Posts Tagged ‘The Rent Rite Directory’

How to Read Credit Reports from Each of the Three Bureaus

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

credit-reportCan you say you’re completely confident reading each of the different credit reports with their key codes? If you are, this article can serve as a good training guide for your staff on the differences of each of the three credit bureau’s credit reports. Or in case your tenant screening company says they provide you with credit reports, when in reality they only provide you with credit summaries, these guides and codes will come in handy.

First and foremost: when reading a credit report, double check the person’s full name, social security number, and their date of birth. If there are any discrepancies, be sure to check with the applicant. Keep in mind that the information obtained in credit reports isn’t always perfect. The credit bureaus search for input information on two out of those three information fields mentioned above, to avoid human error. Credit bureaus can either input, or are sometimes given incorrect information.

Equifax and TransUnion Credit Report Quick Look Guide:

  •        Personal Information
  •        Report Summary
  •        Scorecards (if a score is given in the report)
  •        Collections (if the applicant has any)
  •        Public Records (if the applicant has any)
  •        Trade lines (this includes both loan and revolving debt payments)
  •        Inquiries (how many times a report has been pulled – and from whom)
  •        Warning Messages

TransUnion_CreditKeyEquifaxCreditKey

Experian Credit Report Quick Look Guide:

  •        Index
  •        Potentially Negative Items (public records, if the applicant has any)
  •        Credit Items
  •        Collections (if the applicant has any)
  •        Accounts in Good Standing
  •        Requests for Credit History
  •        Personal Information

ExperianCreditKey

The credit sections of each report use a different set of codes in order to keep the report short, when showing payment patterns. The starting dates for trade lines for Equifax and Experian begin in the month reported, while TransUnion’s begins on the payment pattern start date (see each code key below).

If your applicant believes an error has occurred in their report, advise them to contact the credit bureau directly (contact information is located below). When reviewing credit reports to determine if your applicant will be a good fit for your rental property make sure you know how to read them carefully, and always, always, always perform due diligence on the information you find.

Trans Union
P. O. Box 1000
Chester, PA. 19022
1-800-888-4213
http://www.transunion.com/personal-credit/credit-disputes/credit-disputes.page
 
Equifax
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
1-800-685-1111
https://experian.referral.equifax.com/CreditInvestigation/home.action
 
Experian
http://www.experian.com/credit-advice/topic-disputing-information.html 

ElizabethWhited Elizabeth Whited | Company Website | LinkedIn Connect |

Elizabeth is the Operations Coordinator at the Rent Rite Directory. She has written educational articles for multifamily magazines and Real Estate websites to help Property Managers and Owners improve their properties, and reduce crime in their communities.

 

What is the OFAC Terrorism Watch Search and Why is It Important to Real Estate Professionals and Landlords?

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Elizabeth Whited, May 13, 2013 | ewhited@therrd.com, 1-855-733-2289

When choosing screening services have you ever wondered what the OFAC search was, and if it was really necessary to use for your company? Recent events like the tragedy in Boston have placed a lot of emphasis on America’s terrorist watch list, and what it really means.

OFAC_logoThe Office of Foreign Asset Control, or OFAC is part of the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. It administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, parties engaged with weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or the economy of the United States (US Department of Treasury).

So how does this search affect you and your business? In short: the list they administer and enforce tells you who and who you cannot do business with legally. The list they create of the restricted parties is known as the “Specially Designated Nationals List” (SDN), and is available on their website. A recent LinkedIn poll showed that 78% of Real Estate professionals use the OFAC search and believe it to be an important tool, while 5% used it, but didn’t really know what it was, or what they were getting, and 16% did not use it in their tenant or pre-employment screening at all, or knew what it was.

While the SDN list is extensive, it is important to note that you always need to perform due diligence with it (just as with any other report you get back with tenant or employment screening), as it can return with similar names to your applicants. If you do suspect a match has been found there are hotlines to call to verify that information, depending on what list you received the information from.

Most OFAC searches will return with information regarding the applicant at the top: name, address, filing state, social security number, birth date, birth country, and a best name, followed by the databases searched. It is important that every applicant to any property, be it small, large, class A-C assets, should be screened, and in light of recent events should be searched through the OFAC Terrorist Watch/Patriot Act Database.

Not only is it important to screen every tenant or employee applicant, it is also important to know and completely understand what you are receiving in your reports. It is also good practice to perform due-diligence before making any final conclusions.

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ElizabethWhitedAbout the Author: Elizabeth Whited is the Operations Coordinator at the Rent Rite Directory. She has written educational articles for multifamily magazines and Real Estate websites to help Property Managers and Owners improve their properties, in an effort to reduce crime in their communities. The Rent Rite Directory educates Property Managers and Owners at Crime Watch Meetings, and Crime Free Association Conferences, and works closely with law enforcement nationwide. For more information, visit www.therrd.com

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