Background Checks in General…. (What are they, in a nut shell)
Background checks compile information about a person’s history. Background
checks give individuals or institutions the ability to learn about a
person’s criminal history, plus much more. Background checks can help
verify an individual’s identity adding a measure of safety and security to
a personal or business relationship.
What type of information is included in a background check?
The information included in a background check from M.DADS varies based on
type, purpose, and extent. At the very least, background checks can verify
basic information like name, address, and age. Depending on the purpose
and source of reporting, background checks can include social security
number, driving licenses, court records, criminal records, incarceration
records, sex offender lists and much more. Restrictions around the
information included in a background check vary by state, by purpose, by
industry, and by individual.
What are background checks used for?
Background checks can be used for any reason where an individual desires
verification of an individual’s personal, professional or criminal
history. Many companies use background checks as an important part of
their pre-employment candidate screening processes. Pre-employment
screening background checks are more tightly regulated than other
background checks, as set forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Individuals may also use background checks for personal security purposes.
The FCRA delineates the process for obtaining background checks. In
essence, if the check is for employment screening, the allowance of
credit, or for a loan, a more stringent set of guidelines governs the
Where does the information included in a background check come from?
Because there are so many potential facets of a background check, the
answer varies substantially. Information is typically sourced from public
records created by government agencies, as well as, county courts, state
courts, state Departments of Correction, and state Administrations of
Courts. On a national level, the Social Security Administration,
Department of Homeland Security, and National Sex Offender Registries keep
public records that are used in background checks. Other sources of
publicly available information created and maintained by the state include
vital records, immigration records, property records, address histories,
real estate records, bankruptcy information, and criminal records.
The list of potential sources broadens substantially for criminal record
checks. There are a number of databases, including the FBI Identification
Record, the National Instant Criminal Background Check for gun purchases,
the Interstate Identification Index System, and more. A background check
may also include a Terrorist Watch List check, sex offender and child and
elder abuse registry checks, and checks with various financial regulatory
or state agencies.
Background screening services may also employ search services to verify a
candidate’s professional history.
How do I report incorrect information in a background check?
Errors occur in background check reports as a result of incorrect or
incomplete data in original documents, identity theft, transposition
errors, or file corruption.
According to the FCRA, Consumer Reporting Agencies must allow individuals
to file a dispute application. It is the responsibility of the Consumer
Reporting Agency to investigate the inaccuracy after the dispute
application has been filed. You must file an application directly with the
Consumer Reporting agency or state police agency that provided the report.
What does a Criminal Record History Background Check include?
Criminal Record History Background Checks include felonies, misdemeanors,
and sex offenses. These are compiled through searches within county,
state, and federal records, as well as national registries.
When applying for a job, prospective employers may run an FCRA-compliant
background check that requires your consent as part of regulatory
recruitment procedures, both to verify your credentials and protect the
workplace. Landlords, credit companies, and individuals verifying your
identity may also run background checks in order to ensure safe and honest
What information in a background check could be used against me?
In employment screening, information in background checks that contradict
your resume or application may be used against you. Background reports may
reveal exaggeration, lies, and dishonesty as well as criminal offenses
that individuals may consider a threat to certain environments. When used
correctly and in compliance, background checks encourage honesty and
integrity among all parties involved.
What are the benefits of background checks?
Background checks reinforce honesty and integrity in the work place. They
create safe environments while preventing fraud, crime, and sexual
harassment. For companies and landlords, they are integral to due
diligence that verify people’s identities and qualifications.
Why is there so much controversy around background checks?
Background checks usually involve accessing someone’s personal
information, which can be sensitive and private. Besides privacy issues,
background checks are also implicated in the issue of gun control as a way
of screening prospective buyers. Here at M.DADS, we understand that
privacy is a complex and highly important issue, so we do our best to
protect your privacy while educating you on your rights.
How can I run a background check on myself?
We would do the same procedures as if you were a third party requesting
the information. You would be required to fill out the same paperwork and
payment fees as anyone else. However if someone did run a background
check, you may request the results from the third party who requested the
How effective are background checks?
In nearly every critical area of private and professional life, a
well-executed background check is the most effective method generally
available to ensure the veracity of information provided or to better
understand an individual’s background.
Can I perform a background check over the phone?
With the diversity and complexity of the information resulting from a
comprehensive background check, the phone is not a feasible medium to
accurately convey all the essential information.
What is the fastest way to obtain a background check?
While the speed of a background check varies with regard to its scope and
intended purpose, the fastest way is certainly via our email request and
our secured fax service. We will never ask for private information as
like a social security number or financial information.
How long does a background check take?
Background checks can vary in length from instantaneous to several days,
depending on the scope of the check. Screening services that include
person-to-person communication or necessitate phone calling or
court-document retrieval can add time. If the background check is for
hiring, tenancy, a loan, or credit, then the process may require more
back-and-forth between the candidate and the agency requesting the
background check, adding time.
What is a sanctions check?
Sanctions checks apply to individuals in the healthcare field. They
identify individuals sanctioned for fraud or who have had other adverse
actions taken against them while working in healthcare. A sanctioned
individual is often unable to provide care under Federal programs,
including Medicare. We are not able to perform these type of checks
with this background check package. However we may be able to refer
you to a third party company.
What is the average cost for a background check?
The cost can vary broadly depending on the areas the background check
covers, ranging anywhere from ten dollars to hundreds for checks that
include in-person investigation and/or court-record retrieval. That said,
most background checks are between $20–$100, depending on their scope and
application. We at MDADS offers many promotions and also use other
companies who are very competitive in pricing.
How do I ensure that the background check provider I am working with is
reputable and competent?
With so much sensitive information at stake, it’s important to verify the
reputation and credibility of a background check provider and the sources
How long do felonies, misdemeanors, and sexual offenses stay on a
Criminal records generally remain public indefinitely, though individuals
can use a legal process called “expungement” to request that a court
permanently remove the records. For employment-related background
screening, the FCRA depending on what state, forbids employers from
considering arrest records or other non-conviction information that is
more than seven years old. However, criminal convictions will generally
remain on a background report regardless of how long ago they occurred.
How do I prepare for a background check?
If you think you will be subject to a background check, it’s important to
be prepared. The method of preparation will vary with regard to the type
of check. Generally, you want to ensure you’re well informed as to the
policies that regulate the upcoming check by reading a site like this. You
may also want to preempt any requests for information or documentation by
preparing a file with the necessary paperwork. If the background check is
subject to FCRA provisions, like in a pre-employment context, there are a
number of policies that obligate the entity conducting the check to ensure
the candidate is well informed of their rights and requirements under the
law. MDADS, NPE & MCM provides the information above as a tool for general questions.
MDADS & MCM does not guarantee the information to be updated and the person will
not hold MDADS, MCM, & NPE responsible for any wrong or outdated information.