In a recent case in San Francisco, Harold Meyer claimed that National Tenant Network supplied an incorrect sex offender report to both his employer and landlord and then refused to provide him with a copy of the report. Because of the negative information in the report, Mr. Meyer was denied employment and residency. There are two major issues that all consumer-reporting agencies (CRAs) should be able to address. Employers and landlords should feel free to ask their CRAs how these issues are handled to avoid incorrect reporting and non-compliance with the FCRA.
The first issue is that of incorrect reporting. National Tenant Network relied on the reports of similar names – such as, Charles Otis Meyer – when pulling a sex offender report for Harold Meyer. Meyer was not properly identified against the reports provided. In most cases, CRAs are able to rule out results based on the middle name as an identifier. The more identifiers, the better. If you are concerned with the accuracy of the reporting from your CRA, discuss their process of filtering reports. Find out what identifiers are available for different searches, and find out how many identifiers your CRA uses before reporting to you. The more demographic information that can be provided to your CRA, helps them identify only applicable information for a particular consumer.
The second issue is that of the background report that was never supplied to Meyer. Before Adverse Action, the FRCA requires that a copy of the consumer report be provided to the consumer. Your CRA should have a compliant process for providing the consumer with a copy of the consumer report and should be able to advise you in issues surrounding Adverse Action.