Frequently Asked Questions

  • I resolved my identity theft issues but I am still having problems with fraudulent accounts showing on my credit report.

    If you continue to see fraudulent accounts on your credit report after settling your identity theft issues, you have not resolved all the issues with your identity theft.  Credit bureaus trade and resell information to each other.  False information on your report can appear in other reports and cause you to lose credit opportunities, employment or promotion.  Don’t hesitate to call an experienced attorney right away if you find false information on your report. Your issue may have not been fully resolved or your identity may have been stolen again.

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  • Should I file a police report if my identity has been stolen?

    If your identity has been stolen you should NOT file a police report without the assistance of an attorney.  Many identity theft victims file police reports before they have all the facts and before they can be sure that they are a victim of identity theft.  These prematurely filed reports can come back to bite a victim later once all the facts have surfaced.  An attorney will help you gather all the facts and help you to file a report that accurately reflects what happened in your identity theft.  Once you have file a police report, the attorney can use the report to remove false items from your credit reports

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  • My identity has been stolen and I am worried that there are other open accounts that I do not know about.

    If your identity has been stolen, you should obtain reports from the major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You should closely monitor these reports and dispute any new charges that show up for which you are not responsible. An experienced attorney may be able to make this process easier for you.  Additionally, many other credit reporting agencies maintain information about you, your banking and your credit history.  An attorney will help you identify all the possible sources of false information about you and begin the process of disputing that false information.

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  • Debt collectors are calling me about debts that came from an identity theft.

    If you are getting calls from debt collectors about accounts that came from an identity theft, you should dispute any charges in writing and keep good records of everything you do! After you have completed these steps, you should contact an attorney for help.  An attorney can help you find out if there has been any damage to your credit history and whether any other creditors may be pursuing you for fraudulent accounts.

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  • I lost out on a big opportunity (job, financing, security clearance) because my identity was stolen.

    If you believe that your identity was stolen and you have already suffered a loss, you should seek an attorney immediately.  Many victims of identity theft will file a police report or sign identity theft affidavits before they have all the facts.  Before you speak to the police or sign any documents like an affidavit, your should get help from an attorney who can help you gather the facts and the documents that you will need.  Finally, an attorney can help you understand if you can seek compensation for the harm to your credit or reputation.

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  • I just checked my credit report and I see an account on there that I did not open.

    If you see an item on your credit report that you did not open, you should immediately dispute that item with the credit reporting bureau. If you see multiple items open on your credit report that you did not open, then you may be a victim of identity theft.

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  • I’ve filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but these items are still showing on my credit report.

    After going through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most debt is forgiven, with the exception of student loans. Many creditors may continue to report these forgiven Chapter 7 items even after your bankruptcy is filed. Some creditors may even continue to pull credit reports, post-bankruptcy.  These practices are prohibited by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  If discharged bankruptcy debt still appears on your credit report, you should submit a dispute letter to the credit reporting agencies.

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  • There is a foreclosure showing up on my credit report but my home was not foreclosed.

    New industry guidelines require credit bureaus to use distinct codes to identify short sales, deeds in lieu of foreclosure and completed foreclosures.  If you  opted for a deed in lieu of foreclosure or short sale and a foreclosure is showing up on your credit report, your credit report is likely harming you. In some cases, a wrongly listed foreclosure on your credit report can impact your credit score by up to 100 points. If you have an error like this on your report, you should submit a dispute letter to the credit reporting agencies

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  • I had a tax lien discharged but it is still showing on my credit report.

    Sometimes, credit bureaus won’t recognize forms that are used to released tax liens or may not show the release in a timely manner. The forms required to get a tax lien removed from your credit report may also vary depending on what state you live in. If your current credit report shows a tax lien that you believe should have been removed, you should submit a dispute letter.

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  • There are duplicate items on my credit report.

    Double reporting on your credit report occurs when two creditors report the same debt on your account. This commonly occurs when a creditor sells your debt to a collection agency or transfers an account to another servicer causing duplicate items on your credit report. The duplicate items cause your debt amount to double, causing major problems.

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  • Seven years have passed but a debt is still showing up on my credit report.

    Most negative credit items become obsolete seven years after the date of the first delinquency on the account.  After that date, the credit bureaus must remove the item from your report.  Even if a credit company sells or transfers your debt, the seven year time limit still applies. Despite this, debt collectors and credit agencies often continue to report these negative debts after the seven year mark. This is known as re-aging, and it is illegal.

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  • I have been reported as ‘deceased’ but I am still alive and well.

    Data entry errors can cause government files or credit reports to report you as deceased. In some instances creditors can cause these same problems by mistakenly reporting a person as deceased when a joint card holder dies.  Those with a status of ‘deceased’ cannot get a credit score. Without a credit score, you cannot buy a car, house or sometimes even get a job. Fixing this problem is very hard without the help of an experienced lawyer.

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  • I need help writing a dispute letter to the credit bureau.

    If you notice an error in your credit report you should immediately write a dispute letter to your credit bureau. Your credit dispute should be direct and have all the information necessary for a credit reporting agency to understand that they have put false information on your report.  For instructions, you can read our article on how to write a credit dispute, click here.

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  • I have another person’s credit information on my own credit report.

    Sometimes, credit agencies can mix up your information with another person. These mixed file cases commonly occur between family members. They also can occur between people with similar names, birthdays or geographic locations. Mixed reports may result in the following: denied jobs, security clearance, financing or public benefits. Mixed reports can also be mistaken as identity theft.

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  • I have removed an account from my credit report but it is showing up again.

    When a removed debt shows up on your credit report, this is called a reinsertion. This may occur when a creditor transfers the debt to another collection company or if the credit reporting agency makes a mistake in updating your file.

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