This review of information from two credit bureaus and other consumer reference files will be used to identify the names and addresses associated with the applicant. Our trained analysts will use our internal best-practice guidelines to determine under which names and in which jurisdictions criminal research should be conducted. This is not verification that the information provided by the applicant matches the records of the Social Security Administration or any government entity.
Sometimes referred to as a “national” or “nationwide” criminal history search, this database contains millions of records from counties and states across the country, sex-offender registrations from all fifty states, the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s (OFAC) list of identified terrorists and other international criminals (often referred to as the Patriot Act search) and other sources. Some states make only limited information available for inclusion in this database. Our experience is that this database will yield about 50% of the records we would otherwise find by conducting our thorough county-level criminal records searches. However the database is useful because it identifies potential records in counties where research otherwise might not have been conducted. In order to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s requirement that we ensure maximum possible accuracy, any records found in the database will be verified with the originating county prior to being reported to our client.
County-level Criminal Records Searches
The best source for criminal records are the actual criminal case indices of the local court clerks in the jurisdictions where an individual has lived, worked, or attended school. 98% of the records we report to our clients originate at the county level. (The remaining records come from the federal district courts.) If no limits are placed on the number of searches conducted, we will conduct misdemeanor and felony research in the county-wide indices in each county associated with the applicant’s last ten years’ address history under all names strongly associated with the individual. Each search will cover a minimum of ten years of criminal records in that jurisdiction – most will cover much longer periods.
Don’t make these 7 critical mistakes when asking applicants about their criminal history!
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