Identity Theft GraphicWe all know that identity theft is a growing problem: the IRS is actively warning American taxpayers about fraudulent phone calls and letters, and subscriptions to credit monitoring services are on the increase as people try to guard against being victimized. In many cases, identity theft may be linked to bankruptcy filings. Examples include:

  • When one person in a family uses another family member’s name or Social Security Number to file for bankruptcy in order to have their debts discharged.
  • When an identity thief uses another person’s name or Social Security Number to apply for credit and incur debt, and then files for bankruptcy using that information in order to have the debt discharged.
  • When a person who is in financial trouble transfers property that they owe money on into another person’s name, then files for bankruptcy using the other person’s identity information to avoid foreclosure.
  • When an unknown person uses another person’s name or Social Security Number to apply for bankruptcy.
  • When a person who is legitimately filing for bankruptcy finds that an identity thief has put a fractional interest in a property into their name in order to take advantage of the upcoming bankruptcy stay, thus putting a halt to a foreclosure.

In many cases, a person who has been a victim of identity theft has no awareness that they’ve been victimized until they are either turned down for credit or receive notification of a bankruptcy meeting or status.

One way to begin remedying the situation is to contact the jurisdiction in which you are likely to be filing for bankruptcy. Though the staff at these offices are not able to provide you with representation, they may be able to provide you with valuable information, may dismiss a pending bankruptcy case upon learning of the false use of your identity, or may take other steps such as contacting law enforcement on your behalf and providing them with the relevant information needed to help solve your case.

The most effective step you can take if your identity has been stolen is to contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney who will help you to prove your identity and unwind the web of lies that has led to your trouble. For information on how we can be of assistance, contact our office today to set up a convenient time to meet.

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