A First Home Buyer was referred to me by a local realtor to be Pre-Approved for a mortgage. To make a long story short, the buyer came to America a several years ago. He worked hard, saved his money, established a small credit history and then went back to the old country to get married. While he was gone, his roommate cleaned out his savings and ran up his credit cards to take off for parts unknown. Although the buyer tried to do what he thought was right, the accounts were turned over to collection agencies. He was the Victim of Identity Theft
Today, the borrower is self-employed with tax returns that show good income, a growing family, enough in savings to put a 20% down payment on a $200,000 home, and a low credit score.
The credit repair company I work with tells me that even if he makes a settlement with these creditors for debts he did not incur, history of these derogatory accounts will show up on his report for 7 years.
According to the Federal Trade Commission … Victims of identity theft need to file a comprehensive police report to assert their federal rights and recover from the crime. In my client’s case, this is the only way he can remove these accounts from his credit report.
Why Victims Need To File a Police Report
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a detailed police report is required before victims can claim certain rights under federal law. By law, the report must specify which accounts and information on the credit report resulted from the identity theft. A detailed police report:
- Helps victims clear their credit reports of any negative information that resulted from identity theft — such as bad debts — and avoid the long-term effects of a poor credit score, such as being refused new credit or insurance or paying higher interest rates.
- Helps victims keep fraudulent debts from reappearing on their credit reports or ending up in the hands of a new debt collector.
Identifying the accounts resulting from identity theft is necessary to set in motion a chain of events:
- the credit reporting agency removes all fraudulent debts from appearing on the credit report, and the credit score is restored;
- the credit reporting company notifies any businesses holding those fraudulent accounts that the accounts result from identity theft.
- The business cannot continue to report them to the credit reporting company.
Writing the Report the Easy Way
The Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft website makes it easier for victims to gather all the required information for their police report. The FTC’s On-Line ID Theft Affidavit gathers all of the victim’s information that the law requires. The form can be attached to the police report. Victims can then send copies to the credit reporting companies and businesses involved to take advantage of their FCRA rights.
Identity Theft is a serious crime that can wreak havoc with your finances, credit history, and reputation — and can take time, money, and patience to resolve. My client has been approved for a mortgage, but it’s going to more expensive than we thought. It’s now his choice to buy the house before the school year starts, or make the effort to restore his good name. Whatever he decides to do, I’m here to help.