As of January 2011, more and more banks and other financial institutions have begun having their employees authorize an in depth background and character check pursuant to the Secure and Fair Enforcement (“SAFE”) for the Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008. This means that current and potential employees are having their history, both professional and criminal, scrutinized to an extent that has yet to be seen in the profession to date. The background search conducted through the SAFE Act is even pulling up convictions that are more than twenty years old!
If any criminal charge pulled up by the SAFE act can be classified as a Breach of Trust Conviction, as defined in Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (“FDIA”), the bank employing or hiring an employee can face huge penalties and fines from the FDIC. Needless to say the banks do not want to incur these penalties, and in turn, they fire the individual with the breach of trust conviction. The problem is that many of these individuals that are fired or let go do not actually have to be terminated as a matter of law.
Section 19 of the FDIA is a federal provision, and most crimes that fall under it’s Breach of Trust umbrella are state convictions. This means that there tends to be a discrepancy in legal definitions between the state and the federal legislation. Instead of taking the time to determine if each individual can in fact bypass this Section 19, the banks just let these individuals go and tell them to seek their own personal legal counsel to determine the issue.
Higbee & Associates has helped clients all over the US. Call us if you need help.
The law firm of Higbee & Associates has been able to help individuals that have been let go by the banks because of Section 19 of the FDIA. There are two ways to bypass this Section 19 and regain your job. The first way is to qualify under the de minimis criteria that is set forth in Section 19. To do this, you must satisfy four elements that are set fourth by Section 19. If you do not qualify under the de minimis criteria, you can still petition to the FDIC for a bypass order of Section 19. Both of these will allow a bank to rehire, or continue to employ you, without facing large penalties and fines. Call today for a free consultation to see if you qualify, and get your job back.
ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS
- How long does it take to complete an appeal?
Typically, it is taking anywhere from 5 to 12 months to complete the entire process. This is because the petition must first go to the proper regional FDIC office, where they must approve it before it can go on the the FDIC headquarters in Washington DC for final approval.
- What is the typical cost?
There are two stages to this process so the cost is broken down into two payments. We typically charge $3,000 to assemble the petition, send it off, and deal with the regional FDIC office. If approved at the regional FDIC office, the petition then has to go to the FDIC headquarters office in DC and additional documents are needed. This requires a second charge of $2,000. This includes all filing fees, costs, and postage.The only way these numbers will change is if your case requires special attention due to exigent circumstances or if your petition is denied at either level and you would like to appeal the FDIC ruling.
- What are the chances of success?The chances of success vary greatly on a case to case basis. The older the case is and the less severe the case or cases are, the better the chances of success.
If you are interested in obtaining a Section 19 wavier, we would be glad to represent you. Higbee & Associates represents clients all over the US. The fee for this service is typically $5,000. Interest free payment plans are available. We can start work on the case for a little as $750.
Read about some of our recent successes with FDIC waiver approvals.
I was a personal banker at Wells Fargo Bank in Fort Lauderdale Florida and had just received a promotion when I was terminated due to safe registration on April 1, 2011. On Feb 19,1992 and may 18, 1992 I had 2 different convictions for second degree retail fraud misdemeanors that happened while I was in college. I disclosed both before I was hired and submitted to a fbi background check when hired on November of 2009. Which is surprising since the bank knew when i was hired that employees would have to be Safe registered. Just wondered if there was anything i can do?
There is something you can do. However, because you have two separate covered offenses you would not be eligible for the de minimis criteria. Luckily, there is another way to bypass Section 19 and regain your employment with the bank.
In order to bypass Section 19 of the FDIA, you would need to apply for a bypass order with the FDIC. This process is done by filing a petition with your regional FDIC office. The FDIC then evaluates it, and if approved, they allow you to then send the petition to the FDIC headquarters in Washington, D.C. It is at the headquarter level where the final decision is made as to whether or not a bypass of Section 19 is permitted.
If granted, you are once again eligible to work in a bank without the bank incurring large fines and penalties. It is important to have a knowledgeable attorney assist you with this process as it can be difficult and complex.
-Joshua Malter, Esq.
I was recently denied employment at a credit union due to worthless check charges on my record over 6 years ago. NMLS has already cleared me stateside (Louisiana and Florida) to be allowed licensing. I am working on requesting the credit union to reevaluate my hiring. I just came across this FDIC info today. I have more than 1 charge and was wondering if I would be eligible for the bypass of section 19? I would like to use this as a positive reason to allow me to be hired by this company. Everything I have read so far states that the bank hiring me has to apply for the section 19. Can I do it myself and what is the usual time frame on this?
Thank you very much! Beth Rogers
The credit union you are seeking employment from, along with all other FDIC backed companies, must adhere to Section 19 of FDIA. This provision in the FDIA provides large fines and penalties for any FDIC backed institution should they hire or employ any individual with a crime considered a “breach of trust,” “money laundering,” “or other act of dishonesty.”
The bypass of section 19 is a process in which you specifically request that the FDIC grant you an exception from this rule. If received, an institution would not be liable to these large fines and penalties for hiring you. It is a difficult and complex process. It is possible to do it by yourself, but because the time frame can be up to a year, it is recommended that you obtain counsel to avoid the possibility of timely set backs.
Josh Malter, Esq.
Attorney At Law
I was recently offered a position with the Wells Fargo Contingent Workforce as a consultant and Senior Project Manager.
My excitement quickly dimmed when the issue of a felony fraud arrest surfaced on the FBI Fingerprint Report. I received a deferred judgement in the case and the case was ultimately expunged by the State of Iowa, however, the underlying arrest remains on the record.
The Wells Fargo Decision Matrix specifies that ‘Completely Expunged Convictions’ should not be considered. This term seems a bit ambiguous. Isn’t a case expunged in Iowa District Court considered completely expunged? First Advantage issues an adverse determination and my overall experience with this company has me questioned the accuracy and integrity of the background screening process.
In this unbelievably tough employment market is there any recourse available in order to save this job offer. Thank you.
There are a few issues… first, you case was never a conviction, so under it should not be considered under a matrix that specifies convictions. Please contact attorney Natasha Buchanan at 714-617-8300.
I am and have been an employee of a major FDIC insured financial institution for six years. I am in a business collections position and I have no prior breach of trust or dishonest criminal convictions; however, about a month ago, I was arrested for concealment/shoplifting of an item at walmart worth less than $50. I have yet to go to court, but am worried about how this will effect my employment.
I am yet another WELLS FARGO ex employee. I had been working with the bank for 3 years as a loan adjustor and was fired due to a felony charge that was expunged and over 12 years old that happened when i was 18 years old. just found out that this application process for section 19 can take 9-12 months? how many is the FDIC approving? I read that there is very low approval rates if your not meet “de minimus criteria”
I am currently on deffered adjudication for felony possession of controlled substance 4-200 gms and was place on probation back in june 2008, i obtained employment at a FDIC insured bank in march 2009, would this case cost me my employment since i was hired? and the charge does not constitute breech of trust, fraud or dishonesty?
The FDIC has recently taken steps to expedite the process of obtaining an Section 19 waiver.
I am in a similar boat as Mr. Garcia. My case has just been expunged and your firm is doing a quick and wonderful job of ECDU.
My question is: How would the FDIC look at Mr. Garcias and my case; felony possession (deferred adjudication, dismissed, expunged) but not a crime of dishonesty or fraud?
My arrest was in Florida if that helps.
Mr. Barksdale, I would need to know a little more about your case, possible sentence, and a few other things to give you an accurate answer. Please call my office and ask to speak with Attorney Natasha Buchanan. Ms. Buchanan handles the FDIC cases. She does an outstanding job and has had a lot of success helping get people Section 19 waivers.
when I was a sophomore in high school, i had a misdemeanor theft charge. I did the community service and the police told me “That offense won’t show up on any background checks because it is your first one…” Since then I’ve never had another interaction with the law enforcement. When the FDIC runs a background check, are they able to see my case although I was a minor?
It is tough to say anything other than maybe at this point. We would need to know state the record was in. Either way, we have helped people get approved, even with misdemeanor theft cases. Please give us a call.
I have a 2nd degree assault charge and have a promotion offer that was given to me but i have to be SAFE registered is that charge going to get me fired if i take the promotion ??? I work for Wells Fargo
I am currently employed at wells Fargo as a personal banker and I was convicted for a misdemeanor for shoplifting this year is my job in jeapordy is there anything I can do? Please help
Please contact Attorney Natasha Buchanan. She has helped dozens of people in your same situation. 714-617-8300.
I was arrested in 1990 in NYC for Fare Evasion on the subway and the charge Theft of services was related to the charge a class B misdemeanor and Because of this charge I can not get Hired by JP Morgan chase and Wells Fargo I have not been in trouble with the law since 1992 for Fare Evasion or Jumping the turnstile since then I live in Arizona and from what I gather can I get this record sealed in NY State ?
Current NY law does not allow for non-drug related convictions to be sealed. However, that may change soon, see http://www.recordgone.com/news/2014/new-york-proposes-expungement-law/
Yes I’ve been at the bank for two years since 2012 but recently got a DUI in 2013 can a DUI get you fired? Under the FDIC AND SAFE?
No, a simple DUI does not constitute as a breach of trust or dishonesty offense.
I recently was offered a job at an FDIC facility and have a differed disposition for one count Class C Felony: Possession of Sexually Explicit Materials Minor under age 12. Is this covered by section 19?
In my experience, I have not seen a crime of that nature fall under the FDIC’s definition of breach of trust or dishonesty. From the FDIC website…. “Dishonesty” means directly or indirectly to cheat or defraud; to cheat or defraud for monetary gain or its equivalent; or wrongfully to take property belonging to another in violation of any criminal statute. Dishonesty includes acts involving want of integrity, lack of probity, or a disposition to distort, cheat, or act deceitfully or fraudulently, and may include crimes which federal, state or local laws define as dishonest. “Breach of trust” means a wrongful act, use, misappropriation or omission with respect to any property or fund that has been committed to a person in a fiduciary or official capacity, or the misuse of one’s official or fiduciary position to engage in a wrongful act, use, misappropriation or omission.
Whether a crime involves dishonesty or breach of trust will be determined from the statutory elements of the crime itself.
I had shoplifting case in 2009. After court it was ended up to be violantion with $300 fine. Nothing else aftre that. Case and arrest were sealed year after. Can I be hired by bank? It is only 1 occurance and 5 yers ago.( NH )
It depends on a few factors. Did you spend any time in jail? What was the level of your offense? Do you have anything else on your criminal record?
In 2008 I was arrested because a person I was with at mall shoplifted and I was associated with the crime. It’s a misdemeanor and my case was dismissed but it is still showing up on my background check. I recently got a great job offer at Bank of America and need to complete the fingerprinting before my first day. Will this offense prevent me from actually getting hired?
It depends on what your offense was. Was the case completely dismissed or did you have to do any diversion program? Were there any terms of any sentence you were required to comply with?
Thank you Natasha for replying.
I was young when it happened so they were nice and treated my case like they would a minor even though I was 18. I had to do community service and a year probation which I successfully completed and then they said my case would be ropped. I was with the person who shoplifted a few shirts and I happened to be guilty by association. I hope something this silly won’t prevent me from getting the job.
After 14 years working in a confidential environment with B of A’s internal video broadcast network, I was tole I could no longer complete my assignment due to a fingerprint background check. My problem was drug related and goes back to 1996 and before, over 18 years ago. I am a single Mom with not one mark on my work record with them. Is there anything I can do?
Possibly. Here is what we need to know: Were you terminated because of Section 19? What was the offense and sentence? In what state did it occur? You can answer here or in a more confidential manner, by calling us.