Global Debt Registry, an independent debt repository for storing and tracking consumer debt, announced that its Account Extinguishment Report is available for free to consumers on its consumer website Debt Lookup.
The firm calls the new Account Extinguishment Report "a solution for protecting consumers from attempts to collect on settled, cancelled or closed accounts." It also is geared to help consumers deal with credit bureau disputes.
"[It] fulfills the need for transparency and provides a permanent record of closure for consumers, creditors and debt collectors that are part of the $3.4 trillion non-mortgage consumer debt market in the United States," according to a Global Debt Registry news release.
Federal regulators report that one of the most common complaints from consumers is that debt collectors are harassing them for debts that already have been paid, according to the news release.Regulators have struggled to keep watch over collection practices. Outstanding consumer credit has tripled in the past 20 years and an estimated 77 million Americans are in some form of non-mortgage collections, according to a 2014 survey.Debt collection accounted for 11% of complaints to the Federal Trade Commission last year, the second biggest source of complaints after identity theft. A 2013 study by the FTC estimated that more than 30% of debts purchased by debt buyers were at least six years old, putting them beyond or near the end of statutes of limitations in many states.
Global Debt Registry in April signed a deal with credit bureau giant TransUnion to battle faulty collection practices within the $3.3 trillion market for unsecured consumer debt.
More from the release about Account Extinguishment Report:Debt Lookup, (http://www.DebtLookup.com) provides consumers greater transparency regarding the status and resolution of their debt and empowers them to identify and combat scam collection efforts. The Account Extinguishment Report provides definitive proof for a consumer that an account has been closed and can no longer be subject to collection. Creditors and debt collectors can leverage Debt Lookup as a permanent central location to send consumers to access proof that a prior debt was settled. The Account Extinguishment Report reduces risk by bringing closure to an account and reducing future consumer disputes, saving time and resources to focus on accurate, active collection. Creditors can refer past customers to Debt Lookup as an ongoing resource, extending customer service after accounts have been charged off and helping to reduce customer service requests.
The Account Extinguishment Report, or AER, addresses a current gap in the industry to effectively track the entire lifecycle of an account, says Mark Parsells, Executive Chairman and CEO of GDR. A debt can be collected for years after it has been charged-off or sold, including long after the statute of limitation has expired, and after the account is no longer available on a credit report. Our process permanently removes an account from future collection risk or inadvertent re-sale. This process will protect the reputations of original creditors add integrity to industry data and protect consumers with a permanent record that is accessible in a central, easy to find location.As a recent example of the impact of this innovative new service, a GDR Account Extinguishment Report was used to bring closure to a Debt Lookup customer recently who had settled a credit card dispute years earlier. Even though the debt had been resolved, it still showed on her credit report, impacting her ability to apply for a mortgage. The consumer contacted the credit card company to determine the name of the debt buyer with whom she settled the account. Unfortunately, she discovered that the original debt buyer was out of business and the credit card company could not provide any information regarding her settlement agreement. The consumer used Debt Lookup to verify that the account balance was now at $0, and provided the Account Extinguishment Report to the credit bureau. As a result, she was able to successfully obtain a mortgage.Global Debt Registry announced in January it secured $7 million in Series A funding to allow it to address the needs of collection agencies, large creditors and debt buyers that support and service the $3.4 trillion consumer debt market in the U.S., including credit cards, home equity, auto loans, student loans, medical, utility, telecom and government-related consumer debts.