Collect! Credit and Collection Software™

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Web Host Credit Reporting

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.


Edit Credit Reporting Settings

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

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 Settings -> Credit 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

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.

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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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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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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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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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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Report As Credit Grantor

Only companies who are 1st party credit grantors should check this switch. Collection Agencies and Attorney Offices should not check this box ON.

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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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 Charged Date

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'.

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

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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 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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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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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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Do Not Report Accounts With An Owing Below

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 DO NOT REPORT ACCOUNTS WITH AN OWING BELOW 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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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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Defaults

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

These default settings are used for every account you switch ON for reporting. They can be changed globally or on a per debtor basis. When you select an item from the pick list, the corresponding code will be set in the Debtor's Credit Report Details.

The pick lists on the fields are interdependent. You will notice that the available choices change depending on what you have selected for other fields.

tip.gif Default values from the Metro2 Standard are provided for normal collection and credit management reporting. Please refer to your Metro2 Manual for help selecting from the pick lists. If you are not sure which default values you should use, please discuss with your credit bureau representative.

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.

The Credit Report Preferences form is accessed by selecting the DEFAULTS button on the Credit Bureau Setup form.

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Reporting Industry

This field contains the industry type that classifies the reporting agency. Common examples of Industry are "Collection Agency" and "Mortgage Loan."

Valid Industry Codes are:

0 - Check Credit
1 - Collection Agency
2 - Credit Card
3 - Credit Union
4 - Debt Counselor
5 - Educational
6 - Family Support
7 - Government Agency
8 - Installment Loan
9 - Loan Finance
A - Mortgage Loan B - Retail C - Sales Finance D - Savings And Loans E - Service And Professionals

tip.gif This is the field that holds the value Collect! uses if you want to "Report by Industry" as described in Credit Bureau Setup.

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Account Type

This field contains the account type code that identifies the account classification. You will notice that the choices depend on what you have selected as the "Industry" in the previous field.

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Status Code

This field contains the status code that properly identifies the current condition of the account. Available Status Codes change depending on the "Account Type." For instance, a "Collection Agency/Attorney" reports statuses such as "Seriously past due" and "Paid in Full." While an accounts such as "Real Estate Mortgage" reports statuses like "Current" or "150 days past due."

Collection Agencies will predominantly be reporting in bulk as “Seriously past due and/or in collections” unless they are specifically running a batch of Deletes, or adjusting their reporting with a Special Comment like Dispute (XB in the METRO2 file).

tip.gif Collect! Debtor status codes and bureau status codes are not in any way connected or interdependent. A change in a Collect! debtor Status Code field has NO CHANGE on a debtor's credit reporting file scheduled for the next reporting date.

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Payment Rating

This field contains settings for specifying whether or not an account is Current or Past Due. It is only visible for certain Status Codes that Collect! does not handle automatically. Please refer to How to Setup Credit Bureau Reporting for details.

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Portfolio

This field contains the type of the debt. The pick list offers choices for common credit and loan types. Examples of Portfolio Type are "Open Account" and "Line of Credit."

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Special Comments

This field is used in conjunction with the Account Status to further define the account. Special comment codes, when found, will however take precedence over the value in Account Status.

ASSOCIATION CODE (ECOA)

This is used to designate an account in compliance with the ECOA. This setting can be changed for an individual Debtor through the Credit Report Details form accessed from the Debtor form.

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Condition Code

This field allows for reporting of a condition that is required for legal compliance; e.g., according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

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Country Code

This is the country that the Debtor lives in.

The list of default country codes provided by Collect! shows only a few of the most used country codes. Please refer to your Metro2 Manual if you need to use a different code.

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Indicator

This field provides for entering a value indicating a bankruptcy condition that applies to the Debtor cosigner.

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Report Cosigner

This field is used to determine if the Debtor has a cosigner to be reported on. ECOA choices and details are filled in on the Debtor Cosigner form. Select the Cosigners tab in the Debtor form to access Cosigner information for the Debtor. Press F1 when the Debtor Cosigner form is displayed. The Help topic contains valuable information about credit bureau reporting formats for each field.

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Downloading Metro2 Files

When the *.001 files are created, you will see them listed in the download section along with the CBR Log.

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.

The download section displays the last date the Credit Bureau process was run and the file size.

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Collection Advisor RMA ACA Member