Have you (or someone you know) ever wonder why certain information is requested on a loan application that may not have anything to do with making the loan decision? I have.
When applying for credit, the loan application is not only a tool to acquire necessary information for the lender to make a judgmental credit decision. It is also a source of valuable data that is used to help collectors collect money that is owed to the lender if the borrower does not make their payments on time or at all.
Here are 5 Things Asked on a Loan Application Used by Collectors.
CURRENT & PREVIOUS ADDRESSES
The current address is not only used to request the applicant’s credit report, but it is also used to mail payment reminder or collections letters and, when necessary, for Skip Tracing. Skip Tracing is a process of acquiring as much information about a person to find out where they are. Once the person is located, the collector can proceed with collection efforts or take further legal action. Some skip tracing tools used are credit reports, white pages, a system called “Accurint,” social media, and especially Google.
The name and address of the applicant’s employer is sometimes used to have the borrower served if the lender chooses to sue the borrower by filing for a default judgment. However, this information is mainly used to file for wage garnishment.
Home, work and cell phone numbers are used by collectors, of course, to call borrowers to discuss missed or past due loan payments and to acquire, what is called a “Promise To Pay.” A Promise To Pay, is the borrower’s promise to make the agreed upon payment(s) to bring the loan account back to a current status. Most collection calls may be friendly reminders. However, the more past due the loan becomes, the more “concerned” the collectors may be when calling.
Most collectors are aware that many people may not answer unknown callers or callers that they do not want to speak to. They are also aware that many people may not read or ignore collection notices in the mail. This is why email addresses are very valuable. In today’s electronic age, most people may respond faster to their emails than letters and voicemail messages. This also gives the borrowers time to respond in a less intimidating manner.
The names, addresses and phone numbers of the applicant’s family members and friends are usually requested in a loan application as references. This information is also used for Skip Tracing, when necessary. Collectors may contact those references to obtain more information about the borrower and their whereabouts to continue collection efforts or further legal action.
Most first party collectors, which are usually employees of the lender, may be very open to assist borrowers that are dealing with financial hardships with payment plans. They are usually friendly and willing to assist as best as possible. So, please don’t ignore them.
Just make sure that you are aware of consumer rights regarding normal collection action, especially when dealing with third party collectors. No collector should verbally abuse or threaten you. That is against the law. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act governs third party collectors, collection activity, as well as Consumer Rights.
Tarra Jackson, Making Money Sexy
What other application information is used by collectors?