by admin /
October 2, 2021 /
Credit Reporting Errors

Inaccurate Background Check Information

inaccurate background check

Background checks are a common part of the hiring process. Before making a job offer, about 96% of potential employers do some kind of background check. However, inaccurate background check information can lead to job denials or lost opportunities for promotions. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to dispute any information on your background check report that you think is wrong. Even companies that do background checks can make mistakes, and mistakes can happen often. Some of these mistakes include mixing up information from the criminal and other records of different people or not keeping information up-to-date and correct. If you come across any inaccurate information in your background report, it is essential not to ignore it. Flawed information may indicate that you are a victim of fraud or identity theft, which can have serious consequences on your reputation and future employment prospects.

 Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to challenge any inaccurate information in your background report. You can get a copy of your report from the company or agency that did the background check and ask that any mistakes be fixed. If you win the dispute, the reporting agency will have to give you a new report. The law also says that companies that do background checks have to tell you what your rights are under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Know Your Rights Under The FCRA

Potential employers or landlords may hire consumer reporting agencies like credit bureaus or background screening companies to look into your past. These agencies must comply with the FCRA, which grants you certain rights and protections when it comes to background checks. Here is a summary of your major rights:

  • Your written consent is required before a background check report can be provided to a potential employer or landlord.
  • You must be informed if negative information from your background check is used against you. If you are denied employment, housing, insurance, or credit due to information contained in your background check, the employer or landlord must inform you and provide the name and other information of the agency that provided the report.
  • You have the right to dispute any inaccurate or incomplete information in your background check report. If you believe there is a mistake or inaccurate information in your report, you can dispute it with the consumer reporting agency. The agency is then required to investigate the disputed information and inform you of the results of the investigation within 30 days.
  • Consumer reporting agencies must delete or correct any disputed information that cannot be verified. Additionally, negative information that is outdated, such as criminal records over seven years old or bankruptcies over ten years old, may not be reported in your background check.
  • You may sue any company that violates the FCRA. If a consumer reporting agency or background check company violates the FCRA, you may have the right to sue them in state or federal court for any damages you may have suffered.

It’s important to be aware of your rights when it comes to background checks, as they can affect your employment, housing, and overall reputation. If you believe there is an error or inaccuracy in your background check report, you should take steps to dispute the information and correct the issue.

Most Common Mistakes In Your Background Check

During a background check, sometimes the information in your report is out of date, wrong, or just plain wrong. Most credit repair companies must take necessary steps to ensure the accuracy of the data provided. In some cases, the court may order some information to be expunged or sealed from the public record.

If such information appears in your background check error report, you have the right to challenge it. Another common mistake is a mix-up of your information with someone else’s data. This could be a person with a similar name or social security number. Sometimes, a relative with the same first and last name could also be the source of confusion. A single typo can cause a significant mix-up. Your report can’t include old information or information that the court has told you to erase or seal. The Fair Credit Reporting Act sets a time limit for the appearance of information in your background check report. This limit is ten years for bankruptcies, seven years for civil judgments and paid tax liens, while criminal convictions stay on your report indefinitely.

It’s important to know how to handle inaccurate background information in your report. Disputing incorrect, inaccurate, or outdated information is the recommended step to take. You can challenge such errors by following a specific process. You can get a copy of your background report, figure out where the mistake came from, contact the consumer reporting agency, and fill out a form to dispute it. You can send a letter and supporting documents to the reporting agency to say that the information is wrong. You can also request a free copy of your credit report from the credit reporting agencies. 

When an applicant for a job or a place to live is turned down because of something on their credit report, the employer or potential landlord must make a statement that names the agency that gave them the information. If you encounter any issues with a background check, you may seek the assistance of the Federal Trade Commission.

How To Dispute Inaccurate Background Check Information

The employer may decide to take adverse action against you based on your background check. This means they are not going to hire you or you are not going to get a promotion or a raise, because of something the employer doesn’t like in your background check. The employer is obligated to inform you in writing of this fact and to tell you which background check company the employer used to get this report and tell you what your rights are to dispute this report under the FCRA.

If the background check company is reporting inaccurate information, you have the right to dispute the information you believe is inaccurate. The best way to do it is to write a dispute letter. Don’t call them or try to dispute the information online using a particular form on their website. Write a letter and tell them which information exactly you find inaccurate, and if you have any documents or evidence of your dispute, send it in a letter, let them see it. Make sure you send copies and keep the original documents for yourself. It is also critical to send a dispute letter in a way that ensures delivery, such as certified or registered mail. The FCRA says that the company doing the background check must do a reasonable investigation within 30 days and tell you what they found. So you will know in 30 days whether or not your dispute is understood and the information corrected.

If the background check company continues to report inaccurate background check information and does nothing about your dispute, it is time to contact a lawyer specialised in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 

Most of the lawyers will evaluate your situation free of charge and tell you if you have the case or not. You should know that you have the right under the FCRA to sue the background check company for the damages that have been caused to you by the errors and inaccuracies they had reported in your background check.