Debtor’s financial records are available to debt collectors through Accurint, a service provided by LexisNexis; however, earlier this month, a federal judge required a payment of $13.5M for violations of the FCRA. The violation was caused by LexisNexis’ refusal to allow consumers to review their own records, possible because of a questionable call on the part of the FTC. The judge opines that much of the case is speculative and unclear.
From a consumer perspective, this case has serious negative ramifications. Is an agency allowed to sell thousands of consumer records, for years, without the consent of the consumers? And, the only repercussion is a slap on the wrist financially? As of today, the company is still operating and still offering consumer records to corporations.
From an employer perspective, where does the law stand on the employers’ rights to learn more about their potential employee? The FCRA law is clear—the employer must be able to review the information chosen. A consumer report, for the purposes of a job application, includes the following:
- Credit reports
- Criminal and civil record reports
- Social security trace
- Education, employment and professional license verification
- Driving records
How you use this information makes all the difference. You must follow the correct procedure, set by the EEOC and the FCRA. The procedures were revised in 2013—make sure you have the latest information available to maintain compliance.