Credit Reporting Agency Mistakenly Identifies Veteran as Felon on Background Check Report

A Navy veteran who served three tours in Iraq was mistakenly identified as a felon after undergoing a background check to lease an apartment, according to a ‘Bamboozled’ post available on NJ.com at http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2013/11/bamboozled_credit_reporting_fi.html.

NJ.com reports 30-year-old Chaz Epps was denied the apartment after the credit reporting agency found “discrepancies” in his report. His identity was apparently mistaken with his younger brother who did have a criminal record and who used his name several times and “it stuck in the records as an alias.”

NJ.com reports Epps received a letter and a copy of the report stating that he was a felon. He contacted the agency and – at the dispute department’s case manager’s request – provided copies of his driver’s license, birth certificate, and other documents to prove the misidentification with his brother.

NJ.com reports that Epps could not prove his innocence even after the agency admitted “there was in fact an error made on the company’s part and that the problem would be rectified” and police confirmed Epps’ record was clean. His complaint has been forwarded to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

According to Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), there is an “absolute” obligation to re-investigate claims of inaccurate or incomplete information under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Errors must be fixed within 30 days or 45 days in certain cases.

In addition, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) requires accredited firms must have policies and procedures for consumer disputes that meet FCRA requirements which include but are not limited to:

  • No charge to consumer;
  • Re-investigate, correct, and/or delete disputed information within 30 days (or 45 days if extended) of notice of dispute;
  • Notify information provider of dispute within five (5) days of receipt; • Consider information provided by consumer,
  • Advise consumer if dispute is deemed frivolous or irrelevant;
  • Notify appropriate parties of dispute results; and
  • Comply with consumer request for description of re-investigation process.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) is a nationwide background check company accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). To learn more about background checks, visit ESR at http://www.ESRcheck.com or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.

Source:

http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2013/11/bamboozled_credit_reporting_fi.html

About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more about ESR, visit http://www.esrcheck.com or call toll free 888.999.4474.

About ESR News:  The Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at tahearn@esrcheck.com. To subscribe to the ESR News Blog Feed, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/feed/. To subscribe to the complimentary ESRcheck Report monthly newsletter, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/Newsletter/.