Why TIN and SSN Are Important in Debt Collection

Photo of a woman's hand filing out a form to show the importance of TIN in debt collection.Make sure you obtain your customer’s taxpayer identification number (TIN) and social security number (SSN) when doing business with them. Having their TIN and SSN can help you in your New York debt collection efforts.

If you are working with individuals as guarantors, or in another capacity, be sure to secure their social security number. This will expedite satisfying the requirement of an investigation pursuant to the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA).

Why You Need Your Customer’s SSN

In order to submit a judgment on default, an investigation must be conducted to confirm the named defendant is not in the military service. The easiest way to accomplish this is by searching the database for the individual’s SSN.

In the past, judgments were entered against active-duty military personnel who were unable to defend the actions. The federal government enacted the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940 (SSCRA) now known as the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA) to protect active-duty servicemembers from default judgments and other technical abuses.    

TIN and Debt Collection

We highly recommend securing your customer’s SSN and TIN. 

Although the TIN is not required to enter or support an application for judgment, it helps banks and other financial institutions identify assets belonging to the judgment debtor. For corporate judgment debtors, the TIN is helpful. For individual judgment debtors, the SSN is helpful.  

Here’s an example where having the TIN can help you in your debt collection efforts:

Let’s say your judgment debtor changed addresses and you do not have their TIN or SSN. When served with a subpoena, the bank and or financial institution searches the New York judgment debtor in three ways: by name, address, and TIN or SSN. The more information you have, the better the match. 

If the bank checks by name and the address does not match, it will not restrain the account.

What if you did not have the SSN and/or TIN when initially enforcing the judgment and issuing the bank subpoenas but later secured it?  As the judgment creditor, you may serve one subpoena with restraining notice to the bank within a calendar year. If you need to send an additional restraining notice, you need to make an application to the court for permission.

When choosing a debt collection firm, pick one that understands the nuances of successful debt collection. You need to work with a team that will give you the best chances at recovery. Reach out to FFGN for a consult to learn what our firm can do for you.