Identity theft. Credit report errors. ID theft.
Call us at 404.288.4444 or click here to use our online quick contact. Lee Legal was founded in 1979. We serve metro Atlanta.
Don’t let creditors and credit reporting agencies make you one of the people they don’t listen to.
Click for Free Credit Report from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion and review your credit report. This link will take you to ‘annualcreditreport.com’. You are entitled by federal law to one free report per agency per year.
Stopping identity theft can be difficult, and once you stop the identity theft you have to start cleaning up your credit report files. Make sure you are prepared if future legal action is needed. You should keep your records, documents, notes, list of phone calls/names. If you start experiencing problems with a credit report agency, creditor, furnisher, credit report user or a credit report reseller then you should call an attorney. Its likely that a debt collector will get assigned an ID theft account and start dunning you at home or work for collection. ID theft brings more problems than denial of credit, it often brings collection phone calls and lawsuits.
Get help if you need it. Call us at 404.288.4444 or click here to use our online quick contact.
If someone steals my identity what should I do?
First – identity theft can often result in a legal action against the creditors who extended the credit to the thief as well as the credit report agencies. Identity theft creates problems that sometimes only legal action against the credit furnishers, credit report resellers and the credit report bureaus can resolve. They have a legal responsibility when identify theft occurs; however, they may not share your urgency to fix the problem. Even when the identity thief has stopped and gone away, you may be surprised at how little concern is given by the creditors and credit report agencies to your corrupted credit files.
Second – if identity theft occurs to you then you should immediately start taking protective measures. File a police report as soon as possible. Police departments are set up to take an identity theft report quickly. Place a fraud alert on your credit report with any of the big 3 credit report agencies (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion). The credit reporting agency will automatically, as required by federal law, contact the other two credit report agencies. Consumer credit reporting companies should automatically block fraudulent accounts and bad debts from appearing on your credit report if you provide them a copy of the identity theft report police report. You should also provide the credit report agency with a copy of a FTC Identity Theft Affidavit (see below for more about how to get the FTC ID theft form online).
You can contact the FTC website and complete their identity theft affidavit online and print a hard copy. The FTC report and police report should always be sent together. You can click here for the FTC website or use http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0277-create-identity-theft-report in your browser. You can call the FTC toll-free at 1-877-ID-THEFT or use the TTY at 1-866-653-4261.
Third – after you place the fraud alert you are allowed a free copy of your credit report from all three credit report agencies. Credit reports have a section called “Inquiries”. The inquiry section lists the companies that have pulled your credit report. Look over this section carefully. Check the credit report personal data such as the social security number and name, spelling and addresses (both current and especially prior addresses). Check each of the credit tradelines and look for creditors that should not be there. You are looking for fraudulent or incorrect data. If you see any then you need to get it removed quickly. You can send a Identity Theft Report to the credit report agency that is reporting the bad data. Be sure to send this by certified mail and attach your own detailed explanation and indicate at the top of your explanation that you are an identity theft victim so it will be seen and hopefully quick action is taken. You are free to send the data to the credit report agency the way they suggest (such as fax or online), but sending copies by certified mail will help to give you claim they never received the data.
Make sure you check your credit reports at least once a year by pulling the free reports. Our website has several other credit links that you should also pull. These reports are also free once a year. You should consider closing and reopening certain accounts that may have been involved. Make sure any of these companies send you their fraud form to complete. You will mostly likely need a copy of the police report to attach and return. No matter how nice an institution is to you, always get names, date, etc…Mistakes happen, you don’t need more grief and aggravation.
How can I convince creditors and credit report bureaus that I’m an identity theft victim?
Credit application and apartment leases ofter require a signature. In some cases a form of identity is copied and placed with the application. Obviously, it will not be your signature or identity and you can make the creditor or company give you a copy. However, you have to make your request in writing and you must send a copy of a police report. Also, the credit application will not match your personal history, no matter how hard the identity theft tries. Prior addresses, prior employment and other “prior” data will never match up correctly to your real data. All of these items and similar type information can help you prove something is wrong. Once a creditor starts to look into the identity theft then both your data and the creditors data should help prove that you are a victim of identity theft. If one creditor believes it, then it is easier but not guaranteed that others will as well.
What happens if I get a new social security from the SSA?
The Social Security Administration has authority to issue you a new social security number. However this is an extreme measure and can actually create a whole different set of problems for you Your good credit history, rental history and other data files may not be linked up to the new social security number. If this happens you have no history to rely on.
Lee Legal practices credit report and credit law in Atlanta, Athens, Conyers, Covington, Dacula, Decatur, Druid Hills, Grayson, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Lithonia, Loganville, Monroe, McDonough, Morrow, Oxford, Porterdale, Redan, Social Circle, Snellville, Stockbridge, Stone Mountain, Watkinsville, Winder areas. Clarke, Clayton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Rockdale, Walton county and south and east Metro Atlanta area. Serving Athens to Jonesboro since 1979.