Convoke Helps Issuers to Improve Protection for Armed Servicemembers

The Problem

One of Convoke’s issuer customers was struggling to verify whether third-party collectors were using the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) database to identify active servicemembers. Without a clear view of the data, they risked attempting to collect debt from active-duty personnel, who are given special protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

The Solution

Through Convoke, vendors were able to load their DMDC scrubs directly to the platform, where the results could be reviewed by both parties. With additional data-export and auditing capabilities, all parties were able to ensure they were protecting servicemembers and meeting their compliance responsibilities.

Understanding the Challenge

A critical component of credit issuer compliance efforts is ensuring that they abide by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and its rules regarding collecting on debts held by active duty servicemembers. If a third party attempts to collect a debt held by someone on active duty without properly considering servicemember protections, both they and the issuer can face regulatory action, including significant fines. To help prevent this, collectors are required to perform scrubs against the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) database. This will alert them to any consumers who fall under the protections of the SCRA and any unique work standards they have for those consumers. Despite these requirements, one of Convoke’s registered issuers, for example, had no comprehensive way to track whether their firms were performing these scrubs or which consumers were on active duty. This was significantly hindering the issuer’s oversight efforts.

Providing a Clear, Data-rich Solution

Now, as vendors perform their DMDC scrubs, they can load the results directly to Convoke without the need for additional formatting. This greatly simplifies their compliance efforts. The results can then be viewed by both parties on the account detail page or through Convoke reporting. Using Convoke as a secure common scoreboard, the issuer and their vendors now have confidence that they are remaining compliant with regulatory standards, respecting consumer rights, and securing the necessary evidence that consumers are not being treated improperly.

The issuer also utilizes a nightly export that sends them all DMDC scrubs loaded by their vendors, so they can import the data into their internal systems. As with other Convoke features, both parties can also audit DMDC records to ensure that consumer data is accurate and up to date. Given the unique challenges that servicemembers face, Convoke is proud to help credit issuers honor the specific requirements for our servicemembers, ensuring proper care.