Resources Frequently Asked Questions
Here are our top frequently asked questions, if you have any specific questions that is not listed here, feel free to contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
Expenses that are credit reported get top priority in monthly budgets. So just like credit card, loan or car payments, you can encourage on-time and full payments by using credit reporting. You could cut your delinquencies in half and reduce your collection or debt recovery fees!
With this amenity, you will attract qualified, credit-conscious tenants/homeowners to secure your future cash flow.
Plus, this program offers revenue sharing so you can increase your monthly profits!
When all HOA members are reported to the credit bureaus, delinquencies and past due balances are reduced by an average of 30% within the first year. Communities can keep up with needed repairs and improvements and are less likely to require special assessments or large increases in dues.
Rent and HOA assessment payments are a significant financial obligation. By reporting on-time payment histories, residents can see significant increases in their credit score which leads to better interest rates, higher credit limits and greater access to services for which a good FICO score is a factor.
Credit reporting is a sensitive process with many data and compliance requirements. Most credit bureaus require a minimum number of accounts and an extensive review process for a company to directly report. With Sperlonga, we have the technology to take in, secure and transmit sensitive data in full compliance with the FCRA. Also, since we act as a data aggregator, our clients have no account minimums, which means our clients can report their small portfolio up or tens of thousands of accounts like our larger management company clients.
Our service is inclusive reporting, not delinquency only or positive only reporting. We report all accounts at each property or association. Over 90% of our reported accounts are on-time. This helps homeowners and renters increase their credit scores without acquiring more debt. Monthly reporting also encourages account holders to continue to pay on-time and not become delinquent.
Yes, you can generate additional revenue through Sperlonga’s Rent Payment Reporting Program. This can be done by adding a margin that makes sense to you and your tenants. Example: You can charge $9.99 per month for the credit reporting service for the duration of the lease. Then, deduct the Sperlonga Rent Reporting service cost, and you get to keep the net amount. You may also add this to your resident benefits package, where you can charge a higher margin. While tenants benefit from improved credit scores, you can earn additional revenue.
Sperlonga reports to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
They accept both late/skipped and on-time payment reporting, which provides positive reinforcement as well as habit correction, making Sperlonga’s Credit Reporting Service more effective in motivating positive payment habits.
The monthly reporting process has several steps, most of which are handled by Sperlonga:
1. Data Acquisition*
2. Data Processing
3. Data Review**
4. Data Updates
5. Data Report***
*The method of data acquisition will depend on the software platform of the client. We have solutions for individuals keeping records in excel to large management companies using commercial software.
**Each month our clients receive a detailed Excel formatted review file showing each of their accounts and the information that will be reported before it is reported. Clients mark up these reports and Sperlonga reviews and makes account updates as needed.
***Reports are submitted to the credit bureaus at the end of each month.
Based on the due date of the charge, an account can be reported delinquent when it is 30 or more days overdue from the due date. The Credit Reporting Agencies report delinquencies in 30-day “buckets”. So if a charge is 30 days overdue, it will report in the 30-59 day “bucket”. If it is 60 days past due, it will report in the 60-89 day “bucket” and so on. The following is a list of common Credit Reporting Agency status codes:
• 11 – Current (On-Time) Account
• 13 – Paid or closed account/zero balance
• 71 – Account 30 – 59 days past the due date
• 78 – Account 60 – 89 days past the due date
• 80 – Account 90 – 119 days past the due date
• 82 – Account 120 – 149 days past the due date
• 83 – Account 150 – 179 days past the due date
• 84 – Account 180 days or more past the due date
• 93 – Account seriously past due and/or assigned to internal or external collections
• DA – Deletes entire account
For HOA reporting, Assessments, special assessments, late fees and late interest are reportable transactions which can make up a “reportable” balance to the Credit Reporting Agencies.
For Rental reporting, Rent, late fees, interest, or other defined lease obligation amounts can be reported.
Fines, damages, legal fees, etc are not included in the reportable balance.
Credit reporting can begin as soon as the following onboarding steps are completed. Sperlonga walks you through this entire process:
3. Data Updates
4. Data Setup
5. Data Review & Approval
*Account holder notifications are not required for reporting but we highly recommend the practice. Account holders often make an effort to pay off their delinquent balance as soon as they are informed that credit reporting will soon begin.
Sperlonga’s Credit Reporting Program will do the work to get your company up and running with the credit bureaus as quickly as possible. Onboarding can often be completed in less than 30 days. Typically, it takes 6-8 weeks to establish credit tradelines for reported accounts.
Monthly you will receive a detailed account review file, showing the accounts to be reported along with the account status that will be reported. Sperlonga also provides performance analytics on a regular basis, showing how many accounts have become current and how much has been recovered. Our Client Services department is highly responsive to requests for any information you may need.
No, reporting opt-in is based on the property or association. All residents within each property or association must be reported to comply with the “fairness” portion of the FCRA. However, not all properties or associations under management are required to be reported just because they happen to be managed by a single company.
No, there is no minimum number of accounts required. We report for clients who have 1 account or more than 10,000 accounts.
Any account designated to be on a payment plan (including accounts under some form of accommodation due to COVID or other similar hardship) are reported as “on-time, paying as agreed”. They are reported with the balance owed, but $0 of that balance is considered past due. This positive reporting encourages the account holder to comply with the payment plan agreement and build their credit while doing so.
HOA accounts are reported as Open, Secured monthly obligations which accurately describe the financial relationship between the homeowner and their HOA. As long as they own a home in the HOA, they have a regular, open account with a financial obligation. Sperlonga reports many data points related to each account, in addition to account and portfolio type, including date opened, balance, payment history and past due amounts, if applicable.
Sperlonga does not attach the term “loan” to the account in our reporting. That is a function of how either the credit bureau or the credit monitoring service displays the account. Monitoring services such as Credit Karma do not have a category for HOA accounts. As a result, they will categorize the account under “Other Loans” . Read more about this here.
DATA SECURITY / LEGAL BASIS
Yes, it is legal and is provided by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which allows for this type of information to be reported. Moreover, reporting rent and HOA obligations is encouraged by the US Congress, financial experts and the credit bureaus to assist the millions of Americans who are under scored. Reporting alternate financial obligations is an excellent way for consumers to increase their credit score without acquiring more debt.
The FCRA is a federal law that regulates the collection and reporting of consumer account information, as well as access to their credit reports. Passed in 1970, it addresses the fairness, accuracy, and privacy of the personal information contained in files submitted to and retrieved from credit reporting agencies. Sperlonga Data’s aggregation, reporting and dispute services are fully FCRA compliant.
For any account opened after September 2017, a date of birth is required for reporting. For accounts where that information can not be provided by the client, Sperlonga attempts to purchase that information from a 3rd party vendor. Accounts opened before September 2017 do not require a date of birth. Sperlonga can also accept social security numbers in lieu of date of birth.
This is dependent on the software provider method used for data extraction. In all cases, extraction uses secure file transport mechanisms such as HTTPS (for web-based extraction such as SOAP or JSON) or SFTP (for file-based extraction). Transmission to the credit bureaus is always performed using SFTP.
Both transmission methods for file extraction (HTTPS and SFTP) are inherently encrypted using SSL and SSH. If the software provider supports another level of encryption, SDA will work to support that method. Transmission to the credit bureaus uses PGP encryption.
All file extractions, generated Metro2 report files, and supporting account documentation (such as for disputes) are stored encrypted at-rest. The operating data is stored on a Microsoft Azure cloud platform which offers (among others) SOC1-3 compliance levels (more details please visit Microsoft’s website at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/trustcenter/Compliance). Operator access is strictly limited through IP address based-access rules. Further, all logins require username/password and the use of two-factor authentication. Account login failure lockouts and operator inactivity lockouts are also implemented.
The retention policy for consumer data is 4 years.
CUSTOMER SUPPORT AND INTEGRATIONS
We have API integrations with several major management software providers in both the HOA and Rental space:
• QuickBooks via eUnify
• Remote Landlord
• Rent Manager
Sperlonga can build a report based integration for any platform accessible via the internet. Currently, we have report based integrations available for the following major platforms :
• Yardi Breeze
• Several proprietary platforms
For clients not on a software platform, Sperlonga has a Client Portal which can intake data and store account information for easy updating each month.
If a Data Furnisher identifies a needed correction, Sperlonga will submit an update to the credit bureaus and correct any error. This will generally be reflected on a credit report within 24-48 hours.
The average time for dispute resolution at Sperlonga is 5.6 days. We only need one person from the management company or data furnisher to verify account information. Sperlonga takes care of at least 95% of the customer communication and effort required to resolve a dispute. Under FCRA regulations, disputes/investigations must be completed within 30 calendar days.
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