Background Checks Errors

Background checks are done to see if you qualify for employment, housing, or other necessary needs. Most of the time, the company you are applying with orders these reports from a “consumer reporting agency” who prepares and sells these background checks, such as Checkr, HireRight, Sterling, Applicant Insight, GoodHire, First Advantage, etc. 

Employers and landlords rely on these reports when making decisions about applicants. This means that an error on your background check can mean being denied opportunities and cause you serious pain, frustration and financial loss. 

Some of the more common errors/inaccuracies on background checks can be: inaccurate criminal records; inaccurate court records; wrongful evictions; and even someone else’s negative information being “merged” with yours. These errors have a serious impact on you and your reputation. For instance, if you were previously convicted of a misdemeanor, but the background check is inaccurately listing your case as a “felony”, you could end up losing out on the new job you were looking for. Or if your record was expunged, but the background check is reporting it anyway, you might not get that perfect apartment you were trying to move into. All these errors are a serious violation of your consumer rights. We can help assess your reports and potentially help you get them fixed and get you compensated.

The companies who order these background checks AND the companies that provide them have duties to YOU under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. For example, a company must obtain your consent in writing to order a background check. You are also entitled to a copy of your background check and have a right to dispute any errors. If any of these duties are not met, you have a right to sue! If your background check is inaccurate and it cost you a job offer, an apartment, or harmed your life, you may be entitled to damages. 

If you’ve been denied a job or a home due to inaccurate or false information on your background check, we can help. For no cost to you, we can evaluate your reports for FREE and, if necessary, help you move forward with an action to make sure your report is corrected and you are compensated for your loss.

Frequently Asked Questions

I was denied a job due to a background check, but I lost my copy of the report. What can I do?

The companies that produce background check reports like Checkr, HireRight, Sterling, Applicant Insight, GoodHire, First Advantage are required to give you a copy of any background check they have sold to a potential employer or landlord. The best way to get a copy and preserve your rights is to call the company that produced the report and request that they send you an electronic copy of the report. Be cautious when ordering new copies online as some of these companies will make you agree to their terms and conditions before supplying it. You are not required to agree to their terms and conditions to get a copy of your report.

I filed all the paperwork with the court to have my record expunged/sealed. Can it still show up on my background check?

NO! Expunged and/or sealed records are NOT permitted to appear on a consumer background check. Expungement/Sealing means the courts are closing off these records to the public and so a consumer reporting agency is not allowed to include this information. Make sure you locate a copy of your expungement record and/or sealing documentation from the court, and you can 1) get these records removed and 2) get compensation for any loss due to these errors.

I plead guilty/no-contest to a charge but it was more than 7 years ago, so shouldn’t that come off my report?

The unfortunate answer here is no. While you may have a state law claim for a record that is more than 7 years old, federal law under the Fair Credit Reporting Act has held that a “conviction” is anything other than a plea of not guilty or a dismissal. This means that even a “no contest” plea as part of a deal with the prosecutor could stay on your record indefinitely. HOWEVER, make sure that all the other information being reported about this charge is being reported correctly. For instance, if your plea involved probation but the report is listing “time served”, this is an inaccuracy that could be harming you.

What types of inaccuracies or errors on my background reports could you help with?

Some of the background check errors or concerns that we can help you with are:

  • Reporting records that don’t belong to you
  • Reporting the wrong disposition or severity of criminal cases
  • Failing to update public records to show the final result (like a lien that is later satisfied or withdrawn or an eviction claim that is dismissed or settled)
  • Lack of notice from reporting companies when they provide reports to employers before and adverse action
  • Inadequate disclosures of intent to obtain reports by employers
What will it cost me to have Marcus & Zelman evaluate my case?

We offer a NO COST, FREE evaluation of your background reports to see if there are any errors that we may be able to help you with. If we think you have a case and you decide you move forward, we work on a contingency basis which means we do not get paid unless you get paid. We have over a decade of experience helping consumers assert their consumer rights.

Client Testimony

My experience with Marcus & Zelman has been nothing but the best. In my case, there was a flaw in the background check that wrongly listed over 20 false charges under my name, causing me and my family to lose a home and become homeless for months. After reaching out and having my free consultation, Marcus & Zelman took on my case and went to bat for me. They always stayed in communication, always had a plan and were able to get me a life-changing settlement. The thing that stuck out to me was when my lawyer in the very beginning said I’m going to fight for you like this was my family and right then I knew then this was the firm to go to! All I can say is this: if you are dealing with the same situation or similar, do not hesitate to call them today.


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