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Breaking News

6 Hunstein Cases Dismissed: TransUnion Casts Significant Doubt on Viability…

Steel Rose

"the Supreme Court’s decision in TransUnion casts significant doubt on the continued viability of Hunstein," according to the Judge Gary Brown, United States District Judge for the EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK. The Memorandum and Order of the District Court also declares: "First, in TransUnion, the Supreme Court held that the...

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The Bottom Line

Product Spotlight

CSS Product Spotlight

Henry Gardner

CSS, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise class accounts receivable management and financial software offers a broad portfolio of platforms & solutions. CSS enables companies to transition their legacy revenue & payment management systems to a modern, cognitive, centralized, cloud-based Financial Ecosystem®. CSS may be utilized to provide business financial...

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Skip Tracing Advisor

Developing a Network of Closed Sources by Ron Brown, Skip Tr…

Ron Brown

As we begin this article it is very important that the professional tracer clearly understand what constitutes a “CLOSED SOURCE”, the value of a closed source network and the obligation due to each closed source. Definition: CLOSED SOURCE… sources of information with restricted access and information available only through mutual information...

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Collection Software Roundtables

Shielding Collectors From TCPA and FDCPA Violations

Joshua Fluegel

The demands of regulators lead collection professionals to collect debt with the credo of “as little contact with the consumer as possible.” Every eliminated encounter with a consumer while the payment is still being collected is one less chance for a TCPA or FDCPA violation. For this reason many accounts...

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Feature Stories

Hunstein on Rehearing – Revisiting Article III Standing in t…

Eve Cann and Jonathan Green

On April 21, 2021, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Richard Hunstein v. Preferred Collection and Management Services, Inc., and potentially created a new claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) – ruling that a debt collector's sharing of information with a vendor is a violation...

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Collection Agency Advisor

The Secret to Excelling in Profit AND Performance

Gordon C. Beck III

To each their own. That’s what I keep telling myself when discussing with my competitors what their strategy is to run and operate a successful collection agency. Everyone’s outlook is different, but the same. Sure, everyone wants to be a top agency, that’s what everyone is supposed to say. But...

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Legal Collection Advisor

Executive Orders Impacting Collections

Michael Starzec

No, this is not a review of the 1996 thriller starring Kurt Russell, Halle Berry and Steven Seagal but it does focus on the prestige of the word “Executive.”   At hotels and sports arenas, you want the executive suite. In Illinois, at least a 1,000 corporations integrate “executive” into their...

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Collection Industry Advisor

3 Options to Offer During Tax Season

Nick Jarman

When it comes to collecting debt, tax season is without argument the most profitable season of the year. Tax season starts at the beginning of February and wraps up in early May. February generally sees the highest return and slightly tapers off each month thereafter. One issue that can ease...

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Compliance Advisor

PCI Compliance, SOC, and HITRUST

Debra J. Ciskey

With the June, 2019, disclosure of a data breach at AMCA looming large in the rearview mirror, debt collectors both large and small are scrambling to verify the security of their consumer portals and their consumer information in general. With numerous vendors and auditors serving the industry in this key...

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Where to Obtain Consumer License Plate Info

  • Written by Ron Brown

mug brownIn the last issue we looked at a new form of cybertracking, license plate recognition or LPR, its origins and industry usage. While this new and innovative technology is a great aid to the skip trace and asset recovery industry, it raises numerous issues related to invasion of privacy. In this issue we will look at the pros and cons of LPR technology usage including the pressing issue of privacy.

Private sector mobile LPR applications have been utilized for surveillance, vehicle location and recovery, asset discovery and numerous other uses in the collection and repossession industry. However, the application of LPR by private companies to collect information from privately owned vehicles or collected from private property (for example, driveways and business parking areas) has become an issue of sensitivity and public debate as the usage continues in most states.

One of the major concerns tracers who use this technology should be that the cameras capture images of all cars scanned, not just those of nonperforming consumers. The information obtained from these scans is often used for more than just the credit, collection and repossession industry skip tracing. The location data which is gathered by the repossession and towing companies’ camera cars and other vehicles with LPR cameras is fed into private databases and then sold without the knowledge or consent of the owner or driver of the vehicle. There’s no opting out of this tracking; anyone who drives a car with a license plate will eventually be entered into these private databases.

Who Wants This Information?

There are many private sector companies which are in the market for this valuable location information including insurance companies, lending institutions, retailers and city, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. There are no laws limiting who may purchase and access the billions of records gathered and stored in the LPR databases. The legions of “privacy advocates” and the general populace seem to have no expectation of privacy in public. But in the industry there is much warranted concern that LPR technology is outpacing the laws.

As we now know the cons and decide to use LPR to locate non-performing consumers, where do the tracers go to access this cyber technology, how can the data be utilized and what are the costs become the question?

Where Is This Information?

The private companies who own the two major databases are MVTRAC (mvtrac.com) and DRN (drndata.com). Both were started by people in the credit, collection and repossession industry who understand the value of this type of data. These two companies claim to have amassed databases of over a billion records and they include not just the license plate, but other data a tracer can use such as the time, the date and the location that plate was collected. The claim includes that LPR cameras can capture up to 1600 license plates per hour, creating a digital snapshot of the consumer’s lifestyle – where they go, who they see and when they see them. The location where the consumer is located may be their employer, residence, relatives or any place they frequent on a regular basis at any recurring time. The possibilities are limitless for the tracer. If the credit-reporting agencies, who already hold the consumer’s entire financial history, purchase LPR Data and combine location and travel information with financial information they will have an enormous amount of data on consumers, their individual habits and traffic patterns.

Closing Window of Opportunity

Tracers, this is now an open window but it may close at any time. In California, two bills that would have restricted the sharing and selling of license plate data were defeated in the past two years, I am sure the issues, is not forgotten. LPR, another tool in the professional tracers’ tool bag.


Good luck and good hunting.Ron Brown is a member of the National Association of Fraud Investigators and the author of “MANHUNT: The Book.” Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..