Collect! Credit and Collection Software™

  Detailed Field Information Page Table of Contents Related 'How To' Tutorials

Credit Bureau Setup

You can send credit reports to major credit reporting agencies using the Metro2 (426 character format) standard. Each reporting bureau requires specific ID codes to identify your company. This may be referred to as your "Subscriber" number with the bureau you report to and it should be confirmed with your bureau representative whether they wish you to place this into the 'Credit Grantor' or 'Identification #' fields in the setup screen. Both write to different positions in the header record of the Metro2 file. The bureaus' ability to correctly identify your company will determine if your reporting files are accepted or rejected. Please discuss the requirements with your credit reporting agency.


Credit Bureau Setup

Once you start reporting to the credit bureaus, the Debtor's file number must not change while the account is being reported on. Click here for more information.

warning.gif WARNING: Reporting credit is a legal matter. You are responsible for ensuring that the information you are sending is accurate and complete. Do not report credit without being ABSOLUTELY SURE about your legal rights and the legal rights of the person or entity you are reporting.

Credit Reporting Agencies

Collect! provides for reporting to the three major credit reporting agencies:

Trans Union

Experian

Equifax

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Reporting Credit With Collect!

There are 3 phases in Credit Reporting in Collect!:

1. Setups

* Global settings from the \Preferences\Credit Bureau Reporting, generally done once and not updated again

* Advanced Client Settings, on a per client basis

2. Initialization of NEW accounts to report OR modification of bureau 'condition' or 'status' on per account and batch of accounts levels for accounts already reporting

3. Creation of the Metro2 text file to send to your bureau(s).

Reporting companies are responsible for deleting accounts which have exceeding the allowable reporting period. To this end, we provide a report called the 7 Yr Age Out List, with instructions for use that should be part of every reporting company's Phase 3 process on a regular basis.

From the point that you have setup your credit bureau reporting correctly, Collect! will take care of the accounts automatically thereafter:

* If you have the Report all accounts switch ON, it will report the account each time you run a CBR process to output the Metro2 file, and continue to report until such time as you officially send a Delete Metro (DA) on the account, which will terminate further reporting.

* If you have the Report all accounts switch OFF, after reporting the account the first time, it will only report again if there has been a change to the account details or balance. You are required to be compliant with legislation and regulations in your region. Effective 09/01/2016, it became required for USA companies to report all accounts (full file) each time they furnish a credit reporting file.

* Automatically updates the bureau status to PIF (AS62) if the balance owing becomes $0.00

tip.gif If you are a credit reporting company, UNLESS an adjustment to make the balance owing zero is intended to reflect a PIF reporting to the bureau, you should not adjust balances owing to zero prior to closing an account in Collect!.

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Default Values

It is important to fill in all fields for the credit bureau(s) of your choice in the Credit Bureau Setup form. USE THE DEFAULT VALUES listed below, if you have not been supplied an actual value from your credit bureau.

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Control Number

The Program Identifier or Control Number contains a unique identification number assigned to you by the credit reporting agency.

Unless otherwise specified, fill this field with 00001. (Alpha-numeric, length 5)

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Uc

TRANS UNION PROGRAM IDENTIFIER

This is a unique number assigned to you by the credit reporting agency.

Unless otherwise specified, fill this field with 00001. (Alpha-numeric, length 5)

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Wco

EXPERIAN PROGRAM IDENTIFIER

This is a unique number assigned to you by the credit reporting agency.

Unless otherwise specified, fill this field with 00001. (Alpha-numeric, length 5)

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Xco

EQUIFAX PROGRAM IDENTIFIER

This is a unique number assigned to you by the credit reporting agency.

Unless otherwise specified, fill this field with 00001. (Alpha-numeric, length 5)

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Credit Grantor

This is called the Subscriber Code in Trans Union terminology. (Alpha numeric, length 10)

This is called the Subscriber Code in Experian terminology. (Alpha numeric, length 10)

This is called the Membership Number in Equifax terminology. For Equifax subscribers, enter the 10 character ID code provided by Equifax here. (Alpha numeric, length 10)

Your unique subscriber codes will be placed at the top of the file that Collect! creates for you to send to the credit bureau.

If reporting to Equifax and/or Trans Union, place the Subscriber ID they give you into the Credit Grantor field.

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Ug

TRANS UNION CREDIT GRANTOR

This is called the Subscriber Code in Trans Union terminology. (Alpha numeric, length 10)

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Wg

EXPERIAN CREDIT GRANTOR

This is called the Subscriber Code in Experian terminology. (Alpha numeric, length 10)

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Xg

EQUIFAX CREDIT GRANTOR

This is called the Membership Number in Equifax terminology. For Equifax subscribers, enter the 10 character ID code provided by Equifax here. (Alpha numeric, length 10)

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Center Code

The Computer Center Code uniquely identifies which data processing center generated the tape.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 001. (Alpha numeric, length 3)

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Uce

TRANS UNION COMPUTER CENTER CODE

The Computer Center Code uniquely identifies which data processing center generated the tape.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 001. (Alpha numeric, length 3)

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Wce

EXPERIAN COMPUTER CENTER CODE

The Computer Center Code uniquely identifies which data processing center generated the tape.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 001. (Alpha numeric, length 3)

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Xce

EQUIFAX COMPUTER CENTER CODE

The Computer Center Code uniquely identifies which data processing center generated the tape.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 001. (Alpha numeric, length 3)

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Area Code

The Area Code is used only if the data processing center produces files for more than one location. It contains an identity code, which should be developed by the subscribe for the location whose data is being reported.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 001. (Alpha numeric, length 3)

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Ua

TRANS UNION AREA CODE

The Area Code is used only if the data processing center produces files for more than one location. It contains an identity code, which should be developed by the subscribe for the location whose data is being reported.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 001. (Alpha numeric, length 3)

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Wa

EXPERIAN AREA CODE

The Area Code is used only if the data processing center produces files for more than one location. It contains an identity code, which should be developed by the subscribe for the location whose data is being reported.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 001. (Alpha numeric, length 3)

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Xa

EQUIFAX AREA CODE

The Area Code is used only if the data processing center produces files for more than one location. It contains an identity code, which should be developed by the subscribe for the location whose data is being reported.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 001. (Alpha numeric, length 3)

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Identification #

The Identification Number is used to uniquely identify a credit grantor. Report your internal code to identify each branch, office and/or credit center where information is verified. This number must be unique and at least five digits long. Note that the entire field should never be zero, blank or 9 filled. This field must be consistent on a month to month basis. Notify your credit bureau representative before changing this code.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 0000001. (Alpha numeric, length 7)

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UID

TRANS UNION IDENTIFICATION #

The Identification Number is used to uniquely identify a credit grantor. Press F1 for details.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 0000001. (Alpha numeric, length 7)

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Wid

EXPERIAN IDENTIFICATION #

The Identification Number is used to uniquely identify a credit grantor. Press F1 for details.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 0000001. (Alpha numeric, length 7)

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Xid

EQUIFAX IDENTIFICATION #

The Identification Number is used to uniquely identify a credit grantor. Press F1 for details.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 0000001. (Alpha numeric, length 7)

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File Location

When the *.001 files are created, they will be placed

in the Collect\Log Files\cbr folder.

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Report

This is the name of the summary report listing all Debtors sent to the credit bureaus. The default report lists Debtor name, principal, owing etc. You can edit the report to suit your needs.

This is strictly for internal informational purposes and is not necessary to generate. It is equally simple to open the actual Metro2 output file in a pure text reader such as Notepad and view your file contents if you wish to see how many accounts you are reporting.

tip.gif TU.001, EFX.001, EXP.001 text files that you remit to the bureaus should NOT be opened in any word processing program (including Wordpad) as these will change the pure text format, making the files unreadable by the bureaus. Notepad / Notepad++, and UltraEdit are 2 common pure text editors that are fine for the purpose of opening/viewing credit reporting files before you deliver them to the bureaus.

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Optional SSN And Date Of Birth

Switch ON 'Optional SSN and Date of Birth' to prevent Collect! from checking the debtor for a valid SSN or DOB when reporting to the bureau. When checked, Collect! will NOT stop accounts that are missing an SSN and also missing a DOB from being reported.

warning.gif WARNING: As of 2017, US Credit Bureaus require that any accounts being submitted must have either an SSN or DOB. If you are in the US, do not enable this option. This option is for non-US customers where the SSN and DOB are not a requirement.

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Inhibit Phone Numbers

Switch ON 'Inhibit phone numbers' to prevent Collect! from sending phone numbers to the credit bureau. The output file will contain all zeroes in the phone number position. This ensures debtor privacy if you have unlisted phone numbers in your database. This is a global setting, it cannot be set on an individual account basis.

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Delay Report

Check this box ON to cause Metro Contact Event Due Dates to be Delayed by a fixed number of days from the current date. The field to enter the number of days to be added to the current date (i.e. 30 days, 45 days) will appear only when the switch to Delay report has been checked.

Some of our USA collection agencies often utilize this feature to encompass the FDCPA validation/dispute period, only after which they will commence credit reporting. Other Collect! users find that this feature allows them to be compliant with specific client directives, where they are bound by contractual agreement with the creditor not to report the accounts for 'x' days from listing.

This switch controls whether an account is eligible to be reported effective the day it is initialized/turned ON for reporting,

OR

should be put off for a prescribed number of days from the date it is turned it ON. This is a global setting that will apply to ALL accounts initialized UNLESS there is a different number of Delay Days selected on a per client basis: the Delay Days in Advanced Client Settings overrides the global setting.

The Advanced Client Settings override is in place as well to allow companies to be compliant with upcoming credit reporting requirements for Medical accounts in effect as of 09/15/2017.

To cause Metro Contact Event Due Dates to reflect the current date when you turn ON Debtor accounts for CBR reporting, do NOT the check Delay report switch.

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Delay Days

This field is only displayed when you have checked Delay report ON and is where you input the number of days you want to wait before the account is eligible to be reported.

For example, if today's date is 01/01/2018 and your Delay days is set to 30, when you turn a debtor ON for CBR reporting, the Due Date on the Metro Contact event will be 01/31/2018.

If a client has a separate Delay days set to 60 when the global setting is 30, then turning a debtor ON for CBR reporting under that client on 01/01/2018 would result in that account's Metro Contact having a Due Date of 03/02/2018.

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Report As Credit Grantor

This switch is connected to a field in the Company Details window, labeled Credit grantor. Checking this switch ON (or OFF) in either window will perform the same step in both locations (checking or unchecking the box). Whether this switch is ON/OFF in both places has an effect on where information is sourced from on the Debtor accounts when fields are being written into the Metro2 text file.

Only companies who are 1st party credit grantors should check this switch. Collection Agencies and Attorney Offices should not check this box ON from either Company Details or Credit Bureau Setup screens.

When this switch is turned ON, the Delinquency Date is used to report the Date of Occurrence for all bureau status codes except 4, 10, 13 and 61 to 68. In those cases, the date the Contact was scheduled is sent as the date of Occurrence. See your Metro2 handbooks from your credit bureaus for more information regarding bureau status codes.

When the this switch OFF, the Date of Occurrence is always taken from the Delinquency Date.

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Report All Accounts

When this is switched ON with a check mark, Collect! will report all debtors in your database that have been setup for credit bureau reporting. With this box unchecks, Collect! will only report accounts that have been changed.

tip.gif This box is on by default to comply with the 2016 USA reporting requirements change requiring
all accounts to be included in a credit report.

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Report By Industry

The default setting is Collection Agency/Attorney. 1st party credit grantors are the only companies that should modify this setting, and in so doing, choose the Industry type available that most closely reflects the nature of their business. The picklist may NOT be modified with any custom insertions as these values are hard-coded 'as is' by the Metro2 layout acceptable to the bureaus

Enter the Industry Code you wish to include in this report. Only Debtors with this setting in the Credit Report Details Reporting Industry field will be processed for reporting.

This enables you to keep all your Collections accounts together in one report and all your Mortgage Loan accounts in a different report, for instance.

Please refer to How To Setup Credit Bureau Reporting for more details.

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Report Charged Date

This switch is intended for credit grantors ONLY who have also turned ON the Credit grantor switch in Company Details / Credit Bureau Reporting Setups.

Check this ON to report the account's Charged Date as the debtor's Date Opened, instead of the Listed Date.

Even if checked ON, this switch will not function if the company is a 3rd party collection agency / attorney's office, which is not identified in setups as being a credit grantor.

tip.gif If you do not enter a Delinquency Date, Collect! automatically uses the Charged Date for credit bureau reporting. Also Collect! automatically reports the Charged Date when you are reporting NSF checks. You do not need to switch on 'Report Charged Date'.

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No Posted Date Mods Delinquency

When this is switched ON, Collect! uses the Payment Date of the promise transaction as the Delinquency Date rather than allowing the default 30 day delay in determining delinquency.

tip.gif This is used only in Credit Grantor mode.

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Report Client Account Number

By default, Collect! uses the Debtor File Number as the ID for credit bureau reporting. It is recommended that you leave Report Client Account Number switched OFF and let Collect! report using the Debtor File Number, unless you are sure you need to do otherwise.

It is necessary to make a global decision for the company: will you report accounts by your Client's Account Number (Acct on the Debtor screen) or by your Office's File Number on the Debtor screen. Once this decision is made and you begin reporting, you cannot change this setting again.

Check Report client account number ON if you will use the client's account number,

OR

do NOT check this switch if you will report by the debtors' file numbers as assigned by Collect! when entered into your system. Reporting by File number is the more popular selection as some creditors do not provide an account number and the bureaus reject debts reported without a reference number associated with the debt.

warning.gif WARNING: Reporting accounts by one setting, i.e. client's account number followed by a change (perhaps accidental) to report with your company's file number will result in the same account appearing twice on a debtor's credit report as though they were different accounts completely; the bureaus cannot differentiate when the debt is reported with different 'account numbers' insofar as Metro2 layout is concerned. This creates a serious situation between your company and the bureaus that requires drastic steps to resolve.

To avoid the possibility of the above occurrence, this switch will become Read Only for all User Levels after you have run your first report. Even where the switch is being left unchecked in the OFF position, meaning you are reporting by File number, it will still make the field Read Only so a user doesn't inadvertently turn it ON at some future point in time.

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Report Owing In Past Due

Switch this ON with a check mark to report the Debtor's Owing in the Past Due position of the CBR file. Normally, this field is zero filled if you are not a credit grantor, but you can use this switch to fill it with the Owing.

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New Bus - Ignore Reporting Owing

If this field is checked, then debtors being reported for the first time will not be enabled if their owing is less than the value in the LESS THAN field.

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Less Than

This field is used by the NEW BUS - IGNORE REPORTING OWING field above. If the above field is checked, then debtors being reported for the first time will not be enabled if their owing is less than the value in this field.

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Help

Press this button for help on the Credit Bureau Setup form and links to related topics.

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Defaults

When reporting a Debtor to the Credit Bureaus, there are certain settings that need to be reported to the bureaus.

Select this button to display the Credit Report Preferences form where you can choose default credit reporting settings. When you flag a Debtor to be reported to the Credit Bureau, these default settings will automatically apply to the Debtor.

You can override these defaults on an individual Debtor level through the Credit Report Details dialog. To access this dialog, select the CBR tab on the Debtor form.

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Cancel

Selecting this button will ignore any changes you have made and return you to the previous form.

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OK

Selecting this button will save any changes you may have made and return you to the previous form.

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Collection Advisor RMA ACA Member