Michigan Reentry Law Wiki

Sample Letter to Credit Reporting Company Regarding Inaccurate Criminal Record Report

From Reentry

October 23, 2006

Credit Reporting Company, Inc. Attn: Legal Counsel

Re: Jane Doe, DOB 9/11/1964

Dear Counselor at Law:

I am writing to request that you immediately remove inaccurate conviction information from my client’s criminal background report. The report that you issued to Hiring Company (see attached) states that my client sold alcohol to a minor on 3/31/2004. This is incorrect, and nearly cost my client a job which she had been offered.

As you can see from the original court documents, which are enclosed, the individual who committed this offense was a Jane Mary Doe, DOB 9/5/41, not Jane Ann Doe, DOB 9/11/1964. The driver’s license number listed in the court documents does not match my client’s driver’s license number. The middle names also do not match. Moreover, the court documents also show that the case involved a sting operation against the Fuller Avenue Pharmacy. My client has never worked at the Fuller Avenue Pharmacy.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that “whenever a consumer reporting agency prepares a consumer report it shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.” 15 U.S.C. §1681e(b). Thus a credit reporting agency violates 15 U.S.C. §1681e(b) if “(1) the consumer report contains inaccurate information and (2) the reporting agency did not follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy.” Dalton v. Capital Associated Industries, 257 F.3d 409, 415 (4th Cir. 2001).

In addition to FCRA’s general requirement under 15 U.S.C. §1681e(b) that agencies adopt reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of reports, FCRA also mandates specific procedures under 15 U.S.C. §1681k(a) whenever an agency reports information on matters of public record that are likely to have an adverse effect upon a consumer’s ability to obtain employment. The type of information covered includes “arrests, indictments, [and] convictions.” 15 U.S.C. §1681k(a)(2). Because Credit Reporting Company’s reports obviously include such information, Credit Reporting Company is subject to the higher standard set out in 15 U.S.C. §1681k(a) whenever it disseminates information to employers.

Under 15 U.S.C. §1681k(a), Credit Reporting Company must – when supplying reports for employment purposes – either (1) notify the individual whose record is being reported, or (2) maintain strict procedures designed to insure that whenever public record information which is likely to have an adverse effect on the individual’s ability to obtain employment is reported, that information is complete and up-to-date.

Here, Credit Reporting Company has provided false information about my client’s criminal record, even though there is an obvious mismatch between my client’s information and that of the individual convicted. This shows that Credit Reporting Company has failed to meet the standards set out in 15 U.S.C. §1681e(b), much less the standards set out in 15 U.S.C. §1681k(a).

In order to rectify this situation, I ask that you immediately correct Ms. Doe’s record, and send a copy of the corrected record to the University of X and to me. Please also send me a list of all individuals or entities to whom Ms. Doe’s record has been previously disclosed, so that my client may assess how to respond to any such dissemination of misinformation about her. This information can be faxed to me at 616-774-2412.

Please note that my client in no way waives her rights to pursue damages under the FCRA. Should you wish to discuss this matter, I can be reached at 616-774-0672 ext. 114.


Miriam Aukerman Attorney at Law

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