Category Archives: Background Check Errors

When Expunged Records Still Show Up on a Background Check

Perhaps you had gone to court and successfully had a prior arrest or conviction expunged from your record. Or perhaps you were eligible for an automatic expungement—as is the case for many New Yorkers convicted of misdemeanor charges for marijuana possession. You were thrilled you could apply for a new job or an apartment, knowing […]

Mistaken Identities on a Credit Report: An All-too Common Problem for People with Common Names… (and Those with Unusual Ones, Too….)

In 2014, 38,313 men in the United States shared the name “James Smith.” It’s impossible to know if any of them were related to each other, or the 34,810 Michael Smiths and 34,269 Robert Smiths also walking around. But we can expect that they, and the 32,092 Maria Garcias and 30,507 Maria Rodriguezes, all have […]

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues Advisory About Name-Only Background Screening

What’s in a name? There is a great deal of frustration, confusion, and even difficulty navigating normal life if you are among the 38,000 Americans named James Smith or one of the 32,000 Maria Garcias in the United States. If you have a common first- and surname combination, it’s likely that you’ve been misidentified as […]

The Mixed-Up Files of Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion: What Happens When You and Your Neighbor Have the Same Name

Is your name James Smith? If so, you’re not just not alone, but as far from alone as it’s possible to be. That’s because this is the most common combination of first and last names in the world. And chances are you’ve developed a way to distinguish yourself, at least in your social circle or […]

What everyone should know about employer background checks

Background Check Lawyer in NYC

CBS MoneyWatch contacted me for their story about employment background checks and the widespread violations of consumers’ rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.   That federal statute entitles consumers to accuracy — not just with credit reports — but also for employment and housing background checks. Background check companies sometimes rely on partial information, like […]

How To Find Out What’s On Your Background Check

Background Check Error Lawyer - NYC Attorney

  A background check isn’t just about criminal records anymore. There are many things that someone could be searching for, from your credit rating to whether you’ve ever been pursued by a debt collector.   According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s 2019 report, there are a number of different scenarios in which businesses can request […]

Credit problems may hinder job search

According to a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 60% of private employers check the credit histories of some of their job applicants, and 13% check the histories of all potential hires.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: FCRA bars background check liability waiver

In Syed, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a background check disclosure which included a liability waiver violated the FCRA. This case was significant because the Ninth Circuit is the first federal appeals court to definitively state that the FCRA “unambiguously bars the inclusion of a liability waiver.” The court also notably […]

TransUnion to pay $60 million to consumers flagged as criminals

Gavel and Money

TransUnion will pay $60 million to consumers it mistakenly labeled as possible terrorists or drug dealers, under an order issued Tuesday by a federal jury.  The decision stems from a 2012 class-action lawsuit that alleged the credit bureau failed to notify consumers who were reported to lenders as being included on a “blocked persons” list […]

Job applicants claim inaccurate background check report prevent them from finding a job

Silhouette of a Unknown Person

Some drivers say they have been wrongly barred from jobs due to inaccuracies in their DAC reports, and that HireRight and its rivals don’t do enough to verify claims or correct mistakes. In 2011, HireRight paid $28 million to settle a class-action lawsuit with more than 650,000 plaintiffs who accused it of failing to properly […]