Everyone makes mistakes in life. Unfortunately for some those mistakes also come with criminal convictions that can haunt them for life. To avoid this, consumers often pay to get their criminal record expunged so that they can move their life forward without this criminal conviction weighing them down. However, after it was expunged, have you seen this conviction reappear? Were you denied a job or rental application because your expunged criminal conviction appeared in a background check? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you may be entitled to damages and a correction of your records.

Many employers and residential rental companies utilize agencies to get background checks on potential employees or renters. Disappointingly, it is common for these background check agencies to neglect to update their records so that your expunged criminal conviction will appear on the background check. Even worse, once a potential employer or landlord sees these convictions, it is hard to unring that bell. Despite explaining that the conviction has been expunged, they will still hold it against you. Luckily, there is a way to hold these background-checking agencies responsible.

Under the Fair Credit and Reporting Act (“FCRA”), this background check is considered a consumer report (similar to a credit report). Therefore, these background check agencies are required to make sure that any background check that they report is accurate.

Moreover, in the context of employment applications, background check agencies reporting information that “is likely to have an adverse effect on the consumer’s ability to obtain employment” must either: (1) notify the person that the public record information is being reported and provide the name and address of the person that is requesting the information at the time that the information is provided to the user; or (2) maintain “strict procedures” to make sure that the information it is reporting is complete and up to date.

Also, in the context of employment, employers must obtain your written consent prior to running a background check; you must be notified if a background check has been used against you; you have the right to receive a copy of your background check; you have the right to dispute errors or inaccuracies on your background check; and/or within 30 days of filing a dispute with the background check company, mistakes or errors must be corrected.

Whenever an inaccurate background check is given to an employer, potential landlord, or anyone else, you are entitled to be compensated for any damages that resulted from this inaccurate report. Furthermore, you are entitled to attorneys’ fees and costs from the suit. This means you pay no out-of-pocket costs, and we don’t get paid until you do. If we are unsuccessful in litigating your case, then we take a financial loss and you are not required to cover our attorneys’ fees.

If you have had any issues with your expunged criminal convictions showing up on background checks, feel free to give us a call for your FREE consultation.