I got an interesting call yesterday from a collection agency. They asked to speak with my niece (who does not live with me and is 3 years old).
My sister went to S. Africa years back and met a man. They got married and she was able to obtain a sponsor for him to come to the US. Since then they've blown up their credit.
Now I find out the husband's friends "set up a business" in the name of the daughter and obtained, maxed out, and defaulted on a $5,000 line of credit for tools (which they are using in their business).
How they were able to set up a business in the name of a 3 year old is beyond me, but the husband is in possession of all the items and the debt is now owned by a collection agency (who somehow got my number).
My sister wants to dispute it but I have recommended they make every effort to pay it and hope there's no criminal investigation. The husband legitimately thought a 3 yr old could obtain credit and was shocked when I said that I was 100% sure he committed a felony. I'm also worried when my niece grows up she's going to have 15 years of explaining to do to reconcile her actual birthdate (2009) and SSN with whatever birthdate is now in her credit profile!
So mad now.
I would say that is ridiculous. A three year old getting credit. I mean come on, he knew better than that. That would be the same as getting one for your cat!
wow. way to set up your child's future--NOT!
They are still married and the husband is the father of the child? But the husband's "friends" did this? with his consent?
Any parent that would do that to their child deserves a stiff criminal penalty.
+1. I might call the authorities myself. Do you really believe he "didn't know?" And even if he didn't know it was against the law, it is still a TOTAL FLIPPING LIE, so I dont buy it that he didn't know. I just don't. You have every right to be mad. Have you had a sit down with your sister? What does she think? (Protect the husband, probably).
I wonder what SSN was used when the credit was pulled. The real SSN for the child or some elses. Is her name similar or lik any ones else in the family? I would be mad as well.
No offense to your sister, OP, but I fear this just may be the tip of the iceberg. Can I ask how long they've been married?
As someone formerly married to a man who had a horrible horrible view toward all things financial - he destroyed us financially for years and it took me a while to figure out what was really happening. These issues have deeper impact and reach, it goes into a moral and ethical issue. Its one thing if he is just unwise about credit and destroys his own credit and by extension, his wife's credit. But to use the baby's name? And then to play dumb about it? I'd say your sister needs to be very very cautious moving forward! It may not stop there.
It took me years to educate myself and dig out from under the damage my ex did to us, a lot of it criminal. I think they get into this thrill of acquiring things in someone else's name, things they can't get with their own name, and it becomes almost addictive. Instead of paying their own bills so they can have good credit and get stuff, they continue to burn out everyone else around them. Your sister could end up as party to a ton of lawsuits because she's married to him. And it puts her in a sensitive place as his wife but she's got to get him educated about finances so this doesn't continue to happen. His "friends" should not have access to anyone's personal information, if true, and that's a huge warning sign right there.
They both need to get educated and she needs to do a complete financial review of what's going on in their household. Again, no offense intended, I'm just speaking as someone who has been through hell and back in a similar situation. Love can blind you to the craziness around you!
To answer some of the questions:
1. They've been married 5 years, which is how long he's been in the country. He's a permanent resident now.
2. She was the one who ruined their credit in the first place. They make half the money/yr that I do but live much larger. As I said, payday loans, bounced checks, banned from a couple stores, etc. all add up to a terrible financial sense.
3. To my knowledge, they used the 4 year old's (I meant 4 originally) actual SSN.
4. These 'friends' are really bad news. I really don't know which one of them did this, but there's a lot of criminal convictions among the group of them.
This situation might be better if ONE of them were level headed financially. As of today they've agreed to make payments to the collection agency. In my opinion, even if he (the husband) is still criminally liable, it at least shows an effort to rectify the situation.
Oh, and it appears that annualcreditreport recognizes my niece with an incorrect birthyear of 1990. She is indeed 'in the system' with the wrong birthdate. I have no idea how this will play out in 14 years.
Do you believe they will pay it? Doesn't sound like they're really changed yet, if they've got a background of being irresponsible. Guard YOUR social security number carefully or they'll be trying to use yours next!
From a credit reporting perspective, it would be dealt with using the fraud/identity theft provisions of the FCRA.
From the last post, it appears that the collection was reported to the CRA under the name of the minor as the consumer.
So dealing with that reporting requires that the parent of the minor initiate fraud/identity theft proceedings on behalf of the reported consumer.
Acting as the consumer's legal spokespersons, they can file a police report identifying the issues, and then send a copy of that police/identity theft report to the CRA, thus requiring its immediate blocking from the consumer's credit report. Straight-forward, if they are willing to take that step. FCRA 605B.
The CRAs require a copy of a police report in order to block the information. However, no telling what type of investigation the police might then initiate. But that is the way to handle the credit reporting issue.
The police report could also be used to invoke the discovery rights of the consumer under FCRA 609(e). By also sending a copy of the police/identity theft report to the original creditor, they can require the creditor to provide all business records relating to the account. A major tool, provided the information they provide is not incriminating.......... a big if.
Finally, the police report can also be sent to the debt collector, similarly invoking the consumer's rights under FCRA 615(g)(2) that the debt collector provide all information to which the consumer would be entitled if he/she had chosen to dispute the debt they are attempting to collect. Also, as regards the debt collector, invoking the credit report block under section 605B also prevents the debt collector, under section 615(f), from transfer or sale of the debt while the 605B block is in place.
There is a whole lot that a consumer can do under the FCRA if they are willing/able to do so. If the party has "unclean hands" in initiating any of those procedures, that is their peril.