Harder for the Young to Gain Credit

Friday, February 26, 2010

Those under the age of 21 are about to face tough restrictions for obtaining a credit card.

The second phase of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 has taken effect. The law was passed last year to curb credit card abuses perpetrated by the issuers.

In addition to limiting the credit card companies from raising interest rates and imposing fees, the law also limits the ease in which anyone younger than 21 can open a credit card.

If you're under the age of 21 you will need a co-signer over the age of 21 to obtain a card and they have to have a good credit score for you to qualify.

Credit card companies can no longer target school sponsored events, a place they traditionally obtained their newest, youngest, consumers.

Also, you will need sufficient income to maintain the card. The Act doesn't specify exactly what qualifies as sufficient income, and rules are likely to vary by issuer.

These restrictions are a positive step in protecting a young persons credit score, but it can mean many things. No credit history is not always a good thing - many times in background screens, those without credit history receive warnings or alerts and further investigation is often necessary to completing the pre-employment check. There are way around the alert, however, it is a consideration. It is a good idea to try to obtain some type of identifying information, such as opening a rental agreement or placing your name on utility bills to obtain financial history information.


Virginia Considers E-Verify

Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 16, 2010 - The state of Virgina passed a bill by an 82-13 margin that requires public contractors, state agencies, and Virginia based employers to use the government's E-Verify program.

The program seeks to ensure that any number of the 7-8 million illegal aliens in the United States do not take state funded jobs away from the more than 15 million Americans currently unemployed.


Crimes Commited by Criminals

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Each Wednesday, Liberty brings you Crimes Committed by Criminals, a feature intended to highlight the most important reason to screen for criminals.

Most persons arrested for criminal offenses have prior arrest records, and many have arrest records in more than one state.
(Federal Bureau of Investigation)

Mark Foster - A Knox, TN County school teacher accused to shooting two principals at Inskip Elementary School on February 17, 2010.
Foster's brother, Anthony Foster said, "There should have been an extensive background check."
Foster came background check came back clear at the time of his hire as a substitute teacher in 2007. The check did not go beyond a FBI fingerprint screen for arrests and convictions. It did not check Foster's previous employer references. Had those references been checked, Foster's brother, Anthony's email warning might have been found and the shootings prevented.


Massachusetts Parole Board Doing Positive Work

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Massachusetts parole board is faced every year with a dubious task - on average each board member faces 1,300 hearings a year - and they must make decisions whether to allow criminals to be released on parole.

Their job is not easy, though only about 100 of those requests each year are requested by second-degree murderers (1st degree murderers are not eligible for parole) they have to take each case seriously and one by one.

About 6,000 convicted criminals are freed each year to an astounding rate of successful rehabilitation.

Of course, mistakes are made, and the Mass. parole board is under scrutiny for the release of Corliss, a 63 year-old convicted murderer with a criminal record dating back 40 years. On his rap, a murder with remarkably similar details from 1971 to the recent murder of a convenience store murder.

Corliss escaped prison twice and violated parole three months after the board released him at the age of 60. The board used statistics to assume that most inmates at that age have long passed the time when they are most likely to commit crime. Corliss had proved to have no problems since 1991.

Board member Giancioppo said, "I think it's important to recognize we're in a risk management business, 95% of all inmates are ultimately going to be released into the community...there are no guarantees with human behavior."


New Bill to Verify Legal Citizenship For Mortgages

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX) unveiled a new bill this month.

The Mortgage E-Verify Act would introduce as a condition that any applicant for modification of a home mortgage load held by Frannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or insured by the FHA, that the applicant be required to successfully pass through an E-Verify inquiry.

E-Verify is the federally mandated program that determines if someone is legally allowed to work and live in the United States. Marchant said, "E-Verify is a fantastic program which I have supported making permanent for employers. Mandating its use as a condition for home mortgage loan modifications would help eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in the system and bring integrity to the process."

The bill is spurred by a major Nevada case where a mortgage company/branch manager conspired to manufacture and submit false employment and income documentation for borrowers, most of whom were illegal immigrants.


Student Shares His Name with Bad Driver

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Michael Taylor is a pre-law student at Sacramento State.

He is 25 years old and the State of California is certain his DMV record has been severely tainted - enough so that he's been denied employment, his insurance rates have gone up, and all because his name is Michael Benjamin Taylor.

His name has been confused with the Michael Joseph Taylor who was busted in a 2007 car accident for driving without a license and not have proof of insurance. It led to a warrant after failure to appear.

Michael believes that only the suspect's first and last names, as well as the birth date, are being used to track his offenses. Michael has been to the DMV to no avail. Even if something can be removed from his record, something new pops up in a few months. He's battled this way for nearly 6 years.

After considering changing his name, he finally got the media involved. A local news team was able to correct the mistake at the DMV and prevent more mistakes from happening in the future.


30 Olypmic Athletes Test Positive For Drugs

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More than 30 athletes have been prevented from competing at the Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Their names, nationalities, or competitive events have not been released yet.

Subjected to random drug tests months leading up to the games, pending cases were reported to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Disqualifications can be positive results or failure to comply.

WADA officials have made it clear that North American professional league drug testing is not up to par for the national sports world. WADA Director General, David Howman, said of the state of drug testing in the NHL, "It's not as stringent as you would want. We don't know if there's a [doping] problem, but you're left with the suspicion that there may be a problem if you're not prepared to front up."


Teen Registers as "Sext" Offender

Monday, February 15, 2010

Philip Alpert made a big mistake. He got angry at his girlfriend.

At the age of 18, he took sexually explicit pictures she sent him and forwarded them to his entire contact list.

Alpert was quickly arrested on child pornography charges. Albert had to register as a sex offender, which in all likelihood could ruin his life.

Alpert's lawyer, Lawrence Walters claims, "Society is starting to recognize that maybe this is something different, a phenomenon we haven't dealt with before, but currently they're doing it in the worst way possible, by lumping these kids in with pedophiles and molesters."

While it may be true that the punishment far outweighs the crime, Albert can't live with his father - too close to a school - and can't pursue his dream of computer animation due to restrictions on the Internet, Albert did break the law and his actions should be punishable.

Albert is a sex offender whether he'd like to be categorized as one or not. And whether or not he realizes it, he broke a serious law and committed a serious crime. The law does not discriminate toward an angry adult man and a man who is not angry, but disturbed. They both distribute sexually explicit photographs of underage teens. The motivation is not necessarily relevant, and if the judge is making an example of Albert, I say, so be it.

These laws are developed to protect the innocent and underaged, not the adult men who knowingly break them.


Referees Need Background Checks

Friday, February 12, 2010

Salt Lake City public schools are having an intense debate. The focus is around legislature to enact criminal background checks for volunteer referees for the public school system.

They would implement a $40 charge for each referee so they could have the check performed.

Legislators are in an uproar about the matter. Rep. Brad Dee wondered, "Is this a solution to try and find a problem," indicating there have bee no previous incidents.

Other states have already implemented similar policies, like Texas. Referees themselves are concerned about colleagues who had inappropriate backgrounds that were known to the community.


Driving Record in Shambles

Thursday, February 11, 2010

45 License Suspensions

29 Warrants on Record

The Hazel Police pulled over Mary Ayers on Friday with an astounding number of infractions on her driving record. Police Chief David Niedermeier said, "She thumbed her nose at the system for many years, and I would anticipate that she will continue to do so."

Ayers is thought to have been driving without a license for at least 15 years. She has many traffic violations in other cities.

Ayers was arrested for the outstanding warrants and held while Hazel Park police impounded the 1999 Jeep she was driving. The plates were registered to a 1991 Pontiac Grand Am that hasn't been listed as stolen, but regardless, the plates didn't match.


Crimes Committed by Criminals

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Each Wednesday, Liberty brings you Crimes Committed by Criminals, a new feature intended to highlight the most important reason to screen for criminals.

Most persons arrested for criminal offenses have prior arrest records, and many have arrest records in more than one state.(Federal Bureau of Investigation)

Marsha Kay Hardy - In jail since late December for unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance and chemical endangerment of a child. Authorities believe Hardy and other were producing methamphetamine in the home while a 16-year-old juvenile was present.
Hardy now faces charges of criminal solicitation to commit murder. From a jail phone, a police detective overheard Hardy tell her 18-year-old son to "put a bullet in their head," and to "cut her throat, gut them like a fish and dispose of the bodies in Florida, and do it quick and clean." Hardy continued, "if he was going to do the thing he said he was, to do it quick and clean."
Hardy has been in and out of jail since 1995 on escape charges, forgery, criminal possession of a forged instrument.


Marijuana Meatballs

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New York Police officer Anthony Chiofalo was terminated after appeal for failing a drug test.

Chiofalo, a 22-year-veteran detective on the NYPD force claimed his wife spiked his meatball with marijuana, causing him to fail the test. However, judges agreed that the levels of marijuana in Chiofalo's system were inconsistent with accidental exposure.

Chiofalo's wife, Catherine, claims she smokes marijuana for back pain and told investigators she laced her husband's meatballs in hopes that he would be fired before getting killed on the job.


Drug Tests for Missouri Public Officials & Welfare Recipients

Monday, February 8, 2010

On Thursday, Missouri elected officials agreed that public officials and welfare recipients will undergo drug screening.

Lawmakers and other state officeholders would receive a drug test before taking office and again every two years. The officials are required to foot the bill for the test, refusal to do so - or to take the test - will be considered an admission that they are using controlled substances.

Those citizens receiving cash welfare payments would be tested if the Department of Social Services felt there was "reasonable suspicion." Refusal would render the citizen ineligible to receive the benefits for one year. Children affected by the refusal would receive benefits handled by a third party outside the household.

In October, Social Service Department employees who fail to report suspected drug use are subject to immediate termination.


Report: Background Checks Increase Nationwide

Friday, February 5, 2010

Workforce Management reports that the background screening industry has seen explosive growth over the last decade. Criminal background checks are becoming nearly universal with 93% of all employers nationwide performing some type of criminality check.

10% of employers report that criminal records lead to adverse affects when making a hiring decision.

71% of employers report that they conduct criminal background checks to protect their organization and reduce risk.

There has been some controversy behind the sudden increase. Employers using criminal background checks to make long lists of applicants smaller, to many, appears to be discriminatory. These employers are essentially using criminal records, traffic violations, or bad credit to make character assumptions, even when there the records are not related to the job at hand.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a claim that employers rejecting job applicants based on their credit history and criminal offenses were exclusionary practices and are not indicative of employee performance.

In an online poll, 73% of nearly 2,500 voters agreed that the practice is indeed, discriminatory:



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