In a prior blog post we commented on the misunderstanding many have regarding criminal convictions. Many think that criminal convictions more than 7 years old cannot be reported. That is not true. Criminal convictions that are more than 7 years old can be included in a consumer report from a consumer reporting agency. We list below items that should not be included in a consumer report:
This statement is just not correct. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) states on page 22 that:
605. Requirements relating to information contained in consumer reports [15 U.S.C. § 1681c]
(a) Information excluded from consumer reports. Except as authorized under subsection (b) of this section, no consumer reporting agency may make any consumer report containing any of the following items of information:
(1) Cases under title 11 [United States Code] or under the Bankruptcy Act that, from the date of entry of the order for relief or the date of adjudication, as the case may be, antedate the report by more than 10 years.
(2) Civil suits, civil judgments, and records of arrest that from date of entry, antedate the report by more than seven years or until the governing statute of limitations has expired, whichever is the longer period.
(3) Paid tax liens which, from date of payment, antedate the report by more than seven years.
(4) Accounts placed for collection or charged to profit and loss which antedate the report by more than seven years.
(5) Any other adverse item of information, other than records of convictions of crimes which antedates the report by more than seven years.
In a legalese sort of way, what the FCRA is saying is that criminal convictions older than seven years MAY be included in a consumer report.
“In a recent class action lawsuit against General Information Solutions the plaintiff alleged that General Information Solutions has been improperly reporting old, non-criminal ordinance violations in its background check reports, in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Under the FCRA, purveyors of such reports may not report “[c]ivil suits, civil judgments, and records of arrest that from the date of entry, antedate the report by more than seven years …” The FCRA also prohibits reporting “[a]ny other adverse item of information, other than records of convictions of crimes which antedates the report by more than seven years.”
Tyus alleges that his own background check report from the defendant, produced in 2014, improperly disclosed his 2003 ordinance violation for disorderly conduct. This violation was both non-criminal and more than seven years old, Tyus says. For both those reasons, it should not have appeared on his background check report.
Under terms of the settlement, General Information Solutions agrees to put up a settlement fund worth $704,000. This fund will be used to pay Class Members after deductions are made for court costs, attorney fees, and an incentive award for the class representative.”
You should be monitoring the information in your reports from your consumer reporting agency to assure the above-mentioned rules are being followed.