Background Check Lawyer

Last Updated:
April 24, 2023

When you submit to a background check, you expect the background check agency or your prospective employer to do a good job. But what happens when they make a mistake, costing you an excellent job opportunity or causing your job hunt to go on for longer than you anticipated?

In these cases, it might be a good idea to contact knowledgeable background check lawyers. Today, let’s break down what background check lawyers are, how they can help, and why you should contact Fair Credit ASAP.

Background Checks – What Are They?

In a nutshell, background checks are deep dives into a job candidate’s history. They include a detailed examination of a candidate’s:

  • Credit history and potentially overall financial activities, like loans taken out, missed payments, debts, etc.
  • Previous employment records, such as where they worked, whether they were terminated, etc.
  • Criminal record, if applicable. This can include a record of felonies and misdemeanors or just the former depending on one’s state and the level of security the open job requires
  • Educational history, such as whether a candidate has the degree they claim they earned
  • And more

Background checks essentially double-check that a candidate's work history and personal information are accurate compared to their resume or job application.

Why Are Background Checks So Common?

Background checks are practically ubiquitous these days, and for good reason. Employers don’t want to spend a lot of time and money training and prepping a new employee, only to find that they lied on one of their application details.

For instance, imagine a scenario where an employer needs to fill an open position with a degree holder. They specifically require a bachelor’s degree in biology. They hire a candidate who appears to be the right choice, only to find out that the candidate doesn’t actually have a bachelor’s degree later down the road.

Background checks are common because employers don’t want to be duped. They’re also important to ensure that employers hire qualified, capable candidates for each job, particularly for positions that have security clearance requirements. Few job employers, for example, will want to hire a former felon for a law enforcement or security position.

Background Check Errors

While background checks are important parts of hiring processes these days, they are not always perfect. Many background checks are carried out by third-party background check agencies or companies. These companies are contracted by employers to take care of the background check labor, providing reports to the employers after their in-depth investigations are complete.

Unfortunately, background check errors can and do occur from time to time. These can include:

  • Mistaking one candidate’s identity for another. For instance, if a candidate’s name is John D. Smith, the background check agency may confuse that candidate with another person named John D. Smith
  • Finding inaccurate or outdated information about a job candidate, especially in regard to outdated credit or financial information
  • Making a typo or misspelling in a background check report, which could cause an employer to view a candidate differently or inaccurately
  • And more

Background check errors don’t happen very often, but when they do, they can have drastic consequences for job seekers.

Why Do Background Check Errors Occur?

Many background check mistakes occur purely because of human error. A background check agency employee, for instance, may not double-check that they have the right person's records before filling out a background check report. Then, they end up providing an employer with inaccurate information about their job candidate.

Other background check errors can occur because of:

  • Technology issues. A background check agency may use outdated software or may use software with a glitch that crops up when it interacts with government platforms
  • Typos or line errors. Again, these can cause background check agency employees to bring up inaccurate records for a job candidate

No matter the cause of a background check error, the results can be disastrous under the right circumstances.

Can Background Check Mistakes Hurt You?

Yes. In fact, a background check mistake can hurt you not just in the short term but also in the long term.

For example, a job candidate may be denied an excellent job opportunity because of a background check mistake. Even if they are otherwise qualified for the open position, their employer may decide not to offer them the position if the background check returns erroneous information, such as a false criminal record or a history of criminal activity.

For another example, a background check mistake could cause a prospective employer to view a candidate’s credit history inaccurately. That inaccurate credit history then gets spread around by the employer or by other organizations, causing the error to follow the job seeker around for a long time to come.

That bad credit score can make it difficult for the job seeker to take out a loan, buy a house, and much more. Background check mistakes can continue to follow candidates for years if they aren't identified and taken care of as soon as possible.

Your Rights Regarding Background Check Mistakes

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA, employers, lenders, and other organizations cannot knowingly use inaccurate or false background information to make hiring or loan decisions. Similarly, all consumers have a right to up-to-date, accurate background and credit info.

If you are denied a job offer or loan on the basis of your background information, the employer or loan agency has to provide you with an adverse action letter. The letter will explain this reasoning, plus tell you how to contact the background check agency that provided them with the information.

Once you have your letter, you can scan your background check report for mistakes. If you notice any mistakes, you have the right under the FCRA to file a dispute letter with the background check company, informing them of the error and requesting they fix it quickly.

At that point, the background check agency has to investigate the issue and correct the erroneous information within 30 business days. If they don’t do this, they could be held liable for a lawsuit.

Background Check Lawyers – What Do They Do?

Although you don’t have to hire a background check lawyer, it’s always a good idea to do so.

Background check lawyers are knowledgeable, specialized legal professionals who have extensive expertise in background check laws, errors, and fixes. They know the ins and outs of the FCRA and similar legislation, and they know everything you have to do to file a successful dispute letter and get erroneous information corrected ASAP.

How Can a Background Check Lawyer Help Your Case?

The right background check attorney to help your case in a wide variety of ways, so it’s a good idea to look into hiring a law firm if legal action is on the horizon.

Collect Evidence for You

For starters, background check attorneys can collect evidence for you to strengthen a dispute letter or a lawsuit in the future.

Say that you want to dispute a background check report provided by a third-party background check agency. Before filing your letter, your lawyer can look over the background check, identify any erroneous information based on your provided info, then dive even deeper to uncover any other errors you may have missed.

Once that’s done, your lawyer can collect evidence proving that the information in question is mistaken. This evidence can include:

  • Government records
  • Birth certificates
  • Criminal records
  • Job references
  • And more

All of this can be invaluable when proving that your background check has been impacted by erroneous information. The more info you can provide in a dispute letter, the more likely it is the background check agency will correct the bad info soon.

Aid with Filing Dispute Letters

You can normally file a dispute letter with a background check agency or a credit bureau online or by physical mail. But if this is your first time doing so, you might not know where to start or what steps you should take.

Knowledgeable background check lawyers can help you through the process from start to finish. 

They can point you toward the right website, make sure you fill out the appropriate forms, and ensure that you include all the necessary information so your dispute letter is received on time and is not turned away (for context, companies do have the right to request further information from you, if the situation is unclear, once they receive a dispute letter).

Explain Legal Options

Background check errors and credit report mistakes can be confusing and frustrating to deal with. You may not know whether you have grounds for a lawsuit or if you should pursue some other means of legal recourse.

When you hire educated background check attorneys, they can explain your legal options and provide sound legal counsel. For instance, they may look at the details of your case and recommend that you push for arbitration rather than a lawsuit, given the expenses that are likely with the latter legal action.

Negotiate on Your Behalf

Should you need to contact a background check agency, your employer, a credit bureau, or any other organization, your lawyers can negotiate on your behalf. That way, you can continue to focus on your life and don’t have to deal with the stress and anxiety associated with intense legal negotiations.

Help You Sue

Sometimes, there's no other way to recoup your losses than to sue the at-fault party. You may even have extensive grounds for a lawsuit if your rights under the FCRA have been violated.

For example, if you file a dispute letter with a background check agency, but the agency refuses to correct erroneous information, you can sue them outright. If your lawsuit is successful, you could recover $1000 or more in damages to compensate you and to pay for relevant attorney fees.

With lawyers, it'll be much easier to sue an at-fault party and to see a successful outcome.

Represent You in Court

Should your case go to court, your lawyers can represent you in that environment, plus coach you so you know what to say and how to say it. All of this can be invaluable if you have to sway a judge to your side in a contentious legal case.

Above all else, background check lawyers provide peace of mind through legal proceedings. You may not know what to do or how to proceed, but your lawyers can advise you throughout the process. With them on your side, you’ll be confident, feel more capable, and be able to take the steps that are best for you, your family, and your finances.

Fair Credit’s Background Check Lawyers

Background check lawyers can provide a wide variety of assistance, but why contact Fair Credit specifically? It's because we are a specialized, boutique law agency focusing on background check errors and similar legal troubles.

In fact, our lawyers are well-educated and ready to assist with your background check lawsuit or dispute right now. With our extensive experience, we’re the best choices to assist with:

  • Filing a dispute letter with a background check agency or a credit bureau
  • Suing a third-party organization like a background check company
  • Negotiating with a prospective employer or a background check company on your behalf
  • And more

Thanks to our expertise, we’ve undoubtedly seen dozens of cases just like yours, so we know what steps to take and how best to maximize your compensation.

We also offer free case reviews. If there are any errors in your background check, we guarantee that we will find them and fix them. So if you're not sure what to look for but are confident that a background check mistake has cost you a job opportunity, we're the best people to contact.

Contact Us Today

Ultimately, the right background check lawyer can help you resolve your background check errors and correct the record as quickly as possible. It’s always better to file a dispute letter or sue a background check agency with a knowledgeable attorney on your side.

Why wait? Contact Fair Credit today to get started.

Ready to take action?

Don't let these companies get away with violating your rights and causing you financial & emotional distress.

Free Case Review