Anyone who needs a military status verification to satisfy a court requirement or comply with the SCRA has two choices. One is using the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC). The other is relying on a secure contractor like the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service (SCRACVS).
Both options have advantages and disadvantages from efficiency and cost perspectives that depend on the needs of each organization. But finding a solution that works for your purposes is a matter of understanding what each solution offers. Let’s compare the two.
Working with the DMDC
The Department of Defense Manpower Data Center is a free military verification service. But using this service can end up being a more expensive choice.
First, the DMDC requires you to submit the correct Social Security number to get an affirmative answer, but you may not have access to this. Generally, by the time you consider litigation against someone who may have SCRA protection, it’s too late to get their Social Security number.
The DMDC can process with a date of birth only; however, they include a large, bold disclaimer on any certification indicating that the DMDC cannot guarantee the results because the Social Security number was omitted. Judges do not like disclaimers.
The DMDC will not issue affidavits. If you need an affidavit, you should deal with a contractor such as the SCRACVS. The DMDC Single Record system will not alert you if there is a mismatch on first name. You may get results for family members instead. The SCRACVS will alert you to such problems.
Working with the SCRACVS
One of the key advantages to working with SCRACVS is that you don’t need a Social Security number to get an affidavit of military service. That’s because SCRACVS uses other means to find the Social Security numbers. We can produce the necessary documentation. At SCRACVS, we prepare affidavits, send them overnight and guarantee the court will accept them.
We also offer support via chat and phone from people who do nothing but military verification. Contrast that with trying to get through to the Department of Defense with a question.
If you submit a first and last name to us along with the SSN, SCRACVS will alert you if the Department of Defense has someone with that surname and SSN, but a different first name than the one you supplied. This eliminates getting the wrong info.
Working with the SCRACVS on Batch Processing or Scrubbing
Many organizations that work with active-duty servicemembers process large volumes of data to comply with the SCRA. This is a difficult process, with no integration into the user’s database.
By contrast, working with SCRACVS on batch processing or scrubbing is easy, efficient and more cost-effective. By processing in bulk (more than 750 inquiries per month), we can drive down the cost to your organization significantly.
We can work with any form of database, and we can query the Department of Defense database directly to turn large batches around quickly at a low cost. Lenders/servicers/attorneys submit their records securely and hands-free and integrate the results into the their own databases. This allows organizations to outsource this element of their compliance diligence without compromising on cost or tying up employees who could otherwise be doing their work.
Lawsuits and government enforcement action on SCRA issues are increasing rapidly with record-setting judgments. Therefore, it’s essential to have an effective, secure and precise way to verify military status. Thousands of law firms, lenders and servicers have found that the SCRACVS is usually the best solution.