Legal Representation For Consumers

Background check companies can hurt you.

Everyone knows there are three “credit reporting tangencies” (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Some folk know that these entities are subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), after all they are credit reporting companies. However, the FCRA covers a much broader set of entities you are likely to encounter at some point in your adult life: background check companies.

I digress a bit. The FCRA’s title is a misnomer. Instead of calling it the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Congress should have called it the Fair Consumer Reporting Act. Too late now; we are stuck with the clearly inadequate title.

These other “consumer reporting” agencies keep lots of information about you. They typically focus on specific niches, for example employment, rental, insurance, banking, utilities, driving and criminal records. Wrong information in one of these entities’ databases can hurt you badly; these companies may be the reason why you did not get a job, were denied an apartment, or kept you from opening a bank account.

The FCRA treats these background check companies generally no differently from the way it treats the “Big 3” credit bureaus. If you have been the subject of any of those companies’ reporting, you have the right to know what information they keep about you and to make sure that the information is accurate, complete and not misleading. Below is a partial list of background check companies that provide free annual credit reports.

If you are planning to get a job, buy insurance, open a bank account, get utility service or rent an apartment, I suggest you request your report from the company that the prospective employer, landlord, insurer, utility or bank will “pull” your information: call and ask for the name of the background check company. Then contact the company and get your report.

Better to find out before you get the bad news. As indicated above, this will give you the opportunity to correct the information so you will not be denied the job or service–and you will not get the bad news.

C.L.U.E. Inc. (Personal Property & Auto Reports)
Certegy Check Services Inc.
Certegy Gaming Services, Inc.
ChexSystems, Inc.
Clarity Services
CoreLogic Credco, LLC
CoreLogic Safe Rent, LLC
CoreLogic Teletrack
Early Warning Services, LLC
Equifax Workforce Solutions
Experian RentBureau
FactorTrust, Inc.
First Advantage Corporation (and Verifications,Inc.)
First Advantage Corporation Resident History
General Information Services
HireRight, LLC
Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions
MIB, Inc.
MicroBilt / PRBC
National Consumer Telecom & Utility Exchange
Telecheck Services, Inc.