ACT BEFORE EVICTION JUDGMENTS DISAPPEAR FROM CREDIT REPORTS
As I wrote last month, big changes are coming to credit reports as of July 1st. For the multi-family and property management industry, the most significant impact is on resident screening and tenant screening. Why? Because eviction judgments will disappear from all credit reports as of July 1, 2017.
he three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, as part of a lawsuit settlement with various state Attorney Generals, agreed to the creation of the National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP). For companies that use credit reports, the biggest change will be in the decreased reporting of public records, specifically tax liens and civil judgements. Eviction judgments, such as forcible detainer and unlawful detainer judgments, are civil judgments, and thus they will disappear from credit bureau reports on July 1st.
The reason virtually all civil judgments (and about half of tax liens) will vanish from credit reports is the NCAP requirements that (1) sufficient PII (personally identifiable information) exist on the record, and (2) that public records be collected and updated at least every 90 days. PII includes name, address, date of birth, and social security number. To be reported by any of the three credit bureaus, at least three of the four PII must be present on the public record.
Since effectively all civil judgments do not have social security numbers and dates of birth, they will be removed from credit reports starting July 1st (because only two of the four PII does not qualify for reporting by the three credit bureaus).
For resident screening and tenant screening users, this means that eviction judgments will cease to be reported on credit reports in less than a week. Fortunately, there is an alternative. Reliable Background Screening provides a National Instant Eviction Search as a separate product. This product collects forcible detainer and unlawful detainer (eviction) judgments, and since this product does not come from the credit bureaus, it is not impacted by this NCAP settlement. Thus, Reliable Background Screening will be able to continue to report eviction judgments included in its National Instant Eviction Search product. Resident screening and tenant screening users who are not currently obtaining this separate Eviction Search product.
must now purchase it by requesting to have the Eviction Search product added to their resident or tenant background screening package, if they want to continue finding eviction judgments. Property managers should consider raising their application fee to pass through the additional expense of purchasing the Eviction Search product. Credit reports will still be needed, since collection accounts for landlord and apartment debts will continue to be displayed on credit reports. However, adding the separate Eviction Search product will be essential, since uncovering eviction judgments is important to most property managers. Other businesses that use credit reports may also find the National Instant Eviction Search product helpful, as it is a way to reveal at least some civil judgments.
Rudy Troisi, President Reliable Background Screening
They SHOULD Have Known!
If you are a franchisor and are looking to add more franchisees to promote the good name of your business, you should be vetting them carefully. When you don’t, you could be headed down the road that El Pollo Loco faced when a Hacienda Heights, CA franchisee chose to ignore the Fair Labor Standards Act, as reported by the LA Weekly.
The US Labor Department discovered that 69 employees across four locations owned by the same franchisee were not receiving overtime pay. These employees were working upwards of 70 hours a week and sometimes up to seven days in a row.
Once the illegal activity was brought to light, not only did the franchisee have to pay more than $144,000 in back wages and damages, but El Pollo Loco then had to deal with a damaged reputation. And all of this could have been avoided with better upfront screening of the franchisee ensuring that they had experience and knowledge managing employees’ compensation.
Franchisors need to ensure the franchisees representing their brand have the financial ability to own a business, and also possess the business acumen to be successful. And in the case of a well-known brand such as El Pollo Loco, the franchise brand as a whole was tarnished due to the wrongdoing of one franchisee.
It can be a risky game to franchise a business, but when you have the proper protocols in place, you can help avoid big embarrassments such as this one. One of those stopgaps should be to properly screen potential franchisees. With the right background checks, you will gain insight into potential areas of risk so you can minimize damages before they occur. And the best part – It can cost you nothing!
Reliable Background Screening is a leader and expert in background screening and how important it is for franchisors. We educate franchisors on how to use proper checks to create a winning future for their franchise.
Reliable Background Screening is widely viewed as the experts in the intricacies of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other background screening regulations. We take the time to explain these to our clients, in a simplified and practical manner, without charging extra for our expert advice. In a heavily-regulated area such as background screening, you want to partner with those who operate with the highest regard to the laws and regulations.
They SHOULD Have Known! is a monthly column written by Brett Troisi, Vice President, of Reliable Background Screening. Like everyone else at Reliable, Brett’s mission is to inform and educate the public of the importance of thorough background screening to protect your company and your brand.
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