Due Diligence 360

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Checking the honesty and integrity of real estate agents is “mission critical” since they will have access to the homes, valuables, and personally identifiable information (PII) of their clients that can be used to commit identity theft, according to a background check expert interviewed for an article in REALTOR® Magazine.

“Unfortunately, some real estate firms mistakenly assume that just because a person has a license, no additional due diligence is needed,” Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and CEO of background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), explained in the article ‘Digging Deeper into Agents’ Background.’

Rosen – author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ – said that not all states require fingerprint checks for real estate licensing and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal record databases used for such checks “are far from perfect” since many records either are not entered in the FBI database or lack final dispositions.

Similarly, state licensing agencies may not be efficient in finding criminal records or taking appropriate and timely action on a real estate license since they may not know a licensed professional committed a crime or may take “substantial” time to react if the crime was committed out of state, Rosen explained in the article.

Since background checks are “immensely” regulated, Rosen advised real estate brokers to use a background check provider that understands the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and state laws including “Ban the Box” prohibitions.

Rosen founded Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) in the San Francisco, California area in 1997. He was the chairperson of the steering committee that founded the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and served as co-chair. ESR is accredited by the NAPBS.

In May 2018, the NAPBS – a non-profit trade association representing over 880 background screening providers – released the results of its second annual background screening survey of Human Resources (HR) professionals that found 95 percent of respondents said their organizations conducted background checks.

In February 2018, Javelin Strategy & Research – a research-based advisory firm – released its 2018 Identity Fraud Study that revealed the number of identity fraud victims increased by eight percent to 16.7 million U.S. consumers in 2017, a record high since the study began tracking identity fraud in 2003.

ESR Offers Real Estate License Checks in Background Checks

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) offers professional license verifications for any license issued by a state or federal licensing board or agency. ESR conducts primary source verifications of license held, current status, and expiration date with the licensing board. To learn more, visit ESR’s Verifications & References page.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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