What can be done about an inaccurate criminal background check?

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2011

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What can be done about an inaccurate criminal background check?

I’ve applied to many different places of employment which have done criminal background checks on me. What is being reported back to these companies is false information. On the report it says I’ve been charged with a felony, convicted of a felony, and served time for a felony. None of which is true. I have never ebeen charged,convicted, or served time for in my whole life. What can I do to get this problem fixed?

Asked on July 28, 2011 Indiana


L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that “whenever a consumer reporting agency prepares a consumer report it shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.” 15 U.S.C. §1681e(b).  Therefore, there would a violation of 15 U.S.C. §1681e(b) if a background report contains inaccurate information which is presented to the company and the “reporting agency did not follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy.” Dalton v. Capital Associated Industries, 257 F.3d 409, 415 (4th Cir. 2001).

Additionally, 15 U.S.C. §1681k(a), mandates that a Credit Reporting Company must (1) notify the individual whose record is being reported, or (2) follow strict procedures designed to insure that complete and up-to-date information is provided whenever public record information which is likely to have an adverse effect on an individual seeking employment. 


            Either you should hire an attorney to send a letter to have your reporting record corrected or you should send a letter to have the record corrected.  You will need a copy of your criminal record to show whatever charges are showing up are not false and not a part of your criminal history.  If the company does not correct these mistakes, then you can seek damages against the reporting company for disseminating false information. 


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