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Guide 2020 to Identity Theft Affidavits
Do you always need to get an identity theft affidavit? Where do you get an identity theft affidavit? And what do you do with it?
Hey everyone, this is attorney Joseph McClelland and say we're going to go over everything you've always wanted to know about identity theft affidavits in this article.
If you have any questions about this article or identity theft, reach out for a free consultation. We love to help.
Why Do You Need An Identity Theft Affidavit?
Before we jump into exactly what an identity theft affidavit is, let's back up a second and talk about why would you ever need such a thing.
The only reason a consumer would ever need to use one of these affidavits is that they are a victim of identity theft.
Identity theft is extremely common nowadays mainly because of the number of accounts someone can create online without needing certain information.
In previous articles, we have discussed why it is important to get your credit report and how to get your credit report. We have also covered how to dispute your Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion credit errors.
If you are looking for information on getting an identity theft affidavit, that means you have most likely already seen your credit report and have noticed one or more accounts or inquiries that aren't yours.
If you have not, please review those articles, as well.
Furthermore, and previous articles we have discussed the fact that you do have a remedy when dealing with identity theft or credit report mistakes. Your remedy is a law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA.
In order for the Fair Credit Reporting Act to work for you in the situation where you have identity theft, your first step is to pull your credit report. You are going to need the name of the account and the account number that the faults account is reporting. You will need this for the identity theft affidavit. You will also want to write down the amount do according to this false account.
The Federal Trade Commission has created a website just for people with identity theft to help them. By no means is this the only method to address identity theft. For example, you can contact our office to advise you in creating and submitting these documents.
The website is called identitytheft.gov.
You will find a link to create your identity theft affidavit. After this, you will simply follow the instructions filling in each of the requested sections.
You will want to click on the button entitled quotation marks I want to report identity theft quotation marks.
You will then be asked what did the Identity Thief used your information for.
You will have the opportunity to say whether the Identity Thief opened a credit card account, a cell phone account, a utility account, a bank account, taxes, government benefits, or other types of accounts.
You will then be asked how your information was misused. The options are to open up a fraudulent telephone account, to make charges to the account.
You will be asked what company opened the fraudulent account, when did you first notice the problem, about when the account was opened, the estimate of the total amount of fraudulent charges, the account number of the fraudulent account, and whether or not you spoke to the company that is being reported.
You will then be asked your basic information such as your name, your phone number, your email address, your date of birth, and your mailing address.
You will also be asked if you know anything about the person who stole your identity. It is not required that you have this information.
You will then be asked whether or not you've reviewed your credit report and whether you have requested a fraud alert from one of the three national credit bureaus.
You will be asked if you contacted the local police.
You will also be asked if a debt collector has contacted you about an account that is not yours.
Continue to complete the report.
Print a copy for yourself to mail to the credit reporting agencies!
As I alluded to at the beginning of the article, you do not always need to use an identity theft affidavit.
In fact, you have three options:
- The first option is to use an identity theft affidavit that we have discussed in this article.
- The second option is to obtain a police report from your local police station where you identify the same information that you identified in the identity theft affidavit.
- The final option is to simply use a normal dispute letter but include the language at the bottom before your signature that states everything stayed above is under the penalty of perjury and the other specific language that accompanies that paragraph. If you take this route then you do not need to obtain an identity theft affidavit or police report.
If you have already submitted to the credit reporting agencies your police report, identity theft affidavit, or the dispute letter under the threat of perjury, then you do not need to take any additional steps.
Most likely your best step will be to contact this office and discuss with us how this is impacted your life.
We may take the case individually or work with local attorneys near you to get this issue resolved and to see if you are also owed monetary damages for one or more companies violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act if we think you have a claim.
What Happens If They Fix It?
If it is resolved, then you are done.
What Happens If They Don't Fix It?
If it is not resolved, and you have a major issue that may not be resolved simply by mailing letters. You will need to get our office involved to fight for you on a contingency basis so that we can prove you were not the one who opened the account.
Recap of Identity Theft Affidavits
I know a lot of this seems confusing, but it is actually very straightforward.
If you find an error on your credit report, you need to dispute it to the credit bureaus. If the credit bureaus don't correct the error, then you may have a claim for damages.
To make sure this gets resolved the fastest for you, it is recommended that you mail your dispute letters by certified mail. This way you can prove that they received your dispute.
When your results are mailed back to you from the credit bureaus after your credit dispute, you simply want to review what they sent you to see if they fixed the error that you told them about.
This is very simple to see when it comes back to you.
If you have any questions do not hesitate to call our office or complete one of the forms on our website. Take care and we wish the best for you fighting this identity theft issue.