After filling out the application and anxiously waiting, you finally received the notification: “You have been approved for an apartment lease pending a background check.” You are a good person with no criminal or financial history that would disqualify you from otherwise obtaining the lease.
You know you will pass the background check – then you are denied due to false information associated with your name. What caused the error? Is there anything you can do to correct and compensate for the mistake?
False information in your background report can keep you from obtaining a lease, being hired for a job or being granted a loan. Anyone can fall victim to false information in a background check. Therefore, it is important to know what to do to correct it.
What leads to false information?
Names and addresses
When companies check your background, they may check your criminal history. Court records are not indexed by your unique social security number. Instead, courts rely on names and addresses to organize information. If you have a common first or last name or lived at a shared address such as a dormitory or apartment complex in the past, your information could be mistaken for someone else’s.
This problem is more common for current and former residents of major cities where there is a greater chance of someone in the area having a similar name or street address.
Credit card fraud and identity theft
If you have been the victim of identity theft or credit card fraud, adverse information may still appear in your credit history. You can work with your financial institution to ensure that all false information is cleared from your credit history, but further legal action may be necessary.
How can I correct false information?
Correcting false information in a background check can be a tricky process, but it can be done with the right legal help. First, most states, including Minnesota, allow you to request a free copy of your background check when a company runs your information. Carefully read through your background check for false information.
If you fall victim to false information in your background check, your word alone may not be enough for a company to fix errors within its database. With a consumer advocacy lawyer on your side, may be able to correct mistakes and receive compensation due to false information in your background check.