Identity Theft

VTS_01_1_004_0001-253x187Identity theft is when someone uses your personal information to pose as you in order to obtain extensions of credit, typically credit cards.  The bills go unpaid. The victim does not typically find out about the fraud until months later.  By that time, the victim’s credit rating is seriously damaged. The victim gets hounded by creditors and debt collectors for debts they did not create, did not authorize and received no benefit from.

The law may provide relief to identity theft victims in some circumstances.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act provides mechanisms to dispute and repair damage created by fraudulent accounts.

• The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides mechanisms to stop harassing debt collection calls.
• A patchwork of state and federal laws provide mechanisms to put legitimate pressure on creditors attempting to collect on fraudulent accounts.
Recent changes to Fair Credit Reporting Act expand the rights of victims of identity theft to fight back.  Consumers do not have to have an attorney to exercise these rights.  However, you need to know your rights in order to exercise them.  We can advise you on how to trigger short deadlines for the credit reporting agencies, the creditors, and the debt collectors to verify the debt or to remove the debt from your credit report.  You can then either represent yourself or see about retaining a firm to represent you.

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