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Identity theft and bankruptcy

When I was in college, I became a victim of Identity Theft.  After M.A.N.Y. hours contacting all of the necessary agencies, (police, creditors, credit bureaus etc.) I was able to get it off of my credit report, but boy was it a lot of work.  Sometimes my clients are forced to file for bankruptcy because their credit was ruined through fraudulent transactions by people they knew or they were victims of stolen identity. Unfortunately, these days most of us can find our selves victims of stolen identity. Here is what you can do to prevent further damage.

Placing a Fraud Alert

By placing a fraud alert on your consumer credit file, you let creditors know to watch for unusual or suspicious activity in any of your accounts, such as someone trying to open a credit card account in your name.

To place a fraud alert, call one of the following three major credit reporting agencies. Your phone call will take you to an automated phone system. Be sure to listen carefully to the selections and indicate that you are at risk for credit fraud.

You need only contact one of these agencies, which will automatically forward the fraud alert to the other two.

TransUnion
(800) 680-7289
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
http://www.tuc.com

Equifax
(888) 766-0008
Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
http://www.equifax.com
Experian
(888) 397-3742
Credit Fraud Center
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
http://www.experian.com/fraud

Soon after you place a fraud alert, you will receive confirmation letters from all three credit reporting agencies, with instructions on how to order free credit reports. If you find anything that looks wrong or suspicious or that you don’t understand in a credit report, call the credit agency at the telephone number listed on the credit report. You will also want to call your local police or sheriff’s office to file a report of identity theft.

Sometimes, the easier route to get rid of identity theft is to file for bankruptcy.  You will want to speak with a bankruptcy attorney to see if this is the right path for you.  You can reach Attorney Chirnese L. Liverpool at (818) 714-2200 or by visiting her website at www.liverpoollegal.com

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