To help banks better manage the recovery of charged-off loans for vehicles, Stockholder Systems Inc. has introduced a collateral tracking module to run with its collections software.

Stockholder Systems, based in Norcross, Ga., designed the collections software, called the Recovery Management System, to run on International Business Machines Corp. mainframes, as well as on midrange systems and personal computer networks.

The first release of the collateral tracking system is designed to run on mainframes only.

ID Numbers

The new module facilitates the recovery of charged-off debt by tracking the vehicle identification numbers of cars, planes, and boats used for collateral.

These numbers are issued to vehicles at the time of manufacturer and are coded to reveal the model, color, and year of a vehicle.

The number also includes key identification information so that if a bank is forced to reposses a car or boat, the repossession company can cut a set of keys by following the vehicle identification number.

Stockholder Systems developed this product in response to customer demand, said David Freeman, a Stockholder Systems documentation specialist.

He added that banks as well as finance companies expressed a need to automate the tracking of their collections process associated with charged-off debt.

John Deere Credit Services, the credit issuing subsidiary of the tractor equipment company, will be the first Stockholder Systems customer to install the product.

John Deere is expected to have the module up and running by the end of the year.

The new module interfaces with the main recovery system that warehouses loan and payment information.

This system alerts the user if payments are missed. It provides accounting and tracking for all financial, collection agency, and legal activity, including bids to purchase repossessed assets.

The module also provides a range of collateral tracking information including tax, insurance, title, and inventory data.

A data security feature eliminates unauthorized users from seeing the bids for the collateral. "That way the user knows that all bids submitted for a piece of collateral are fair and are not based on any knowledge of previous bids," Mr. Freeman said.

He added that sometime during the next year, Stockholder Systems will introduce a module to track real estate collateral.

Ms. Sullivan is a freelance writer based in New York.

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