Protecting the Rights of Consumers
For Over 25 Years
Edelman Combs Latturner & Goodwin LLC
Question: I recently found out that my mother had been using my information for credit since I was 14 years old. When I turned 18 she said she would get a card in my name to help me establish credit, so that when I was working I’d be able to get a car. I am now 22 years old. I am unable to get a car, or apartment. There are 20 negative items on there totaling about $20,000. My mother is not working, she is permanently disabled due to an injury received at work. I love my mother, I do not want to see her in jail, but I do not see her fixing this. Is there any action that can be taken to clear my credit, or to even transfer the debts over to her name?
Answer: Fill out the FTC identity theft affidavit (www.ftc.gov) listing all items that are not yours and submit it to the credit bureaus and the creditors involved. Point out your age when the accounts were opened. The creditors may insist on filing criminal charges against your mother; they tend not to honor claims of intra-familial identity theft without a willingness to prosecute because they are concerned about people conspiring to incur debts and not pay them. That is why your age is important; contracts of a minor are not legally binding if they are not for “necessaries.”