RSI July Newsletter

This month’s RSI Newsletter features some updates about data purging, the difference between a hard and soft credit inquiry, changes to the “Rush Fee” used by some of our clients and a legal update and report completion times.

Data Purging
Recent changes in the legal climate have made data security more important than ever. To limit application information from possible exposure, RSI has begun to purge old data from the RSI website. Reports that are older than five years will be removed from the system and will not show up in the system. If you are involved in any type of legal action with an applicant RSI can put a specific report on a litigation hold. This will preserve the report if the five-year mark is approaching. 

RSI Rush Fee
Rental Services, Inc. has offered a “Rush Fee” for several years. This service was established to help clients who found themselves in a situation that required an application to be processed immediately. When this program was started back in the 90’s we charged a $5 fee. When the average application was $21, this seemed to be an appropriate fee. Over the past few years this low cost has created a monster. Suddenly everyone wants a “Rush”. This has caused a problem with the normal work flow in the office. To reduce this, RSI will be increasing the “Rush Fee” to $10 per applicant. This new fee will take place August 1, 2018.

Hard and Soft Credit Inquiries
Over the last few months, RSI has received several phone calls from applicants and clients asking about hard and soft credit inquiries. 
A hard inquiry occurs when a lender or creditor checks your credit to make a credit decision. An example is when you apply for a credit card. This type of inquiry requires a signed authorization to access the credit report.
The question we receive most often is how this will affect the applicants credit score. A hard inquiry could lower an applicant’s credit score, but most often the effect is trivial and the credit score rebounds in a few months.
A soft inquiry occurs when someone checks your credit without your authorization. This type of credit inquiry is often used by banks to see if you pre-qualify for a credit card or special financing rates. 
The soft inquiry has no effect on a person’s credit score. The reason it doesn’t impact the credit score is it’s does not attempt to establish a new line of credit. 
When Rental Services, Inc. processes a background check that includes a credit report, it’s considered a hard inquiry. The reason for this is the applicant is requesting a line of credit to be paid over a specific amount of time. An applicant who wants to rent an apartment for 12 months at $1,500 is requesting a line of credit for $18,000. 
We hope this clarifies hard and soft inquires.

Colorado Senate Bill 18-010
If you didn’t know, Senate Bill 18-010 passed and was signed into law. The new law will go into effect on August 8, 2018 and requires property owners and management companies to address two specific elements.
A copy of the written rental agreement that has been signed by both parties must be given to the tenant no later than seven days after the lease signing. An electronic copy will work unless the tenant requests a paper copy.
When collecting rents, a copy of a receipt for rental payments is required. An electronic receipt will work unless the tenant requests a paper receipt.
When providing the receipt for cash or money order it must be done in a specific amount of time.
If rent is received in person a receipt must be generated at that time. If the rent is not received in person, a receipt must be sent to the tenant within seven days.
Receipts must include the amount paid, the recipient of the payment and the date it was received.  

Full Application Timeline
The Full Report provides the following information on the applicant: a credit report, social security search, search of criminal conviction information, an eviction search and phone verification for rental and employment references. The report takes 1-3 business days to complete.
The question asked most often is why have we not started the reference calls for an application? Ex: My applicant applied using the RSI Quick App on Tuesday and you didn’t make any phone calls on Wednesday. What’s going on?
When a Full Report is requested the first thing that you need to be aware of is the time the application was submitted to RSI. If the application is submitted on Tuesday during normal business hours, the credit, social security trace, criminal and eviction are ordered. The application is prepped that day and waits to be distributed into the workload for the following day. In this example Wednesday would be the start of the 1-3 business day completion cycle. If the application is submitted after hours on Tuesday it is prepped on Wednesday and would go into Thursdays workload. The earlier you submit the application the quicker we can process the information and get it into the following day’s workload.
What can you do to speed up the process? If you’re faxing applications to RSI send them to us as earlier as you can. RSI processes applications as they arrive. If you wait for the end of the day it could end up not getting processed until the following day. If you use the RSI Quick App request that your applicants complete the application as soon as possible.

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