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CRAs and Identity Theft

ScoreBooster
Frequent Contributor

Re: CRAs and Identity Theft

The good thing is that my friend is not seeking credit in the near future, so there is time. I feel sorry for people who have to deal with this while in the middle of a mortgage application or other major purchase.

 

You could be right that it is a matter of who you get on the other end. Before going the official way by filing a complaint, maybe my friend should just be insistent by perhaps sending the CRAs letters every two weeks from now one until they give in (I'll tell him to include utility-bills).

 

One of his biggest concerns he has is that this is going to move forward at some point and a creditor is trying to seek a judgment on one of these accounts. I hope the FTC-report will be helpful as a defense as well.

Message 11 of 23
trusty
Frequent Contributor

Re: CRAs and Identity Theft


@ScoreBooster wrote:

The good thing is that my friend is not seeking credit in the near future, so there is time. I feel sorry for people who have to deal with this while in the middle of a mortgage application or other major purchase.

 

You could be right that it is a matter of who you get on the other end. Before going the official way by filing a complaint, maybe my friend should just be insistent by perhaps sending the CRAs letters every two weeks from now one until they give in (I'll tell him to include utility-bills).

 

One of his biggest concerns he has is that this is going to move forward at some point and a creditor is trying to seek a judgment on one of these accounts. I hope the FTC-report will be helpful as a defense as well.


 

If it's true identity fraud, than a police report should be filed. An online FTC report is not nearly as strong a defense to a lawsuit - than a police report.

 

I wouldn't send multiple letters. I would just upload the documents once; and file a CFPB complaint, as well, citing Equifax's earlier refusal to address the documentation. In the CFPB complaint, you'll want to attach Equifax's refusal letter, as well as the letter that was sent to them, along with the attachments.

 

The CFPB should conclude their investigation within 30 days. It will more than likely compel Equifax to address the documents.

Message 12 of 23
ScoreBooster
Frequent Contributor

Re: CRAs and Identity Theft

Thanks for the input!

 

If Equifax's own statement is correct, they provided the creditors with a copy of the FTC-report (which, BTW, the other 2 CRAs are supposed to do as well). Under normal circumstances, that should decrease the likelyhood of an affected creditor to file a judgment for non-payment. In case that happens, I'll advise him to file a police report.

 

So I'll tell him to upload the documents (list of accounts affected, copy of DL, utility bills, FTC report) and in case this online-complaint doesn't work either, go ahead and file the CFPB complaint. One he receives the result of the equifax online complaint, he should also have the results of Experian and TransUnion and depending on their action (or lack thereof), file a complaint with the CFPB with them as well.

 

Does that sound like a plan?

 

 

Message 13 of 23
JVille
Valued Contributor

Re: CRAs and Identity Theft

If your friend already has one creditor seeking to file a Judgement then it is crucial he immediately file a police report. He will need that for fending off any court action Creditors may make.
Message 14 of 23
ScoreBooster
Frequent Contributor

Re: CRAs and Identity Theft


@JVille wrote:
If your friend already has one creditor seeking to file a Judgement then it is crucial he immediately file a police report. He will need that for fending off any court action Creditors may make.

Fortunately, he has no creditors seeking to file a judgment as of today.

 

We are hoping that the three CRAs are doing their job in reporting the fraudulent activity to the creditors as required under FCRA 605B or at least once the CFPB becomes involved if that turns out to be necessary.

 

Now, if that shouldn' t be sufficient, my friend is going to file a police report the day he's notified of any court activity.

Message 15 of 23
ScoreBooster
Frequent Contributor

Re: CRAs and Identity Theft

I just got an update from him: Experian just e-mailed him the dispute results and they removed all accounts in question from his report. Looks like they can read the law - unlike Equifax.

 

I advised him to file a police-report as well but he says he's going to stick to the official advice he obtained through the FTC website.

 

Let's see what TransUnion is going to do..

Message 16 of 23
RobertEG
Legendary Contributor

Re: CRAs and Identity Theft

FCRA 605B requires filing of a copy of an "identity theft report" with the CRA in order to obtain blocking.

It does not use the term "police report."

 

The term "identity theft report" is defined under FCRA 603(q)(4) as follows:

"The term “identity theft report” has the meaning given that term by rule of the Bureau, and means, at a minimum, a report –
(A) that alleges an identity theft;
(B) that is a copy of an official, valid report filed by a consumer with an appropriate Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency, including the United States Postal Inspection Service, or such other government agency deemed appropriate by the Bureau; and

(C) the filing of which subjects the person filing the report to criminal penalties relating to the filing of false information if, in fact, the information in the report is false."

 

The FTC is currently stating their opinion on their web site that sending a copy of their FTC-approved identity theft affidavit to the CRA fulfills the requirements of an identity theft report.  However, that is only their interpretation.   There is no case law of which I am aware that accepts that interpretation by any judicial jurisdiction, and thus that opinion does not have the weight of law.

 

An affidavit is executed by a consumer before a notary, and has thus not been "filed by a consumer with an appropriate Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency"  as requried under section 605B.

 

I wont ague the merits of whether the FTC opinion is correct or would be supported by a court, but it is a bit questionable.

It is thus easier, and prudent, to simply file a report with a clearly-recognized law enforcement agency, such as a police report, and eliminate any such controversy.

Message 17 of 23
JVille
Valued Contributor

Re: CRAs and Identity Theft

Needless to say your Eloquence and knowledge of the process far exceed my abilities. We are lucky to have you as our Resident Expert!
Message 18 of 23
ScoreBooster
Frequent Contributor

Re: CRAs and Identity Theft

To be exact, the FTC states that you don't have to file a police-report in general but that some lenders may require one.

 

I guess that are the lenders who would be willing to take you to court....

Message 19 of 23
JVille
Valued Contributor

Re: CRAs and Identity Theft

Ahhh it does say Law Enforcement Agency....

“An affidavit is executed by a consumer before a notary, and has thus not been "filed by a consumer with an appropriate Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency" as requried under section 605B.”
Message 20 of 23
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