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Crazy Quotes:

“To tell someone their record is gone is essentially to lie to them”

New York Times - Expunged Criminal Records Live to Tell Tales

"You or someone you know has probably sought to have a record expunged..."

Wall Street Journal - 5 Things to Know About Background Checks and Expunged Records

"It's the Wild West for background-screening report companies....They're generating billions in revenue, but they have little or no accountability."

Persis Yu

Myth: Getting my record expunged means it will never show up on any background checks in the future.

Fact: Public records are constantly changing based on case status updates, the correction of record errors, and expungements. Thus, a file’s completeness depends on how often the CRA reviews the public record information and whether it reviews updates in the information on record. The problem is that CRAs buy records in bulk and often don't update the records they have. In fact, many CRAs advertise that they have a 'proprietary database' of historical records they never deleted!


Myth: Background Check Companies are very conscious of maintaining up-to-date, accurate records of consumers.

Fact: CRAs are notorious for reporting stale or outdated records. While the consequence is dire for the applicant, there is little consequence to the CRA. In fact, maintaining up-to-date and accurate records only cuts into a CRA's profits.


Myth: CRA’s are allowed to report my arrest record, even if it was expunged.

Fact: Absolutely not. CRAs are not allowed to report an expunged arrest record. Expunging a record legally restores that person to the status the person occupied before the arrest.


Myth: Employers and landlords will tell you the reason you didn’t get the job or house was because of a bad background check.

Fact: Unfortunately, it is common practice to simply move to the next candidate or applicant without ever giving a person a chance to correct or even notify that a background check came back with bad information.


Myth: You can just call the background check company and they will fix their mistake right away.

Fact: Background check companies usually try to make you prove to them that they made the error. This means they ask you to send physical proof, such as the official expungement order, to the background check company to get them to correct it. DO NOT do this. Learn more: How to defend your expunged record.


Myth: If I fix my record with one background check company, my information will be updated nationwide automatically.

Fact: There are over 350 background check companies. Each one has different procedures, processes, and technology.


Myth: CRAs are very sensitive to how detrimental a false information report can be to a consumer and they are very careful to provide accurate information to their customers.

Fact: CRAs are interested in their customers and their profits - not the consumer.


Myth: You should always send a copy of your expungement order with your dispute.

Fact: Many background check companies tell you to do this but it is a bad idea. They tell you to do this to save themselves money. An expunged record, by definition of the law, no longer exists and you do not have to acknowledge it ever existed. Why send proof that it did? During your dispute, simply tell the CRA that their record is inaccurate and/or outdated and they will have to delete it when they cannot locate the record at the court.


Myth: If a CRA reports they have no record of you, they will never report your outdated arrest record in the future.

Fact: Expunged records seem to magically appear when you least expect them. There are numerous stories in the national news where expunged records have reappeared after a background check company had previously issued a clean background check.


Myth: Once you have rectified the background check company’s mistake with a landlord or employer, they will re-consider your application in light of this correction.

Fact: Unfortunately, once a background check company reveals an expunged record, the damage has been done. By this point, the employer/landlord has often already moved on to the next candidate.



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This simple checklist offers tips on how to keep your expunged record from appearing and impeding your social/economic progress.