspect to determine the occupancy status and exterior condition of a property. No contact can be made with the homeowner. Contact may be made with neighbors to help determine occupancy. Can not discuss legal status, loans, etc.

Photographs required.


A deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain

HYPERLINK “” \t “_blank”

Freddie Mac
A corporation, created by Congress, that purchases conventional mortgages from lending institutions (that are members of the Federal Reserve) and sells them as securities to the dealer community. (See Fannie Mae, which sells them directly to investors.


Abbreviation of “First Time Vacant” : The term used to identify the first report of a vacant property.


Gated Community

A form of residential community sometimes characterized by a closed perimeter of walls and fences, but always containing controlled entrances for pedestrians, bicycles, and automobiles.

Gated communities usually consist of small residential streets and include various amenities. For smaller communities this may be only a park or other common area. For larger communities, it may be possible for residents to stay within the community for most day-to-day activities.

Ginnie Mae (GNMA)

Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA or Ginnie Mae) – A government-owned corporation within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Created by Congress on September 1, 1968, GNMA performs the same role as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in providing funds to lenders for making home loans. The difference is that Ginnie Mae provides funds for government loans (FHA and VA)

Government National Mortgage Association

See Ginnie Mae (GNMA)


An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material goods.


Hazardous Waste

A solid waste or combination of solid wastes that, because of quantity, concentration or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics, may cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious, irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness or pose a substantial hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed, or otherwise managed.

Some common hazardous waste you may find in properties are household chemicals, feces, rotten foods, tires, batteries, petroleum products, paints, asbestos, etc.

Home Inspection

An examination of the structure and mechanical systems to determine a home’s safety; makes the potential homebuyer aware of any repairs that may be needed.

This term is often confused with the term “Mortgage Inspection” which is the business of obtaining and/or verifying information for lenders.


Department of Housing and Urban Development. Federal agency responsible for encouraging housing development.

HUD Homes

HUD-owned houses are often referred to as HUD Homes. These are homes that had an FHA-insured mortgage and the homeowners defaulted. The lender then deeded the home to the Secretary of HUD in exchange for an insurance claim payment.

HYPERLINK “” \t “_blank” See HUD site

The Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) is an organization within HUD Public and Indian Housing (PIH) that is responsible for capturing, standardizing, improving and evaluating data from the portfolio of properties for which HUD has a financial interest or statutory obligation to monitor. HUD requires periodic physical property inspections conducted by HUD/REAC certified inspectors in conformance with HUD’s Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS). To ensure consistency and uniformity of inspections, inspectors must utilize a laptop computer “data collection device” (DCD) and UPCS inspection software to capture inspection results, which are uploaded via the Internet to PASS. The system then facilitates numerous functions including ordering, reverse auctioning and review of inspections as well as publication of inspection results.


See also:   HYPERLINK “glossary.html” \l “CC” CC,  HYPERLINK “glossary.html” \l “Conveyance_Condition” Conveyance Condition

In conveyance condition.

Independent Contractor

A self-employed individual working under contract to perform a specific task for another.

Initial Clean

Terminology used primarily in the property preservation industry. This request is an authorization to clean an interior property of debris, clean baths, kitchens, etc.

Initial Inspection

An exterior occupancy inspection only. Usually requested the mortgage company mortgages the property or when some legal action is taking place against the property.

Inspection Window

A range of dates in which the inspection must be performed.
Example: Inspection Window from 2/27/2006 to 3/14/2006.

Insurance Loss Inspection

Inspection for a property that has been damaged by some event (i.e., fire, water, wind, etc.) to insure that insurance repairs have been completed. Performed for the mortgage company to verify the property has been restored to the condition it was before the loss occurred.

Insurance loss inspections are used to help mortgage servicers and lenders determine the proper distortion of funds being held and designated for the completion of repairs at damaged properties. In order to protect the value of the property used as security against loans,  mortgage servicers and lenders need to insure that repair funds are released timely and used to repair and improve the damaged property.

Interior Debris
Odds and ends left on the inside of a property. Companies usually will have a monetary value that elevates an item from debris status to personal property status.
Even though a storage shed or garage may be detached and outside, any debris in either is considered interior debris.

Interior Inspection

A visual inspection of the interior of a property that has previously been reported as vacant and has been secured. A visual inspection to determine if there is any visible damage or situation that needs to be reported to the client.

Interview Inspection

This request may have many names however the key word here is “interview”. You are directed to try to interview a specified individual at a specified address. Most of the time, your questions will be on the inspection request form.

Practically all companies pay one rate if no one is interviewed and a higher rate if you are successful in completing the interview.

Inventory Survey & Valuation

An inspection and report on retail, wholesale, raw material and work-in-process inventories.

Key Codes

HUD properties, VA Properties, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac properties are secured with locks, deadbolts and padlocks that have a numeric identifier which is the code a locksmith would use to duplicate the key. For example, using the keycode 76667, the locksmith would create a key for that lock by setting his key cutting machine to that code.

Common key codes used in the property preservation business are: A389 for padlocks, 11635, 13226, 23323, 25223, 25345, 35241, 35453, 44535, 46637, 52534, 64445, 65432, 67767, and 76667.


Two or more locks that operate with the same key. An example of this is front and rear entrances to your house can be keyed alike to allow you to only carry one key to open either lock.


Lawn Maintenance

Perform the necessary lawn maintenance to maintain a property’s appearance. Perform measures to prevent any degradation to the grounds and relieve the property of any existing or potential violations. HUD specifications are normally followed for all loans with no applicable regulatory guidelines, unless otherwise instructed.

Lead Based Paint Inspection
Samplings to determine presence and/or levels of active lead dust.

Leased Equipment Inspection
A physical, onsite inspection that is performed to insure that leased equipment is onsite, if it is in good condition, and if the serial numbers match correctly

Liability Insurance


Insurance that provides protection from claims arising from injuries or damage to other people or property.



A company that needs independent contractors only in a certain area such as a state within the country.

Lock Box

The type of lock primarily used for REO or vacant properties in addition to a regular lock, where a key is installed inside of the box and the box is attached to the outside of the door. To open the lock box you must have the combination code.

Lock Change Only

Change the lock(s) at a property to the key code according to the regulatory requirements for the loan type, unless otherwise instructed. For loan types with no applicable regulatory guidelines, the  HYPERLINK “” HUD guidelines are normally followed.

Loss Control Inspection

An inspection performed to identify and describe potentially hazardous conditions at a property.

Lock Re-Keying

Changing the locking mechanism of a lock to operate with another key instead of the one that came with the lock. After re-keying  the old key will not work; only the new key will work.


M&M Contractor

Management and Marketing (M&M) Contractors market and manage single-family properties owned by, or in the custody of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Master Keying
A lock system  in which locks are designed to be opened by their individual keys and by a special “master” key that will also open some or all other locks in the system.

Master key systems  are commonly found in commercial, industrial, educational and government facilities as well as in local property management. Master keying is used because it allows those who must have access to many locks (landlords, maintenance workers, managers, etc.) to carry only a few keys.

It is not usually possible to tell by inspecting a key or a lock from the outside whether it is part of a master system.

Maximum Allowable Securing Fee

An overall cap for the various costs required to secure a property by securing windows and doors to prevent against unauthorized entry and to protect against weather damage. The term “One-Time Securing Fee” is the phrase previously used in HUD documents.

Merchant Site Inspection

A visual analysis of a business usually requested by credit card processing companies. This inspection assists in determining the legitimacy of the business and helps to prevent fraud. Photos of the business’s signs, one interior and one exterior photo are usually requested.

Minimum Securing to Specification

Perform all necessary property preservation according to the applicable regulatory guidelines for the loan type. For loan types with no applicable regulatory guidelines, the  HYPERLINK “” HUD guidelines and fee schedule are normally followed. Services typically include changing entry lock or keyway, locking all windows and doors, winterizing to the applicable specification and maintaining the grounds when in season.

Mobile Home Condition Report

A comprehensive inspection of a mobile home often used by a potential purchaser to determine the offer to be made for purchase. Also used by an owner to help determine value and asking price if for sale. Five or more pages of information is common as well as two to three pictures per room and pictures of selling features and/or damages.

Mortgage Notary Signing Agent

A Mortgage Notary Signing Agent is a commissioned Notary Public who specializes in the process of obtaining and notarizing the signatures of the party (is) involved on real estate loan documents for the purpose of closing a real estate loan transaction.

Mortgage Servicing

The activity of keeping a mortgage loan current, including collecting monthly mortgage payments, forwarding principal and interest payments to the current mortgage holder (if the loan has been sold), maintaining escrow accounts, paying taxes and insurance premiums, and taking steps to collect overdue payments. Mortgage servicing may be performed by the original lender, or the lender may sell the right to service a mortgage to another company, which performs the service for a fee. Some companies, including some savings associations, specialize in servicing mortgages, both their own and those made by other lenders. The original lender may sell the mortgage servicing rights to one company and sell the mortgage itself to another company. See mortgage servicing rights.


The lender in a property mortgage transaction who holds the lien on a property as security for debt.

Mortgage Servicing Rights
An asset consisting of the rights to service mortgage loans for others, however those servicing rights are acquired.

A mortgage banking enterprise may acquire mortgage servicing rights through either the purchase or origination of mortgage loans or purchase of servicing rights to the loans of other banking enterprises.


The borrower in a property mortgage transaction who pledges the property as a security for a debt.


National Company

A company that has need for independent contractors in all 50 states.

No Contact Inspection

Any inspection that is marked with “No Contact” or similar wording is actually a drive-by inspection.  Do not stop at the property and do not inquire with neighbors about the status of the property.

Notary Public

A person legally empowered to witness and certify the validity of documents and to take affidavits and depositions.

No Show
The party that fails to show up for an appointment. Used in the field services business to label a homeowner that is not home when the inspector arrives for an appointment. Also used to label the inspector that fails to make an appointment.

Notary Signing Agent
A Notary Public that arranges, or travels to, various activities requiring notarization of documents and while there acts as a Notary and may represent another or act in their interest.



Occupancy Roll

A listing of apartments at an apartment complex which indicates which units are occupied and which are vacant. This listing will be kept current so that apartment employees can quickly locate vacant units to lease to potential occupants. This list is made available to inspectors so that they can determine which vacant units they would like to inspect.

Occupancy Verification

An inspection to determine if a property is occupied and the name(s) of the occupant. Contact with the occupant is authorized unless the inspection request indicates that no contact is to be made.

One Time Securing Fee

An overall cap for the various costs required to secure a property by securing windows and doors to prevent against unauthorized entry and to protect against weather damage.

The term “One-Time Securing Fee” is now known as the “Maximum Allowable Securing Fee.”

Out Of Area

A city, county, zip code or possibly a state that a field services company would not normally work for some reason. The reason it is not covered is immaterial; if the area is not an area you normally cover, then it is Out Of Area.

Outstanding Inspections

The number of inspections that have not been completed.

On occasion a company may ask a field rep to perform some of their outstanding inspections. These will be inspections the company has been unable to have completed.  The reasons for non-completion are numerous and can include having no rep in the area of the inspections, illness of a rep, the outstanding inspections are of hard to locate properties and no one has been able to find the properties, etc.

If a field rep has any inspections that have not been returned by the due date, these inspections will be on some company’s outstanding inspection list.


Padlock Pool Gate to HUD Specification

Secure a pool and/or hot tub gate according to the HUD specifications for the area the property is located.

Padlock Pool

Secure the pool/hot tub gate according to the HUD specifications for the area where the property is located. This service may also be provided on any securing order, when required by the regulatory guidelines for the loan type.

Partially Vacant

This terminology is used when one unit of a multi-unit property is vacant and the other units remain occupied. Units may not be reported partially vacant if occupants are in the process of moving or abandoned personal property remains at the property. When reporting the status of partially vacant properties, state which units are vacant, advise if there are common or separate entrances and/or utilities, and indicate whether the vacant unit is secure.

Personal Property
A type of property which, in it’s most general definition, can include any asset other than real estate. The distinguishing factor between personal property and real estate is that personal property is movable. That is, the asset is not fixed permanently to one location as with real property such as land or buildings. Examples of personal property include vehicles, furniture, boats, collectibles, etc.

Pool Securing

Secure the pool or hot tub at the property according to the regulatory requirements for the loan type. This could include decking, screening, pumping water out of the pool, chemical treatment and padlocking the pool gate if required. If no regulatory guidelines are applicable for the loan type, the HUD guidelines, and pricing schedule, will be followed. As with any property preservation work, if the work cannot be completed for the published price, an estimate will be provided to complete the securing.

Pre-Funding Leased Equipment Inspection

An on-site inspection of any leased equipment. The information requested my include asset description, serial number and condition. Photographs are usually requested and included with the report.

Pre-Set Appointment

The time and place of meeting with the homeowner has been set prior to the inspector receiving the request. The inspector is to show up at the time & place or call the homeowner to arrange a different time and/or location.

Prepare for Conveyance

After the foreclosure sale is held or the redemption expires for the property, ensure all necessary work required by the regulatory guidelines for the loan type is complete, and the property is in conveyance condition. If any work is needed to bring the property into conveyance condition, you will complete the work for the loan type’s published regulatory fee schedule.

Prepare to Convey

Perform all necessary work required by the regulatory guidelines for the loan type that will put the property in condition to convey.

Property Appreciation Services

Property Appreciation Services are those services performed at a property that increases the value of the property. Many services add to the value and the services can be as simple as a fresh coat of paint or installation of new carpet. Contractors may be asked to install or repair drywall, install flooring of all types, correct electrical problems, perform plumbing, repair or replace roofing or installing appliances. Contractors should insure that they are licensed for the services they perform. For instance, plumbing installation or repairs normally always requires a state license and maybe a local certification.

Property Condition Report

The report following an on-site inspection of a property for the purpose of informing the owner of the present condition and any possible hazards or risks associated with the property, maintenance issues and repair recommendations.

This report isalso known as property condition surveys, physical assessment reports, physical needs assessments, or engineering reports.

Property condition reports normally provide detailed information on the design, features and operating systems such as plumbing and electrical.   The property condition report should also indicate and deterioration or out-dated functions of the property that would effect the value of the property.

Depending on the type of property, the owner my additionally request that the property condition report include:

  • information on zoning regulations
  • building codes that may affect the value of the property
  • review of construction drawings and related documentation
  • operations and maintenance procedures with property personnel
  • occupancy levels
  • safety systems evaluation
  • zoning
  • utilities
  • flood plain evaluation
  • photographs
  • floor plans or other diagrams

Property Preservation
The process of insuring the security of a property and minimizing damages and hazards. Any and/or all of the following services are included in the process.


QC Re-check (Quality Control re-check)

This inspection type is ordered when the inspection results do not agree with what the client has on file. Requested in order to have the field rep verify previous information submitted about a property.

QC Swap (Quality Control Swap)

The exchange of inspections from rep A to rep B and vice versa.  The intent is to see if the report on the same property is the same from both reps.

Quality Control

Steps taken to make sure that a company’s products or services are of sufficiently high quality.


See Reassign. Transfer responsibility of an assignment from one independent contractor to another, often resulting in a chargeback.

Radon Testing
Monitoring methods used to provide indication of Radon levels present as compared to acceptable EPA levels.


The Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) is an organization within HUD Public and Indian Housing (PIH) that is responsible for capturing, standardizing, improving and evaluating data from the portfolio of properties for which HUD has a financial interest or statutory obligation to monitor.


Transfer responsibility of an assignment from one independent contractor to another. Often resulting in a chargeback.

The transfer of property from one owner to another; specifically to transfer title or interest in property from present owner back to previous owner.

The following definition is courtesy of the staff at OfficeTiger Global Real Estate Services:

A reconveyance occurs when a field rep is basically re-keying a house back to FHA specs.

  • You would need to either re-key all the doors to the FHA key code or make sure all are already done
  • make sure winterized and note if it is still intact
  • cut the grass
  • remove stickers from prior contractors and companies and put on the current clients
  • note utility information
  • secure or make sure all outbuildings are secured to A389 padlock
  • take interior and exterior property condition photos
  • bid/note all damages and h/h and debris.
    That is a general definition and procedure. Obviously each client can be more specific or differ a little bit – but in general they all have to follow the same guidelines.

Regional Coordinator

The first point of contact for the field rep and participates in the distribution of work for a named area to the field reps.


An inspection request for the inspector to return to the property to clarify conflicting information.


Changing the locking mechanism of a lock to operate with another key instead of the one that came with the lock. After re-keying the old key will not work; only the new key will work.

REO or Real Estate Owned

Property acquired by the Servicer on behalf of the Trust through foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure on a defaulted loan. The servicer is typically responsible for selling the REO. Proceeds from the sale are returned to the trust. In most cases, the sale of REO does not generate enough to pay off the balance on the loan underlying the REO, causing a loss to the pool.

REO Services

Activities at a property to repair or improve the property owned by a loan servicer that improves the marketability of the property and /or prevent loss of value to the property. Some physical activities that are performed are:

  • Board Up
  • Lawn Maintenance
  • Pool Securing
  • Re-Keying
  • Winterization

Marketing activities that improve the marketability of the property or decrease the expense of ownership for the loan servicer may include:

  • Cash for keys negotiation
  • Eviction Representation
  • Secret Shopper REO Report
  • Broker Report
  • REO Property Condition Report


A term that refers to a company that needs independent contractors only a certain region of the United States.

Re-glaze Broken Glass

Replace the glass in broken windows and doors in order to secure the property. The applicable published regulatory fee schedule for the loan type is to be followed.

Rep ID

An alpha-numeric identification of an independent contractor or field services business such as: DIGFS, 71253, AL222, 60253.

An institution for instruction in the skill of The Field Services Business.  Classes are held at  HYPERLINK “” RepNetSchool™ is a trademark of Gulf Thunder Corporation

Re-secure as Required

Return and secure an unsecured property that was previously secured. The property is secured according to the regulatory specifications for the loan type, unless otherwise instructed.

Rush Inspection

Any type of inspection can be classified as a rush inspection.

Common requests:  HYPERLINK “” \l “24_Hour_Rush” RUSH 24, RUSH 48, RUSH 72.
The inspection must be performed and returned within the time limit specified such as 24 hours, 48 hours or 72 hours.
Normally, RUSH inspections are faxed or phoned in immediately.
Rush inspections pay more than regular inspections however they normally do have a priority status over other work you may have already planned or routed for the day.


Sale Date Inspection

An inspection to determine the physical condition of a property and report any damage or unsecured conditions so that ownership of the property may occur on a certain date. Must be performed on the specific date given in your inspection order form.

Scope of Work
The list of injuries or harm to an insured property usually prepared by an insurance adjuster to determine the amount of insurance claim to be paid, or by a construction contractor determining a bid for the repairs.

The insurance adjuster will prepare an estimate for the damages based on the scope using a computerized estimating platform. You may also have a contractor of your choice prepare a repair estimate based on the same SCOPE OF DAMAGES.

Sheriff Assisted Lock Out
When the owner of a property has followed the legal requirements for eviction and has obtained a court ordered eviction of the occupant of a property the Sheriff of the county directs and witnesses the eviction.

In the mortgage field services industry, Property Preservation personnel normally provide the labor for moving personal belongings out of the property and changing any locks if so directed by the Sheriff.

Secure Pool to Area Specification

Secure a pool or hot tub at the property according to the regulatory requirements for the loan type. The securing may include decking, screening, water removal, chemical treatment, gate/fence padlocking. If no regulatory guidelines are applicable for the loan type, the HUD guidelines are normally followed.

Signing Agent

Signing Agents are notaries public who specialize in the process of obtaining and notarizing the signatures on loan documents.  Lenders rely on a Signing Agent to complete the signing portion of the transaction and assist borrowers with proper execution of the documents.

A Signing Agent may answer “what” (give a definition) but not “why” (regarding terms and conditions.) Signing Agents can “identify” (point out key features and secure proper signatures), but do NOT “explain.” Borrowers are referred back to the document originator for “why” or explanations other than definitions.

The signing agent makes sure each signer is physically present, is identified appropriately, that all documents are signed and initialed, and that each signature that requires notarization is properly notarized and that all documents are returned to the form originator.

Sheet

A form left in a property that is used to record who, what, when, where and why of a visit to the property.

Snow Removal
Remove snow from a property.


·  At age 4 success is . . not peeing in your pants

·  At age 12 success is . having friends

·  At age 16 success is . . . having a drivers license

·  At age 35 success is . having money

·  At age 50 success is . . . having money

·  At age 70 success is . . having a drivers license

·  At age 75 success is . having friends

·  At age 80 success is . not peeing in your pants


Table Topping

The practice of filling out an inspection report while at the kitchen table without actually having been to the property.

Third Party Disclosure

The act of disclosing information to anyone other than yourself or the subject. If field service work, the subject – usually the homeowner, would be the “first party”, you, the field inspector would be the “second party”, and anyone else would be the “third party”.

Tier System

A method of assigning work orders to two or more field reps in the same area of coverage. The system can be based on any criteria or formula. Companies can and do assign work according to the fee the rep charges, timeliness of work, contact ratio or even the rep’s personality.

Turn-Around Time

The amount of time passed between issuance of a field service request and receipt of the completed assignment by the company that issued the request.



HUD Regulations do not define a unit. The dictionary definition of unit is:
“a self-contained section of accommodations in a larger building or group of buildings that may contain food preparation or sanitary facilities, or both.”

Without specifics in the regulations, the industry normally defines a single family residence as one unit. Some contractors report that they use the number of water heaters as the number of units and some contractors charge for extra “units” when the single family residence has more than two bathrooms.

Utility Restoration

Have the electricity, water and sewer, gas and any other necessary services restored to a property.

Most banks and mortgage companies will have a “REO Department” which is responsible for properties they have foreclosed on. The REO department may ask you to contact the local electric, power and sewer companies to restore these services using the mortgage company name or existing account.


Vacant Property

A property that has been verified as unoccupied. Attempt to verify that the property is vacant. If the inspection request is a bankruptcy you must do this without contacting the occupant. Other inspection types allow contact with neighbors, checking of utilities, etc.

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