Identity Theft & Bankruptcy
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Identity Theft & Bankruptcy
Identity theft can wreak havoc on your life and leave you with serious debt issues. Identity theft isn’t just a criminal matter; it’s also financial. The police can assist with the criminal aspect of the case, but a bankruptcy attorney may help with the financial fallout of identity theft.
Do You Need to File Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is designed to give you a fresh financial start and discharge debts that you owe. In the case of identity theft, you do not actually own the debts that were acquired through fraud of any type. Of course, cleaning up the aftermath of identity theft can be a time-consuming and stressful experience. You have the right to dispute any false or fraudulent accounts reported to credit bureaus that damage your credit. You can also send documentation to creditors such as a police report and ID theft affidavit to get your name removed from the debt.
Is Bankruptcy a Solution in Nevada?
Sometimes the consequences of identity theft are far-reaching. For example, bogus accounts in your name may result in your bank account being levied or frozen, in which case you may be unable to make payments on your legitimate bills and fall behind. If identity theft has impacted your life severely or you have other debts of your own, bankruptcy is one solution.
Bankruptcy discharges debts that you owe as well as debts from identity theft. In fact, debts related to ID theft are virtually always dischargeable in bankruptcy. This may be a good solution if you are having trouble fixing the problem on your own or even if the person who stole your identity is a family member and you do not want to file a police report.
Bankruptcy & Identity Theft
Identity theft and bankruptcy are closely linked. Many ID thieves who open credit in other people’s names even file for bankruptcy under the victim’s name. One of the main roles of the U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) is working with the Department of Justice to learn about ways in which ID theft intersects with bankruptcy and how the bankruptcy court can help law enforcement to protect the integrity of the bankruptcy system.
There are several forms of bankruptcy-related ID theft such as:
- Filing for bankruptcy under someone else’s name
- Incurring debt using a false name and/or Social Security number then filing for bankruptcy
- Transferring property to a friend or relative and filing bankruptcy under that person’s identity to avoid foreclosure
- Filing for bankruptcy with a false name and/or Social Security number
- Transferring fractional interest in the property into the name of someone with a pending bankruptcy case. This tactic is used to stay foreclosure on the thief’s property.
In these cases, the filer does not appear for their 341 meeting of creditors and the case is ultimately dismissed, but a recording of the bankruptcy filing remains on the court record and the ID theft victim’s credit report.
If you have a bankruptcy on your credit report or otherwise receive notification of bankruptcy that you did not file, an attorney can work with you and the bankruptcy court to reach a solution. The U.S. Trustee can have the case expunged from the case docket and the court’s system.
Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney in Las Vegas
If you have been the victim of identity theft and you are not sure what to do, a bankruptcy attorney may be able to help. Bankruptcy is just one of many solutions to correct the fraudulent debts. Contact Vegas BK today for a free consultation with a Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer to review your options.