Property managers utilize resident screening procedures such as credit history and background checks to select qualified tenants from a large pool of applicants. Applicants may submit a Credit Privacy Number (CPN) while submitting an apartment lease application. Applicants frequently utilize CPNs to protect their privacy or to evade investigation for financial irregularities.
In this blog, we describe what a CPN apartment is, how to apply for one, and the possible hazards for landlords.
A CPN: What is it?
When completing applications for a loan, lease, or any other purchase that necessitates a credit check, you can substitute your Social Security Number (SSN) with a nine-digit number known as your Credit Privacy Number (CPN). A tenant using a CPN during the apartment application process aims to protect their data.
CPNs are not intrinsically unlawful. However, a lot of CPNs are connected to actual SSNs that were compromised and made available on the black market. Dealers purchase numbers to clean SSNs and establish new credit lines, thereby enhancing a buyer’s credit score for personal claims.
Multifamily operators must exercise extra caution in resident screening to ensure the authenticity of the information they provide.
For an apartment, why use a CPN?
For an apartment application, privacy protection is the primary justification for using a CPN. Given the dangers of identity theft, you might be reluctant to share a lot of your personal information, including your SSN. People who need extra security, like celebrities, might use a CPN to protect their financial and personal information from property managers and landlords.
Can You Go to Jail for Using a CPN to Get an Apartment: The CPN Legal Environment
Although CPNs are not intrinsically criminal, fraud and identity theft may result from their abuse or manipulation. Enterprises that deal in CPNs frequently supply pilfered Social Security numbers, which can lead to penalties and jail time.
According to US law, fabricating a new identity or falsifying credit history is fraud. Non-criminal acts, such as failing to repay a debt, are not, however, classified as crimes.
Can You Go to Jail for Using a CPN to Get an Apartment: How to Use a CPN to Apply for an Apartment
Get in touch with the property you wish to apply for.
Contact the building’s landlord or property management to confirm if they accept CPNs and if a credit check is necessary. It is against the law to use the number fraudulently, and not all landlords will accept a CPN. However, if you’ve built up credit on the CPN, some will be receptive to the situation. To be sure, you should contact them before applying.
Complete the Application
Subsequently, you will complete the apartment application in the same manner as you normally would. However, you’ll supply your CPN rather than your social security number. The rental firm won’t be able to view your credit history when you use a CPN. However, before applying, inform the applicant that they are using a CPN to avoid rejection due to suspicions.
Display Two Years’ Worth of Rental History
The landlord would probably request some sort of documentation proving you are a responsible renter who can pay your payments on time, rather than a copy of your credit record. To accomplish this, submit a history of two years’ worth of rentals. Your rental history comprises past lease agreements, a landlord’s letter, and bank records confirming your monthly rent payments.
Consider the Requirements for Employment
After that, make sure you present the appropriate paperwork and carefully review the employment requirements. Gather crucial financial documents like bank accounts, tax returns, W-2s, pay stubs, and other supporting documents to track your income.
Display Accurate Pay Stubs
The most crucial document to give the landlord is your pay stub. The landlord will rely more on your salary to demonstrate that you can afford the apartment if you don’t have a clean credit report. Paystubs serve as proof of income and the ability to afford housing.
Ways to Stay Away from CPN and Other Credit Repair Fraud
If you are considering using a credit repair firm at this stage of your financial journey, educate yourself on how to avoid scammers. If the organization you’re thinking about collaborating with engages in any of the following, take notice.
Demands Payment Up Front: Before a company begins working, you can be requested to sign a contract or submit partial payment; but, if a company requests enormous sums of money before any work is done, look for another one.
Threatens You with Possible Repercussions: A traditional method of manipulating people is to instill fear in them. Never allow a con artist to intimidate you into paying them money. Speak with an attorney if they begin to affect you.
Doesn’t Describe Your Legal Rights During the onboarding process, legitimate credit repair organizations will walk you through your rights quite quickly. In addition to protecting you, this also protects the company.
Requests That You Make Up Information: Even if you are aware that the information on your credit report is legitimate, these companies may nonetheless urge you to dispute it. Additionally, it is against the law for them to advise you to provide incorrect contact information on credit or loan applications.
Is it Illegal to Own a CPN?
You cannot use a CPN. Using one is equivalent to committing fraud. Even in cases where you are unaware of the source of the stolen Social Security number, using one that is genuinely stolen is considered fraud and identity theft.
Summaryon Can You Go to Jail for Using a CPN to Get an Apartment:
In conclusion, even if utilizing a CPN to rent an apartment is legal in and of itself, doing it improperly can have serious legal repercussions, including possible jail time. Working to raise your credit score legally is a much better option than putting yourself in danger of legal issues by utilizing a CPN.
If you’re having trouble with your credit, think about getting guidance from a financial advisor or credit counselor to learn more about your various legal choices. Always remember that it’s preferable to abide by the law.