"The First Choice in Credit & Screening"

19. August 2016 08:08
by mthomas

MLA - Military Lending Act Solutions

19. August 2016 08:08 by mthomas | 0 Comments

Time to brush off those compliance plans and ensure you are prepared for the new regulations, specifically surrounding the Military Lending Act (MLA).


Last July, the Department of Defense (DOD) published a Final Rule to amend its regulation implementing the Military Lending Act, significantly expanding the scope of the existing protections. The new, beefed-up version encompasses new types of creditors and credit products, including credit cards. While the DOD was responsible for implementing the rule, enforcement will be led by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).


The new rule took effect on October 1, 2015, and compliance is required by October 3, 2016. Compliance, however, with the rules for credit cards is delayed until October 3, 2017.


While there is no formal guidance yet on what federal regulators will look for in reviewing MLA compliance, there are some insights on the law and what’s coming.


Why was MLA enacted?


It was created to provide service members and their dependents with specific protections. As initially implemented in 2007, the law:


  • Limited the APR (including fees) for covered products to 36 percent;
  • Required military-specific disclosures, and;
  • Prohibited creditors from requiring a service member to submit to arbitration in the event of a dispute.
  • It initially applied to three narrowly-defined “consumer credit” products:


Closed-end payday loans;

Closed-end auto title loans; and

Closed-end tax refund anticipation loans.

What are the latest regulations being applied to the original MLA implemented in 2007?


The new rule expands the definition of “consumer credit” covered by the regulation to more closely align with the definition of credit in the Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z. This means MLA now covers a wide range of credit transactions, but it does not apply to residential mortgages and credit secured by personal property, such as vehicle purchase loans.


One of the most significant changes is the addition of fees paid “for a credit-related ancillary product sold in connection with the credit transaction.”  Although the MAPR limit is 36 percent, ancillary product fees can add up and — especially for accounts that carry a low balance — can quickly exceed the MAPR limit.


The final rule also includes a “safe harbor” from liability for lenders who verify the MLA status of a consumer.


Under the new DOD rule, lenders will have to check each credit applicant to confirm that they are not a service member, spouse, or the dependent of a service member, through a nationwide CRA or the DOD’s database, known as the DMDC.


If you have inquiries about the new Military Lending Act regulations, feel free to email sales@ciccredit.com or contact your CIC CREDIT Account Executive directly.

18. August 2016 09:08
by mthomas


18. August 2016 09:08 by mthomas | 0 Comments


Your CIC Screening News & Updates


This month, we're bringing you updates, featured products and more!



Featured Products

County Court Criminal Record Search


County Court Criminal Record Search is a search of felony and misdemeanor county court criminal records located at the county seat or central county courthouse, and are available from county courts in over 3100 counties nationwide.


CIC Credit offers and recommends that a County Court Criminal Record Search to be order with a National Criminal Rapsheet Search. Turnaround times vary from 2-5 days.




Join Us! 


CIC Credit will be attending the THCA/THCAL Convention and Trade Show on 8/28-8/31 in Knoxville, TN. 


We will be hosting a compliance breakout session on Monday, 8/29 from 5:15pm-6:00pm



        Compliance Watch


N.Y. - Albany County Legislators Join "Ban The Box" Movement


Excerpted from wamc.com, by Dave Lucas


Do you have a criminal record? That can be a daunting question for a job seeker. Some Albany County legislators are taking steps to eliminate that query from county job application forms. Discriminating against an individual because of a criminal history is illegal, but it remains a stigma when an employer is considering making a hire.  


"The Center For Law and Justice did a survey several years ago, asked employers whether they would consider someone with a conviction record for employment, and 70 percent of them said 'no.' What we really have to do is find some way of allowing people with conviction records to be considered for jobs on the same basis as other people." 


Executive Director of the Center for Law and Justice Alice Green says "The Albany County Fair Chance Act" is a beginning step.  According to the National Employment Law Project, there are an estimated 70 million U.S. adults with arrests or convictions, many of whom are turned away from jobs despite their skills and qualifications.


Most States Require Criminal Background Checks on Doctors - Colorado Doesn't


Excerpted from denverpost.com, by Christopher N. Osher


Colorado relies on self-disclosure when making sure doctors do not have past criminal convictions that would flag them as potentially unfit to provide care.


It's a level of trust that puts Colorado increasingly out of step with other states. As of 2014, 45 state medical boards required criminal background checks to license a doctor.


The Denver Post previously took a look at the issue of criminal checks for nurse licensing in Colorado. That review found that the state's loose screening of applicants allowed nurses with criminal convictions for sexual offenses, drug offenses and crimes of violence to escape detection, sometimes for years.


For the full article, click here


Meeting EEOC Guidelines with Criminal Matrix 


The EEOC has recently stepped up enforcement against employers that use criminal background-screening procedures, though with mixed success.


In June 2013, the EEOC brought suit against Dollar General and BMW, alleging that the employers' use of criminal-background checks in the hiring process without individualized assessments violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. "These two pending class-action lawsuits demonstrate that the EEOC is aggressively pursuing enforcement of the individualized assessment requirement. For employers, cases like these are all the more reason to stay on top of this issue.


Nine out of 10 employers run criminal background screens on applicants as part of the hiring process, according to research from the Society for Human Resource Management. And the number of Americans who have a criminal history on file-about 30 percent, or 92 million people, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics-has increased exponentially in recent years.


So what happens when a job candidate's background check reveals a criminal record?

Experts advise employers to stay current with the state and federal regulations that govern the use of criminal records in background screening; use a hiring matrix to make consistent decisions; assess applicants individually; and stay in legal compliance by understanding the adverse action and record dispute processes.

"If your candidate has a criminal background, the first step is to educate yourself on the top legal issues," said  president of compliance and general counsel at background screening firm. Your focus should be on compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and anti-discrimination laws.


"It is imperative that employers are familiar with their obligations under the FCRA," said Seyfarth Shaw attorney and nationally recognized background screening expert Pamela Q. Devata. Employers that obtain an applicant's criminal history information from consumer reporting agencies must follow the FCRA. "The majority of FCRA lawsuits allege either a violation of the consent requirement that an employer uses to procure the report; or when the two-step adverse action procedures are not adhered to," she said.

And, although federal law does not explicitly protect applicants from discrimination based on their criminal records, it does protect against discrimination based on race and ethnicity.


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published updated guidance on employers' use of criminal background checks in April 2012 to address its concern that criminal background checks have an unintended discriminatory impact on particular minority groups. "When a background check reveals that a candidate has a record, employers should review the EEOC guidance to ensure that the nature and gravity of the offense are taken into account along with the time that has passed since the conviction and the nature of the job held or sought,"


In addition, some 11 states and 60 municipalities have enacted ban-the-box ordinances prohibiting employers from asking about arrest records at the time of application, according to the National Employment Law Project. These measures mostly apply to public employers, however, four states (Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Rhode Island) and a growing number of local governments have passed ban-the-box laws that apply to private employers also.


While none of these measures prohibits checking for criminal records entirely, the laws vary as to when employers can ask about criminal history. The range includes employers being permitted to ask about criminal history any time after the initial application (Massachusetts), after the applicant has been selected for an interview (Minnesota), or only after a conditional offer of employment has been made (Hawaii).

Furthermore, what employers can ask applicants varies by state. Some laws explicitly prevent employers from asking about non-conviction arrests or expunged records at any time during the hiring process. In some states, certain industries or positions are exempt (such as positions in child care, health care, and financial institutions).


Using a Hiring Matrix

Employers have the option of creating a hiring matrix specific to their workplace, which can help determine which criminal convictions the company considers relevant. The guidelines are applied consistently and create a clear standard against which every applicant is measured.


"There is no set formula for creating a hiring matrix. As a rule of thumb, qualifications based on criminal history should be position-specific, and should not include blanket policies. For example, positions involving driving might take applicants' DUI convictions into account. Theft convictions may be considered for jobs involving access to money, and violent crimes for jobs involving access to vulnerable populations.

Whatever the format, the hiring matrix can be a useful tool to avoid any unintended bias, ensure that hiring managers are held to a consistent standard, and to document that a criminal background screening policy is job-related and being applied in a nondiscriminatory way," Preston said.


Individualized Assessments

The 2012 EEOC guidance on the use of criminal records created a de facto new requirement, according to experts: the individualized assessment.


"Their [the EEOC] position is that the guidance is not new, but rather intended to be a more-useful iteration of what's always existed. But that phrase did not exist," remarked Melissa Sorenson, executive director of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. In order to prevent the potentially discriminatory impact of criminal records on the hiring process, employers are instructed to inform applicants through writing, by telephone, or in person that they may be excluded because of past criminal conduct, and provide them with an opportunity to demonstrate that the exclusion does not properly apply to them. Some employers have been doing something which looks like the EEOC's individualized assessment for years, but now it is guidance, Sorenson said.


According to the agency, some factors to consider when conducting an individualized assessment include:

  • Additional facts or circumstances surrounding the offense.
  • Age at the time of the offense or the time of release.
  • Evidence that the individual performed the same type of work post-conviction with no known incidents of criminal conduct.
  • Employment history before and after the offense.
  • Rehabilitation efforts.
  • Employment or character references along with any other information regarding fitness for the particular position.

There appears to be some room for interpretation on what employers' policies and processes look like for individualized assessments, said Sorenson. "Many employers have noted that they have had to either tweak existing processes, or create whole new processes that met what we're all now calling individualized assessments," she said.

Employers would be wise to include in their background screening policies consideration of the Green factors, said Devata, referring to the three components identified by the Eighth Circuit in the 1975 Green v. Missouri Pacific Railroad decision that were relevant to assessing whether a criminal record exclusion is job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity. The three factors to consider are:

  • The nature and gravity of the offense.
  • The time that has passed since the offense and/or completion of the sentence.
  • The nature of the job held or sought.

Another challenge for employers is when the EEOC's guidance conflicts with state law, placing businesses and background screeners in the difficult position of inviting an EEOC investigation simply by complying with state laws that limit who can be hired for certain positions.


"For example, when an employer is prohibited from hiring or licensing someone for a certain conviction, but feel that they have to conduct an individualized assessment, with the knowledge that they can't hire that person," said Sorenson. The EEOC is aware of the issue, she added, "but have not directly responded to it." Complying with state law is certainly something an employer should present as part of their defense if it finds itself in an EEOC investigation, she said.


To learn more, click here



     See Us At:

  • Tennessee Healthcare Assoc Conference - August 28th in Knoxville, TN
  • Washington State Healthcare Human Resource Assoc - September, 14th - 16th in Stevenson, WA


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 CIC Credit | 800-352-5882 | screening@ciccredit.com | www.ciccredit.com

18. August 2016 07:08
by mthomas


18. August 2016 07:08 by mthomas | 0 Comments

Your CIC News & Updates 
Learn more about the biggest changes to credit reports and how they will affect you, join us at one of the many events we'll be attending and see what we've been up to in the community!
Industry News


This report is from Yahoo's finance section. We wanted to pass the information along to you. You can find out more by clicking here. 

The major credit reporting agencies have a big change in the works that could bolster a lot of people's credit scores.

As part of its National Consumer Assistance Plan (the result of a settlement brokered with 31 state attorneys general back in 2015), Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are planning to significantly reduce the amount of tax-lien and civil-judgment information found in consumer credit files.
Details have yet to be finalized, but "there will be less of that type of data in credit reports moving forward," Stuart K. Pratt, president and CEO of the Consumer Data Industry Association, a trade association that represents the credit bureaus, confirmed to Credit.com. Testing is currently underway and a final plan regarding the information is expected to be implemented in July 2017.

A 'Meaningful' Impact
A new study from major credit scoring model VantageScore recently found that the move could help a number of people improve their credit. The study assumed the most extreme form these changes could take - eliminating all civil judgments and tax-lien data from credit reports - and examined the impact it would have on the VantageScore 3.0 scores for 4 million U.S. consumers.

Under these parameters, Vantage found 11% of the sample population had tax liens or civil judgments removed. Approximately 8% of the sample received an average score increase of 11 points when all tax liens and civil judgments were removed.
That may seem like a small amount of consumers. But "the sample is intended to be representative of the U.S. population," Sarah Davies, VantageScore's senior vice president of analytics, product management and research, explained. "The idea that 11% of consumers have some kind of public record [on their credit report], that's quite a lot of consumers."

Not to mention, in certain instances, score increases could be more substantial. VantageScore found, for instance, that 33.6% of consumers with scores between 581 and 600 saw their scores increase to between 601 and 620 when the lien and judgment data was removed. And 33.1% of consumers with a score between 601 and 620 saw their score bump up into the 620-to-641 range.

Those changes are noteworthy, given that, in both scenarios, these consumers could find themselves newly able to secure a mortgage. Federal Housing Administration-backed and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs-backed loans generally require a minimum credit score of 580. And most mortgage experts say conventional loans (one not backed by a government agency) generally require a minimum score of 620.
Davies explained that the average score increase is on the lower side because many consumers with liens or judgments on their credit reports have other negative information weighing them down. But "for some people, [the change in score is] going to be meaningful," she said.

More Consumer-Friendly Credit Reports
The reduction of tax lien and judgment data isn't the only change in the works as a result of the 2015 settlement. As part of its National Consumer Assistance Plan, the credit bureaus are also working to overhaul their dispute process by, among other things, employing specially trained personnel to review disputes and supporting documentation; allowing consumers who discover an error after obtaining their credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com to get a second report free of charge; and providing additional information with the dispute results, including a description of what a consumer can do if they'e not satisfied with the outcome.

They also plan to introduce a 180-day waiting period between the time a medical bill account is created and the time it can be recorded on a credit report as due for collection, as well as forming a multi-company working group to regularly review and help ensure consistency in reported data.

But the tax lien and judgment reduction - related to the bureaus' promise to eliminate the reporting of debts that did not arise from a contract or agreement by the consumer to pay, like tickets or fines - is significant in that it represents the full removal of certain information that has long appeared on credit reports.

Getting Healthier Credit 
The bureaus were given 3 years to implement the new policies outlined in the agreement. And major changes made by big credit scoring models - including the exclusion of paid medical debt in their calculations - only apply to the latest versions of their scores, which have yet to be adopted by all lenders.

ID Watch: An Exclusive Service Through CIC Credit

When the IRS rejects a consumer, the applicant, and joint applicant are provided access to a professional Identity Recovery Advocate, who will perform an investigation to determine the extent of the problem and remediate fraudulent activity working under a Limited Power of Attorney authorization.  

The Identity Advocate will contact the IRS Identity Theft Protection Security Unit on behalf of the victim and also work to expunge any wrongful records created by the fraud that may impact the consumer's tax records, credit score or reputation in the future. The Identity Advocate manages the remediation process on behalf of the victim to resolve all types of IRS fraud, financial and non-financial identity theft issues - at no cost, no matter how long it takes. Once the identity theft issues are resolved, the IRS will remove the Fraud Flag. However, the mortgage underwriter will have to order another 4506-T Form to finalize documentation.

Join Us: 

LMLA Louisiana Mortgage Lenders 
Association  Conference 

We will be attending the conference, which is August 18-19. Join Vicky Stringer at the conference! You can learn more about it by clicking here.

Tennessee Health Care Association Annual Conference

Look for CIC  Credit Employment Screening in Knoxville Sunday, August 28th  thru  Tuesday August 30th. You can learn more about the conference by clicking here

Suncoast Chapter FAMP Meeting 

Come join Theresa McCoy on August 24th for the Suncoast Chapter FAMP Meeting. 
You can find out more about the meeting by clicking here.

The CIC Team in the Community  

The Ultimate Mortgage Expo

We had a blast at the UME and saw so many of our great clients. Hope you enjoyed it too! 

Way to Go  Goodlettsville All Star Team!

We sponsor this incredible team, and they went on to win the State Championships! Great work!

CIC Client Appreciation party at the Cat's Meow in New Orleans

We wouldn't be where we are without our clients, and we can't thank you guys enough. Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Appreciation Party in New Orleans! 

28. June 2016 12:06
by mthomas


28. June 2016 12:06 by mthomas | 0 Comments


July 1st Deadline

On June 23rd, the IRS issued a memorandum to all IVES participants outlining new compliance requirements. Effective for all requests received after July 1st, 2016 all clients will need to re-validate by having the responsible representative of your company verify the following: Name of Company President, CEO, Managing Member, or any other responsible party acting on behalf of the client Last four digits of the social security number of the responsible party Company EIN (employer identification Number) Company full legal name Company primary physical address Failure to comply with the above IRS compliance requirements will cause a service disruption for all transcript requests. To comply by the IRS deadline of July 1st, 2016 a representative of our company may be contacting each of you to complete a re-verify form. In addition please complete the attached attestation addendum for compliance purposes

User Attestation Form

In addition to the responsible party requirements as outlined above the IRS is also requiring that each employee with access to IRS transcripts meet a minimum verification process as outlined below: full legal name date of birth current residential address social security number (SSN) the company-issued email address TaxReturnVerifications.com reserves the right to request the user list verification at any time in response to any IRS security audits. Please feel free to contact us with any questions at 615-250-2005 or COMPLIANCE@CICCREDIT.COM

17. March 2016 17:03
by mthomas

Trended Data

17. March 2016 17:03 by mthomas | 0 Comments

In October 2015 Fannie Mae announced that they will start using Trended Data in their underwriting decision starting the weekend of June 25 2016. Trended Data will come from Transunion’s CreditVision and Equifax’s TotalView product lines. At this time, Experian has no trended credit data for mortgage credit reporting origination. CIC Credit is ready for testing and the June 25 2016 change.

What is trended credit data?

Trended credit data provides an expanded, more granular view of the consumer by leveraging 24 months of a consumer’s past balance, payment, and credit utilization history.  It provides a fuller picture of a consumer’s credit behavior, supplementing the traditional moment-in-time credit snapshot with a more dynamic 2-year picture of a consumer’s history of managing revolving accounts. With 24 months of historical data (such as payment and balance), lenders may be able to see how consumers have managed their credit accounts over time, allowing them to better predict future behavior and assess risk. For example, a consumer with a large credit card balance who pays in full every month (a “transactor”) likely has a higher level of creditworthiness than a consumer with a large credit card balance who only makes the minimum required payment (a “revolver”).  Existing credit reports can’t always differentiate between these two types of consumers.

Why is this change coming?

This new trended credit data initiative could significantly change the mortgage lending industry and the evaluation of home loan applicants. The trended credit data from TransUnion & Equifax will enhance the static snapshot of a consumer’s credit balances with 24 months of historical payment data, potentially providing a more comprehensive view of the applicant. Equifax Trended ACROFILE® & TransUnion CreditVision® is the new industry to mortgage end users.

When Fannie Mae integrates trended credit data into Desktop Underwriter® (DU®), will Experian participate as well?

Experian will participate but we have no ETA at this point.

Will this data have an effect on the DU credit risk assessment and how information is returned to my lender by Fannie Mae?

Our understanding is trended credit data will be included as part of the credit risk assessment in DU Version 10.0 (to be released the weekend of June 25, 2016).  Refer to Fannie Mae’s DU Version 10.0  Release Notes for additional information. https://www.fanniemae.com/content/release_notes/du-do-release-notes-06252016.pdf 

Will Freddie Mac accept the new trended tri-merge data in Loan Prospector®?

At this time, Freddie Mac will not receive the new data elements in machine-readable formats; however, they should still receive the new tri-merge human readable print images embedded within the machine readable (XML or .dat and FFF raw file) formats.

Will the way clients order credit reports today change?

No.  The process of ordering credit reports will remain the same as always.

Do I need to make system changes to address Freddie Mac’s requirements?

If you have a proprietary system with a direct connection to Freddie Mac, please review with Freddie Mac directly.They can address technical requirements to support Freddie Mac.

Why do some tradelines have the trended credit data but others do not?

Not all tradelines qualify. Refer to the criteria chart for Equifax tradelines below.


Trended Credit Data May Not Be Present When Account Is:

Trended Credit Data May Not Be Present When Account Is:

Authorized User

Child/Family Support


Duplicate trade

Insufficient Information to Score: File contains no trade, inquiry, collection or public record.

Less than 6 months of history in an Open status.


Masked trade data for certain narrative codes (bankruptcy, in dispute, medical, repossession, foreclosure, …)


Months since reported > 24

Public Records

Subject Deceased

System Reject - Model Delivery is Temporarily Unavailable


Do the balances shown reflect the balance before or after the monthly payment?

Trended credit data reflects the balance after the monthly payment was made as reported by the data furnisher for the applicable tradeline.

Can additional months of trended credit data be requested (beyond what is provided in the report)?

Trended credit data is only available for 24 months at this time.

What would be reflected in the trended credit data if a consumer missed a payment?

Trended data will reflect a BLANK or ZERO depending on how the data furnisher supplied the information.


When will trended credit data be available in MISMO?

Our understanding is MISMO has added containers for trended credit data in their 3.4 version; however, they are actively reviewing a possible solution for MISMO 2.3 with more information expected soon.

Will a Rescore include trended credit data as well?

No.  Trended credit data is not included in the mortgage industry credit scores; therefore, our Rescore product will not be impacted.  Making changes to the trended credit data fields would not impact scores, yet this will be revisited in the future if/when the mortgage industry scores start using trended credit data.


Will Trended Data increase my credit report fees?


Yes, Trended Data will add a significant increase to credit report fees and secondary use fees also.         



How is the data going to display? What will the report look like?

In October 2015 Fannie Mae announced that they will start using Trended Data in their underwriting decision starting the weekend of June 25 2016. Trended Data will come from Transunion’s CreditVision and Equifax’s TotalView product lines. At this time, Experian has no trended credit data for mortgage credit reporting origination.