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Bureau settles with background screening company
The CFPB announced on Friday it has filed a proposed stipulated judgment with Sterling Infosystems, Inc. to resolve allegations that Sterling violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Sterling is a privately-held Delaware corporation headquartered in New York whose primary business is to prepare background screening reports on individual job applicants to assist employers in employment-making decisions. If entered by the court, the stipulated judgment will require Sterling to pay monetary relief to consumers and a civil money penalty and prevent Sterling from engaging in the allegedly illegal conduct again.
In its complaint, the Bureau claims that Sterling violated the FCRA by failing to employ reasonable procedures to ensure the maximum possible accuracy of the information it included in the consumer reports it prepared. Specifically, the Bureau alleges that Sterling’s procedures created a heightened risk that its consumer reports would include criminal records belonging to another individual with the same name as the applicant. The Bureau also alleges that Sterling had a practice of including “high-risk indicators” in its reports without taking any steps to verify the accuracy of them. These “high risk indicators,” which Sterling obtained from a third party, characterized addresses that the consumer may have lived at as “high risk.”