When a person’s identity is stolen, that person is responsible for making sure that immediate steps are taken to prevent his or her identity from being used in such a manner that could reflect negatively or even totally ruin a good credit standing. Therefore, prompt reporting is important so that credit reports and records can be “flagged.”
This is easy if the identity theft is immediately noticed. The person can make a report to law enforcement officials and other parties who may be affected, and start right then canceling affected cards or accounts, notifying financial institutions, and taking other necessary steps.
It becomes more difficult if there has been a lapse of time between the actual theft and the person’s becoming aware of it. Theft or unlawful use of credit or bank cards that are not frequently used, or unlawful access to an old or inactive—but still open—account may not be noticed right away. Only after one begins to receive notification of some form that this has happened will he or she actually start looking into it.
Fortunately, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) makes it possible for a person to keep a continuous check on his or her credit activity. Because a person can immediately see that something on his or her credit report is not right, it is possible for that person to immediately take steps to rectify the situation, before any damage (or further damage) has or can be done.
One may (and probably will) still find himself having to continually prove, dispute, correct, and otherwise deal with any situations that have arisen as a result of identity theft. This can be extremely frustrating, even if one has everything needed to show that he or she did not make the charges, open the account, or do whatever it was that was done in his or her name.
This is where the law firm of Jacoby & Meyers can help. If you are experiencing difficulty convincing an organization or financial institution that you have been a victim of identity theft, and are not responsible for the negative impact that it is having on your credit rating and overall reputation, please do not hesitate to contact one of our attorneys. We will arrange a consultation with you, determine what steps we can take to assist you, and show you how you can get your life back on track after identity theft.