• Strategic Information Resouces, Inc. is a BBB Accredited Credit Reporting Agency in Holyoke, MA

Beacon Newsletter Logo

 

 The Beacon- January 2019

We’re proud to unveil the Beacon- Strategic Information Resources’ quarterly news bulletin. Here, you’ll find the latest news and updates at SIR, as well as valuable insights on the consumer reporting industry.

 

SIR Team Goes Above and BeyondAwards

This fall, two members of the SIR team were honored as the recipients of long-celebrated awards within the credit reporting and mortgage industries.

VP of Strategic Accounts Scott Pryor was greeted with applause from Connecticut Mortgage Bankers Association members as he accepted the Peter Gaffey Award at the society’s annual Officer Installation Dinner in October. He was selected on the basis of his many years of service towards the CMBA.

In early November, President Maureen Devine was recognized by the National Consumer Reporting Association as the recipient of its Director’s Award. She was chosen as the 14th recipient of the award at the NCRA’s 26th annual Conference in Reno, NV. According to NCRA President Terry Clemans, Maureen showed incredible balance this year in serving on many committees, task forces and special projects within the NCRA, and also leading SIR.

Scott and Maureen have shown a pattern not only of proven excellence within their trade, but of service to the lending and credit reporting communities. Often overlooked, it is important to recognize the actions of the patrons who go the extra mile for the industry, and keep it moving in the right direction. One could argue that in 2018, the SIR team lived up to our goal- “A Tradition of Outstanding Service” to the markets, as well as the communities we serve.

Conducting VOEs for Military ServicemembersAmerican Flag Military

An employment verification is one of the most useful tools for lenders during the loan origination process. For civilians, submitting a request for a VOE is simple, and can be done through the SIR VOE team. This however begs the question: How does one obtain verification of employment for active and former military service members?

The answer is quite simple: Lenders must work through the employee to obtain employment and/or salary information. However, the process may vary, depending on whether the applicant is a current or former servicemember. Here’s what you need to know for each class:

Current Employees and Military Servicemembers

For currently-serving civilian employees, the applicant may use Employment Verification, a MyBiz tool, to submit a password-protected email attachment using their Common Access Card (CAC). Military servicemembers may refer the requestor to the Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA) website for independent verification of service dates, or to retrieve a copy of their leave and earnings statement through MyPay, a Defense Finance and Accounting tool.

Former Employees


Civilian and military retirees may also use MyPay to obtain a copy of their Retiree Account Statement. Retired civilian employees may request service from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Retirement Office by phone or via OPM services online. As for separated civilian employees, they may request access to their official personnel files (After 120 days from separation date) via the National Personnel Records Center Federal Records Center Program.

New Cutting Edge Mobile Technology Transforms Appraisals

VerisiteSIR’s latest appraisal product is revolutionizing the speed and efficiency at which lenders can obtain comprehensive property inspections.

Of course, many loan products do not require full 1004 appraisals, but detailed property information is still necessary in making sound lending decisions. In today’s market, many first lending programs allow for appraisal waivers, and most equity lenders do not elect for full appraisals.

That’s why SIR recently began offering Verisite, a new way for lenders to get property inspection and collateral valuation data at the push of a button. The platform is perfect for many first lending applications, and for processes like PMI removal, REO work and new construction disbursements. Here’s how it works:

The Verisite Photo Report allows you to get current interior and exterior site photos with descriptions and maps instantly. Perfect for use on loans and banking processes that don’t require full appraisals, the Verisite Photo Report enables you to choose which pictures and descriptions you want, order them, then approve and generate the Verisite Photo Report. The result is an instant, current picture of the property. The platform functions with the Verisite App for smartphones, which allows borrowers, appraisers, inspectors, loan assistants and realtors to instantly get all the property data necessary.

The Verisite Collateral Data report provides a wealth of information condensed into a single report to efficiently direct and streamline workflow. Collateral Data condenses property data into risk scores so that lenders can see the property at a glance. It also presents lenders with an AVM value. With easy-to-apply scores and property values, potential risk can be quantified up front.

In addition to the Photo and Collateral Data Reports, we now offer Verisite Plus, which gives lenders the best of both worlds: It combines the Verisite Photo Report and Verisite Collateral Data report into a single, complete, powerful property and market data and risk analysis report for driving faster decision-making on no-appraisal loans.

At SIR, we’re excited to be rolling out Verisite because we’re all about performance across the lending process. We’re at the cusp of a new generation of technology that makes the world faster, and provides accurate data when and where you need it. We’re applying these efficiencies to the world of appraisals, and we think you’ll appreciate the result. Learn more about our Verisite products here.

Compliance Matters
Consumer Reporting Compliance

Compliance with regulations and industry requirements is always top of mind at SIR.  The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that SIR, acting as a reseller of consumer reports, inform our users of your obligations surrounding the use of consumer reports.   The “Notice to Users of Consumer Reports: Obligations of Users under the FCRAis a key resource you can use to be sure you’re familiar with your legal obligations under The Fair Credit Reporting Act; some of which include:

  • Acceptable permissible purpose for access
  • Provide applicable adverse action notification based on information obtained from SIR
  • Additional actions when fraud and active military alerts are in files
  • Proper disposal of records containing consumer data
  • Obligations for Users of Prescreen Lists

 

It is your obligation to notify SIR if the location or ownership of your organization is changing.  Additional information may be required upon notification.  For data security purposes, it is also required that you keep us informed of staff that has a legitimate business purpose for access of consumer information.   Please keep SIR informed when your staff no longer has a business reason for access.  It is recommended that all staff with access to consumer credit information be provided with appropriate training on data security and on the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  Feel free to contact SIR for credit training material.  Through our affiliation with the National Consumer Reporting Association, SIR offers an End User FCRA Certification Program which is free of charge.  This is a wonderful resource to educate staff with access to credit.  Contact [email protected] to request instructions and login credentials for this program.

 

Given SIR’s recent relocation, please remember to confirm that all of your consumer disclosures reflect our correct address and contact information. We are located at 59 Bobala Road, Holyoke, MA 01040. Our toll free phone number is 800-332-9479.  Because SIR provides you with consumer reporting services, we must be the CRA referenced in your adverse action notice.  This notice must also state that SIR did not make the adverse decision and therefore is not able to explain the reason for the decision.  Your notice must provide a statement that the consumer has a right to obtain a free disclosure within 60 days and has a right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information provided.