When a relationship ends, identity theft is the last thing anyone should have to think about. However, former spouses or partners sometimes abuse the private financial information you may have shared with them. This information can be used to open new accounts, apply for loans, finance vehicles, and make purchases on existing credit cards. Unfortunately, these actions can harm your credit.
While many may think that someone they have been close to would never commit identity theft against them, it is not unheard of. When approaching this kind of fraud, it is important to remember that any unauthorized financial activity done in your name is considered fraud. Whether the crime is committed by a stranger, your spouse, or another family member, the government considered it all fraud. The most common ways that spouses, significant others or an ex can commit fraud are:
If you believe your spouse or ex has committed identity theft, it is important that you act quickly.
When you notify your bank or the credit reporting agencies of an issue, they have to open an investigation. Here is what you need to know to protect yourself:
In a recent case filed jointly by Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC and Schlanger Law Group LLP, a consumer’s ex-wife applied for multiple student loans using the victim’s name. She even forged his signature and listed her own email as his.
The consumer became aware of the identity theft through the course of his divorce proceedings. He found that student loans contributing to his adult children’s education had been filed under his name without his knowledge. The consumer communicated with the issuers of the loans in an attempt to notify them of the fraud and remove himself from the accounts. Unfortunately, each of the companies that issued the loans refused to change the information and remove the consumer from the fraudulent accounts.
The consumer also attempted to dispute the errors on his credit report with the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian & TransUnion). Each agency failed to remove the inaccuracies. The consumer followed up again, but never heard back from any of the agencies.
The principal allegation in this case is that each of the loan issuers, and each of the credit reporting agencies, violated the FCRA by failing to conduct reasonable investigation into the consumer’s claims. The consumer protection lawyers at Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC and Schlanger Law Group LLP are seeking actual, statutory, and punitive damages on behalf of the consumer.
Terrell Marshall Law Group and Schlanger Law Group have extensive experience in protecting consumers from fraud and enforcing state and federal consumer protections. The two law firms have recently teamed up to file several class actions around the country focused on violations of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act.
If you believe that you may also be a victim of identity theft by a spouse or ex, please do not hesitate to contact us.