Identity Theft — how to fix it and regain control over your credit reports
Identity Theft — How to Fix It and Regain Control Over Your Credit Reports (Updated December 4, 2019)
Identity theft can be a terrible experience,. Attempting to get your life back the way it was can be time-consuming and frustrating IF you do not have the proper strategy.
But with the proper strategy, you can fix your credit report with or without litigation. And you can do so relatively quickly as well.
Let me explain what I mean after we go over some background information about identity theft.
What is Identity Theft?
It is simply where someone else has stolen your identity. Normally in the context of opening a debt in your name but the thief uses the debt.
Who Can Be A Victim of Identity Theft?
The short answer is anyone. All an identity thief needs to open an account is someone’s basic identifying information, such as, name, address, date of birth and social security number. So this means anyone who has access to this information can steal your identity or sell your information to someone else who steals your identity. Some simple and common examples:
- Ex wives and ex husbands can steal their former spouse’s ID
- Children with substance abuse issues can steal their parents’ ID in order to obtain money
- Dishonest caregivers providing care for the elderly or disabled
Remember also that you can’t get out of the book of Genesis in the Bible without running into identity theft — the story of Jacob and Esau.
What Should I Do If I Have Credit Issues Because of Identity Theft?
Several steps to take:
- Pull your credit reports to verify what is actually reporting
- If a false account, go to the police and get a police report
- Fill out an Identity Theft Fraud Affidavit, which we have provided online,
- Send in a written dispute letter to the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) and to the “furnisher” of the information. Furnisher is whoever gave the reporting agencies the information (the credit card company, mortgage company, etc)
- If it gets removed, then great
- If it does not get removed, then you can repeat the process or sue in federal court for money damages. It is amazing how suing the credit reporting agencies and the furnisher motivates them to fix your credit immediately and to pay you money damages….
So ID theft either gets fixed without litigation (if you dispute it first as you normally have to — exceptions if dealing with a debt collector). Or it will get fixed when you sue under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) and other laws.
True identity theft is very frustrating and we have seen consumers spend years fighting it.
Normally we can fix it in 30 days or we sue and then it gets fixed quickly.
We have helped many Alabama consumers fight through Identity Theft. And have filed numerous lawsuits in Federal Court against the credit reporting agencies and furnishers. So I’m confident we can help you as well.
If you would like help anywhere along the process outlined above, you can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447
I look forward to chatting with you!
Have a great day.