Having consumer debt can make you feel powerless. When a debt collector calls, how do you know if it’s even legitimate? And why is it so hard to figure out where, exactly, an older debt was incurred?
Global Debt Registry (GDR), a growing company headquartered in Wilmington, is ready to clear up the confusion that so often comes attached to debt collection.
Mark Parsells, who has been the CEO of GDR since 2013, compares the registry to Carfax.
“In one way, it’s like the DMV, in that we track the chain of ownership of consumer debt,” says Parsells. “But it’s like Carfax in that we also offer consumer Debt Lookup, which not only offers transparency into the account history including billing statements and customer agreements, it empowers consumers in a way that wasn’t possible before.”
A common example of how GDR benefits both collectors and consumers goes back to the Bank of America acquisition of MBNA, which continues to cause headaches in the debt collection world.
“Say someone had an MBNA Visa years ago he wasn’t able to pay off,” says Parsells. “A few years later, he gets a call from a debt collector saying he had this debt with Bank of America — but he never had a Bank of America credit card. How do you explain that?”
Seeing the chain of ownership laid out makes scenarios like this one much easier to understand, and ensures that the debt collector on the phone has ownership of the debt.
The service, available on globaldebtregistry.com, is free for consumers. The company makes its money from the banks who include collections accounts in the registry.
GDR was founded in 2006 by a debt buyer in Missouri who created a registry to prevent different debt collectors from collecting on the same debts. Parsells expanded on the idea when he took over the company, confident in the idea that banks would be willing to pay for consumer confidence.
It was around that time that Parsells moved the company to Delaware. “I love it here.” he says. “It’s a great place to build a company, especially if you’re in financial services.”