Identity Theft and Bankruptcy
Last year nearly 500,000 complaints of identity theft were reported to the Federal Trade Commission. Anyone with a social security number could be a potential target for identity theft. You may be surprised to hear that of the complaints filed, more than 20,000 involved minors. All identity theft is a loss, but one of the most difficult to deal with is identity theft of a minor. Kids are prime targets; they don’t apply for credit for years, and they have a clean social security number to work with. If your minor child has become a victim of identity theft, file a police report, and report the issue to both the Consumer Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC has also released a report outlining the current situation in America regarding identity theft. Here are the interesting points noted:
- -Id theft pertaining to wage or tax dollars is reported at the highest rate, representing 46%
- -Credit card fraud comes in second at 16%
- -Identity theft can negatively affect your credit score
- -Military members are a prime target due to the ease of obtaining personal social security numbers
- -Children are at risk, although it may go unnoticed for many years
Protect your Family from Fraud
When data breaches happen, they can place the private information of people at risk. With access to so much information, and security moving too slowly to protect it, the internet is an identity thieves dream come true. Besides fraud alerts, consumers should also frequently check credit reports. If the theft goes too long, victims of stolen identity can find themselves in a real uphill battle trying to prove to credit agencies that charges were not made by someone other than themselves. Identity theft is a growing problem that in the most severe cases leaves people feeling helpless. At some point, no amount of time or money is enough to reverse the damage that has already been done. One thing you can do to protect yourself and family is to place a “fraud alert” on credit profiles. For a minor child, submit request for all credit agencies to place a “security freeze” on accounts until the child is at least 18 years of age. Wisconsin in one of many states who allow credit freezes for minors. If you have already become a victim, hire a reputable bankruptcy lawyer to provide the guidance and resources that you will need at a time like this.
Debt Dischargeable in Ch. 7 Bankruptcy
The great news about bankruptcy is that credit card debt and most other unsecured consumer debts are dischargeable in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. If you’ve experienced identity theft, it’s likely that there are multiple unsecured debts involved including some you have not yet been made aware of. Once the petition is filed for Chapter 7, creditors will no longer be able to harass you about these debts. You and your bankruptcy lawyer will work together to uncover and gather information. Resolving all of your debt issues through the bankruptcy code will be less expensive and quicker than trying to tackle them one by one. After it’s all said and done, your credit score can begin to improve and you can begin to rebuild your life. More tips on how to rebuild credit after bankruptcy. #debtadvisors