Criminal Background Reporting Mistakes Can Cause Serious Harm

Many landlords and employers check your criminal record before making hiring or rental decisions. When criminal background screening companies make reporting errors, it can have costly effects for you, including losing jobs and housing opportunities. If this happened to you, know that you have important legal rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

At the Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi, we understand the FCRA as it applies to criminal background checks are dedicated to helping clients overcome reporting errors and seek justice and financial relief. We have helped our clients recover millions for their unfair troubles, and we don’t get paid unless you get paid.

Common Screening Errors

Mismatched Reports

One common issue with applicant screening is the inclusion of criminal records belonging to a different person. Inaccurate background checks can occur as a result of unsophisticated or over-inclusive matching criteria used by background screeners. For example, matching based solely on the applicant’s first name, last name, and date of birth can lead to false positives and inaccurate reports, causing unjust denials of housing.

Incomplete or Misleading Status of Criminal Proceedings

Background screening reports may fail to accurately reflect the status of a criminal proceeding. This can occur when screening companies rely on outdated or incomplete databases, omitting crucial information such as subsequent dismissals or acquittals. These inaccuracies can unfairly impact an individual’s housing opportunities.

Misclassified Offenses

Applicant screening reports may also misclassify offenses, categorizing misdemeanors as felonies or traffic tickets as misdemeanors. Errors in categorizing offenses can occur when screening companies lack a proper understanding of how different states report and classify criminal record information. These misclassifications can result in unfair denials of housing based on inaccurate information.

Duplicate Criminal Records

Some applicant screening reports list a single arrest or incident multiple times, creating the false impression that the applicant has committed multiple offenses. This often occurs when screening companies rely on multiple databases of criminal record information, treating each instance as a separate offense. These duplicates can distort an individual’s criminal history and lead to unfair denials of housing.

Expunged and Obsolete Records

Applicant screening companies may report expunged records or obsolete criminal history information, which is a violation of the FCRA. Expunged records should not be reported, as they have been legally erased or sealed, and individuals should not face discrimination based on past mistakes that no longer legally exist. Likewise, non-conviction records should not be reported after seven years, as outlined by the FCRA.

Consult a South Florida Consumer Protection Attorney Right Away

If you believe you have encountered any of these common screening errors and suffered harm, you can take action and seek relief. If you are in South Florida and need assistance with consumer protection issues related to a criminal background, contact the Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi today.

Our experienced consumer protection attorney is here to identify reporting errors and seek the relief you deserve. Contact us to schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards securing your rights and future.