Employers Cannot Force Job Applicants to Waive FCRA Rules Applicable to Background Reports

Today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a FCRA case, Syed v. M-I, LLC that involves background reports employers obtain on prospective employees. The background reports are “consumer reports” like credit reports subject to the FCRA rules. The FCRA requires employers to give applicants a written disclosure that they plan to obtain a background report. The purpose for the disclosure is to give applicants the opportunity to block the employer from obtaining a report, a matter of privacy. The disclosure must be consist “solely of the disclosure.” The employer M-I tried to insulate it from FCRA...

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Class Action Alleges Experian Illegal Access to Consumer Files

With exceptions, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires credit reporting agencies to limit access to consumers credit files to persons with whom the consumer has a credit relationship. A credit relationship is one in which the consumer and a creditor agreed the consumer could defer payment. Persons who do not have a credit relationship with the consumer have no right to look at the consumer’s credit files. If a person’s car is towed and stored off the street without his or her consent, the tow company will typically give the owner a notice to pay the tow and storage bills....

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Court Condemns Attorney’s Illegal Credit Repair Scheme

Credit repair schemes almost always require payment in advance of any results. Typically, the customer pays the money and then gets no results. To curb this abuse, the federal Credit Repair Organizations Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 1679f, prohibits anyone from offering to improve a customer’s credit to charge money in advance. This week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that an attorney who charged clients $599 to improve their credit had violated the credit repair act. Consumers are well advised to never pay money to anyone who promises to improve or repair their credit reports or scores.

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