Divorce or Not, beware of identity theft and credit report errors...

I recently wrote about errors in employment background reports and the rights of job applicants and employees when employers fail to properly follow the law. (See: https://www.yourdivorcestrategy.com/post/with-mass-layoffs-coming-incorrect-employment-background-reports-may-again-be-an-issue). These rights may assist you if you lose your job and now need to seek new emploment.

Just as important are the issues of identity theft and credit report errors which can destroy your credit and consequently the ability to obtain loans, refinancing and other credit related accounts. During this crisis, you may want to obtain a free copy of your credit report (from Experian, TransUnion, Equifax and others) and spot-check for errors.

What types of red-flags should you look for?

  1. Accounts and balances that you did not apply for or use;

  2. Transactions belonging solely to your spouse or ex-spouse;

  3. Accounts which belong to individuals with similar sounding names, dates of births or social security numbers;

  4. Accounts with balances which were or are paid off;

  5. Short-sales/deed-in-lieu being reported as foreclosures;

  6. Late-payments which never occurred.

If these errors exist, you have rights including the right to dispute the information directly with the credit bureau. The credit bureau has the obligation to investigate the dispute by directly contacting the credit source and requiring affirmation or correction of the data. If the credit bureau fails to investigate or correct error after you dispute the report, causing you to lose additional credit opportunities, the credit bureaus can be liable to you for damages and be required to finally fix the error. Credit bureaus also have an obligation to provide you with a full copy of your credit file upon request.

Both the credit dispute and request for credit file are optimized by a properly drafted written demand upon the credit bureaus. For a video or phone consultation regarding this process, please feel free to contact me at 440-213-3184 (my cell), 440-930-4001 (my office line) or apecora@omdplaw.com Stay safe and well!