The Latest RealPage Resident Screening News - December 2018
Ask the Expert: Proactive Fraud Prevention
Need to know: RealPage's own, James Hilliard, spoke with Forbes about proactive measures Landlords and Property Managers can take to protect themselves against the rising threat of fraud.
Recently, James Hilliard, VP and GM of RealPage Screening, sat down with Forbes to talk about the rising threat of fraud and scams being perpetrated against Landlords and Property Managers.
Did you know?
- 95% of Property Managers have difficulty identifying fraud
- 59% of all applications nationwide are now online (these applications are most at risk for fraud
- 80% of Property Managers have fallen victim to fraud in the last 2 years and 75% of them had no idea until after move-in
- $4,215 is the average bad debt per fraudulent move-in (not including court/eviction costs)
According to James, these threats can be hard to detect. "Oftentimes even these basic red flags (lavish income, thin file, refusal to meet in person) can be deceiving. Applicants live remotely, use a nickname or middle name, or are young or foreign-born and have no established credit history. What's more, leasing staff can open themselves to Fair Housing related legal issues if their fraud-seeking actions are not applied equally across applicants."
For more about the preventative measures that James and other experts recommend, click the link below to read the full article.
For more fraud prevention best practices, or to see how RealPage Screening can help, contact your Screening Account Manager or email ScreeningAccountManagement@RealPage.com.
Your Voice Matters!
Our goal is to deliver the industry’s most innovative resident screening solutions, and we’d like to know how you think we’re doing! Please click the link below and take no more than 10 minutes to give us your feedback about the value and quality of our products and services. Share your thoughts on what we’re doing well, and what we could do better – we are here to serve you.
PRO TIP: Adverse Action Letters
Need to know: A final screening decision must be made before the required Adverse Action Letters can be generated. Our system has several settings options to help.
When you take adverse action against a consumer based on any information obtained from a consumer report, the law (by way of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, “FCRA”) requires that you must notify the consumer in the form of an Adverse Action Letter. The two most common types of adverse action include denying or conditionally accepting an applicant.
To mitigate the risk of FCRA violations I recommend that your policies include requirements for making screening decisions and for sending Adverse Action Letters. Our system has settings options that can email Adverse Action Letters to applicants, but a final screening decision must first be made in order for the letter to generate. Here are the two settings options that I recommend to help:
- To ensure that a Final Decision is made, enable the ‘Screening decision required after a number of specified days’ option (Setup > Screening > General Settings). Most clients choose between 7 and 14 days.
- To email applicants a copy of their letter, select the ‘Automatically email Adverse Action Letter if an email address is provided at the time of screening’ option (Setup > Screening > Letter Settings). If an email address is not provided, you can still manually choose to print and mail the Adverse Action Letter once a final decision is made.
- Robin Watson, Account Manager
Client Highlight - Cindy J. Maldonado, Vice President of Systems Training and Support, Edgewood Management & Vantage Management Corp.
Edgewood Management Corporation is the premiere affordable property management company on the East Coast. With over 40 years of experience across 14 states, Edgewood's mission is simple: "Help people improve their lives." As Vice President of Systems Training and Support, Cindy Maldonado leverages ReaPage Screening's unique offerings so that screening isn't just a "check-the-box" compliance requirement, but so that it is a powerful tool that helps Edgewood fulfill its mission and helps elevate the performance of its growing portfolio.
Here's what Cindy had to say:
“As a requirement in many of our communities, criminal background screening is conducted not only as a prerequisite to leasing, but also, annually as part of the lease and recertification renewal process. And with ever-changing HUD regulations, we can count on RealPage's LeasingDesk Screening to help keep us compliant. Personally, I have never had a better working relationship with a Screening provider. This particular group of individuals has been a blessing to our portfolio of properties with the continual outreach and training of our individual users of the system. LeasingDesk Screening provides a sense of security, knowing these reports are meeting Fair Housing Standards as well as Fair Credit Reporting procedures. We value being able to retrieve previous rental history which magnifies our ability to see into an applicant’s past success and/or failure as a resident. We would be highly susceptible to a higher bad debt and income loss without the background screening inclusive with our software package. If your management firm or owner is not currently using this wonderful product and team for background screening, I would highly recommend that you request a product demonstration! It could change the way you do business for the better almost instantly!"
Thanks for the positive feedback, Cindy! Our goal is to be the best, and we're lucky to partner with the best!
P.S., We love the photo of you with Popeye the Sailor Man @ RealWorld. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando next summer!
New Screening Users? We are Happy to Help!
We offer a FREE Live Screening Training Webinar every Wednesday at 2:00 PM CST.
Users can register for this and other training via the RealPage Product Learning Portal:
Once inside the Product Learning Portal, go to the training calendar tab where you can view current and future training offerings.