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Background checks: what you need to know

We’re dispelling some myths around background checks.

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 The journey to practice ownership can be filled with twists, turns, highs, and lows. From the initial school application to countless hours of study and practice, you've invested a lot to reach this point. Whether you're considering buying a practice or starting one from scratch, a few more boxes need checking. Securing financing is likely one of them. When you apply for a loan, a background check is par for the course. But fear not, those old traffic tickets from your early days won't hold you back.

Myths versus truths


Some people believe that banks never conduct background checks, while others believe they all do. The truth is that while it’s common for banks to conduct public records and UCC searches for business loans, each financial institution has its own set of specific protocols for background checks, though most conduct some form of check to verify loan eligibility.

For instance, several use LexisNexis for a public record search on all parties involved – borrowers, guarantors, and sellers. This search reviews nationwide public records for events like bankruptcy, foreclosure, judgments, tax liens, criminal filings, professional licenses, UCC checks, and additional names and addresses. It's a legal and organized system that accesses public records across all 50 states.

Although it’s essentially an extensive search across both public and private databases, it's important to note that the information uncovered may not always be accurate. And these results are not the end-all be-all. As part of the process, customers will be presented with what's found and given the opportunity to confirm its accuracy. Upon receiving a positive match, the initial step is to connect with the customer about the accuracy of the identified information.

Possible criminal arrest


While the system is helpful, it is not perfect. Sometimes, criminal records come back as "not specified." In such cases, Provide will contact the individual to clarify the details. There's no assumption of criminality – it's about understanding the situation. These could include long-forgotten traffic violations. We find honesty to be the best policy, as any findings are discussed openly with the customer. At Provide, transparency is key.

"It’s best to be upfront with these types of questions when filling out an application.  It gives you an opportunity to offer any additional context and allows us to identify a structure that works for everyone earlier in the process,” shared Provide Chief Credit & Operational Risk Officer Sean Simon. “Uncovering something later can cause unnecessary delays and confusion that can be avoided by disclosing it up front. If you’re ever unsure, our teams are always here to help answer any questions you have when filling out an application."

As a provider of financial solutions built on compassion and authenticity, we understand imperfections. We're not seeking a perfect record, just honest communication.

Looking out for you


It's important to acknowledge that data typically remains indefinitely, except in cases involving minors. The idea of completely erasing something from your record once it becomes part of a public records database is essentially non-existent.

At the end of the day, we aren’t just checking our customers’ backgrounds. We’re pulling public searches on sellers to protect our customers (or, in our case, our future customers). When purchasing a practice, we want to ensure the transaction is free and clear. If we reach out with questions, remember: We don’t think you’re a criminal – you may just have the same name as one! 

 

This content is for informational purposes and does not constitute the rendering of legal, accounting, tax, or investment advice, or other professional services by neither Provide, its affiliates, nor Fifth Third Bank, and it is being provided without any warranty whatsoever. Please consult with appropriate professionals related to your individual circumstances.

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