FORT MYERS, Fla. - We all know to check our credit scores at least once a year for errors, but what about your background check? One Fort Myers man learned to do just that the hard way! A veteran of the Iraq war, he is now in a battle with his condo association over a background check he says is completely wrong.
Joel Rosario didn't think he'd have any problem passing the background check with the condo association of his new complex. He's an army vet and in school under the GI bill studying homeland security. But what happened to him will make you ask more questions about what information companies are keeping on you!
Joel Rosario carries the pictures of his service with him everywhere
"I was in the army. I was a parachute infantryman. I parachuted behind enemy lines March 26th 2003. I was 19 at the time," he told us.
He also carries his lease to his condo in Venetian Palms. That's because he's always on the defense. Even though through the GI bill the Veteran's Administration is paying for him to live here, the condo association wants him out.
"I just moved in last week and the second day I moved in I received a knock on my door from the maintenance man and a neighbor," Joel recalled. "The maintenance man proceeded to tell me I was not supposed to live here and the association had not approved me to move in; that I failed a background check."
The Venetian Palms condo association gave him this letter just stating he failed their criminal background check. It gave no reason why.
"I was a little confused because I have no criminal background. I'm a veteran from the Iraqi war and I am going to school for homeland security," he said.
Joel even pulled his own criminal background check and it came back clear.
"I provided it to the management here to a lady named Erin and she did not want to accept it. She said I had to go through their own background check and she did not provide me any paperwork or anything that said I failed a criminal background check," Joel told WINK.
Using his name and birth date, we ran Joel's background too. First by requesting it through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. FDLE sent us a letter saying they could find no criminal record.
We also checked it through our own service, the same one cited on the letter Joel received from the condo. It too came back clear.
Then we ran him through the local court system and that's when we discovered something; another Joel Rosario, born a few months earlier, with a lengthy criminal past.
Remember that background check Joel pulled on himself? At the very bottom it says "check ID because there is another Joel Rosario."
"All I know is they probably have me confused with somebody else, obviously and I have veterans housing. In order to have that I can't be a criminal," Joel explained.
We contacted the condo association. The property manager told us that Joel has all of the information he needs to fix the situation and referred us to their attorney who told us "no comment."
But all Joel was provided to fix this situation was a phone number which lead to a series of automated messages.
"Hopefully I can get an apology from them and they can go to my neighbors and tell them I am not a criminal and let me go to school and not have to worry about my car being here when I wake up in the morning or my things. I don't want my stuff taken," said Joel.
Just like credit reports, background checks can also have errors so it's important to know what's in yours. The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you a few rights, but not a lot. The largest provider of background checks, Choice Point, does give you the chance to review your information for free and challenge anything you think is wrong. Here's a link to that site. https://personalreports.lexisnexis.com/