ID theft-Household doesn't respond

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by wwwdenise, Jun 11, 2001.

  1. wwwdenise

    wwwdenise Member

    Currently, and for the past two years, I have been working with a credit grantor, a collection agency, a police officer, the FTC, a lawyer, and 3 credit reporting entities to have a fraudulent account of over $12,512 permanently removed from my credit report.

    A family member has committed the crimes of forgery, identity theft, against me. I believe that Experian has violated several sections of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. I believe that Household Bank, Creditrust, and possibly NCO have violated several sections of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

    I first found out about the fraudulent account after requesting my credit reports because two of my credit cards were suddenly cancelled in mid-April 1999.

    I had never been late for a credit card payment, and was shocked to find a credit card account on my reports that had been written off as bad credit for $12,512 in March 1998.

    According to the credit report, the account was opened in October 1992 as a joint account GM MasterCard (Household Bank) with my name as the primary card holder and my motherâ??s name as the secondary card holder.

    I had never signed for this credit card.

    I never received this credit card.

    I never charged anything to this account.

    I never received a single bill or notice regarding this credit card.

    I was never notified about the outstanding debt of this account at all until April 1999 (credit cards cancelled).

    I never received any documentation (besides basic credit reports) that this account is in my name, nor have I received any documentation regarding the balance of this disputed item from the credit grantor or collection agencies involved.

    I called my mother immediately, and she admitted to forging my signature to a credit card application addressed to me. (At the time of the forgery, I had not lived at that address for over two years.)

    As I received each of the three credit reports containing the fraudulent account, I disputed the account with each credit reporting agency, by telephone (immediately upon receiving the report) and in writing (sent out the next day return receipt).

    I called GM MasterCard (Household Bank), stressing to them that this is not my credit card account and that it be removed from my credit report. I was told that the account had been sold to a collection agency, Creditrust and that Household Bank would no longer be dealing with this account.

    I called Creditrust. My social security number did not bring up any account. I was transferred to Damon who found it and transferred me to Stephanie Simmons told me that I could have my mother arrested by filing a report with the police. Stephanie Simmons said that the account would remain on my credit report, that it is my account because my name is on it, and that it was between me and my mother to resolve the situation and get the debt paid off.

    I wrote a letter of dispute to Creditrust (returned receipt/sent April 29, 1999), stressing to them that this is not my credit card account and that it be removed from my credit report.

    In mid-June 1999 (2 months after I disputed the fraudulent account), I received credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies. The fraudulent Household Bank account was reported as â??deletedâ? on all three accounts.

    In July 2000, I requested a copy of my current credit report from all three credit reporting agencies. On the Experian report, I found a Creditrust account, opened in October 1992, written off as bad credit for $12,939 in March 2000. The original creditor was listed as Household/General Motors.

    I called Experian immediately to dispute this inaccurate reporting.

    I received Experian credit report listing the account as â??reviewedâ?

    I called and asked Experian representative what â??reviewed meantâ? She said it meant verified. I let her know that I am aware that it is illegal for a credit reporting agency to re-report an account which had been previously deleted.

    Experian representative told me that I had disputed a similar account last year (it was the exact same account), that I should not have waited so long before doing something about my debt, that I must take up any disputes with the creditor, that the only reason the account was deleted from my report last year was because it must taken off the report while it was being disputed. I was told that the account was verified as being valid. I was told that I could not continue to dispute this account for a second time.

    I wrote letters of dispute to all 3 credit reporting agencies, Creditrust, and Household Bank. I requested that a fraud alert be placed on my credit reports.

    I called Creditrust to explain the situation. I was told that Credittrust had turned the account over to lawyer, Stuart Wolpoff. I was told that I must speak to Wolpoff regarding anything having to do with the account.

    I called Wolpoff and Associates. They did not have any information on the fraudulent account. I called Creditrust and said that they would have to send me some kind of proof that the account is mine. I was told that they did not have to prove that this was my account. I was told that I had to prove to them that it was NOT my account.

    I requested a fraud affidavit from Creditrust and Household Bank. Household Bank said that they did not have to provide me with an affidavit because the account had been sold to Creditrust and that they would not discuss anything further with me.

    I sent the signed and notarized fraud affidavit to Creditrust (cc. Experian) September 1, 2000. I requested that Creditrust send me a document stating that my name has been removed from the fraudulent account and that I am no longer responsible for this debt.

    On an Experian credit report of September 13, 2000, the Creditrust account â??outcomeâ? is listed as â??deletedâ? I never heard back from Creditrust.

    In anticipation that Creditrust may sell the account to yet another collection agency, I hired a lawyer to help me insure that it will not happen. The lawyer wanted to litigate and needed $5,000 (in addition to over $2000 already paid for his research) up front. I did not have the money. The lawyer said that the other option is to have my mother sign an affidavit of admittance to forging my signature and have her arrested.

    I contacted the State Police of NY where my mother lived at the time of the forgery. The police officer working on my case said that I could only have someone arrested for something they did within the last 5 years. The forgery was committed in 1992.

    The police officer asked that I call GM/Household bank and give them permission to discuss the account with him.

    Household Bank would not discuss the account with me because they had sold it to Creditrust, which has recently become NCO.

    I called NCO (Nick Andrews). He did not have any kind of record of the account. He said to call back in one week.

    Immediately, I called the same Creditrust phone number I used in August. Creditrust was now NCO. There is a new account number assigned to the fraudulent account. (Hence, a third account number/same account for me to dispute.)

    NCO asked me if I was, if I was going to file bankruptcy. I said that I wanted a bill faxed to me. NCO said that if they faxed me a bill, I would first have to make arrangements to pay off the debt. I said I was not going to pay anything, that the account was not mine and that it was illegally obtained. I was told that they had no obligation to prove anything to me. I asked how I could obtain a copy of the original forged signature on the credit card application. NCO representative, Carl Johnson, said that they did not have that information, that it was probably destroyed by Household Bank when they sold the account to Creditrust. NCO representative suggested I make arrangements to begin paying the debt.

    Everytime I think that I have disputed and deleted the fraudulent account from my credit report, it appears once more with a new name and number. I predict that if I donâ??t get some kind of documentation from Household that he account is not mine, the account will pop up on my report again in a few years if not a few months.

    Within the past few weeks, I have filed a police report with the state police where the forgery was committed.

    I sent the police report to NCO and Household. I also send them a notarized affidavit signed by my mother admitting to the crime. I gave Household 10 working days after received the letter (certified mail) to respond to my request.

    I have never received a single document from Household in writing (despite MANY letters from me disputing the validation of the account). There are 7 more working days left for Household to respond.

    If they do not respond, what is my next step?

    What exactly does â??the doctrine of estoppel by silence, Engelhardt v Gravens (Mo) 281 SW 715, 719â? state?
    Is small claims court a good option for my situation?

    Any assistance or advice you can give me regarding my situation is greatly appreciated.
  2. brad

    brad Well-Known Member

    I don't know if this a troll or not ,but if it's not, you better get a good lawyer.
  3. judyputy

    judyputy Well-Known Member

    You need to do a search for Lizardking and read about his suits against all three CRA's. You have a true reason to file against them all for "real" identity theft.

    I think filing in small claims court cost about $150 or something. Do the search and read everything he wrote about his situation. He never had to actually GO to court. Most deleted all the negative info right away.... I think he had a meeting with TU and then worked with Equifax.

    SOMETHING like that. DO the search. You really could benefit from suing in small claims.

    I wish you luck!
  4. wwwdenise

    wwwdenise Member

    I hired one lawyer, and over $2000, I'm no better off. He wanted $5000 more to litigate. I don't know a lot about law. But I know I didn't want to go into big debt trying to get rid of fraudulent debt.

    What is the best way to find a GOOD lawyer for this kind of thing?

    The one I hired was referred to me by the Bar Association.

    GEORGE Well-Known Member

    If the lawyer costs more than the bill, PAY THE BILL...
  6. wwwdenise

    wwwdenise Member

    Thanks, Judy. Trying to find the Lizardking posts.

    ?And,â??the doctrine of estoppel by silence, Engelhardt v Gravens (Mo) 281 SW 715, 719â? ??
    I've definitely been given the silent treatment by Household.
  7. wwwdenise

    wwwdenise Member

    I will NEVER pay a $12,000 of credit card charges for a card which was granted and used illegally and NOT MINE.

    Do lawyers always charge about $5000 up front for this type of thing? Has anyone had a kind of situation before where they HAD to hire a lawyer because the creditors were playing illegal hardball?
  8. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

  9. wwwdenise

    wwwdenise Member

    Also does anyone know about the statute of limitations for filing against the CRAs?

    They have reported the same account 6 months later after deleting it once. That was in August. Since then, I have disputed and deleted again. The fraudulent account is "not being reported at this time"

    I think my big problem is Household. If I called them right now, they would have my SSN and name attached to the account as primary cardholder. Of course, they would take one look at it, and tell me that they are not obligated to discuss this account with me.

    Household are the ones who were notified about the fraud and claimed to have nothing to do with it. THEY granted a fraudulent card and sent the account to a collection agency with my name and info on it without ever sending me a single notice.

    If the statute of limitations had not expired, I would go after the CRAs for voilating sections of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Does anyone know the statute of limitations?
  10. tom65432

    tom65432 Well-Known Member

    You have done a great job in documenting your case. The proof in court will be a lot easier.

    You may need to get on the phone and start calling lawyers. Ask for one who has dealt with this type of problem before. If they have not, call the next one. Just keep calling law offices until you find someone who knows how to handle this type of case. Ask each office if they can refer you to someone who has handled this type of case.

    Ask the lawyer to handle it on contingency. The lawyer keeps part of the proceeds of the suit.

    Your goal is to stop the madness and to get on with life. If necessary, offer the lawyer the whole settlement. My dad did this once when he felt he was fighting for an issue, not money.

    Contact lizardking directly. See if he will show you copies of his lawsuits. This will at least give the lawyer some ideas to get started. Where are you located? If you tell us, someone here may know a lawyer who handles this type of case.
  11. Erica

    Erica Well-Known Member

    One other thing you might do is go to and go to the forum area. There is a woman on that site who posted her entire fraud situation with Fleet Bank, I think. You can no longer post there, but it is a wealth of information.

    I would also go to and do a search for the case you mentioned.

    Also, do a search on the web for identity theft. Try doing that search on I have found that to be a pretty good search engine. I think a site is I'm not too sure about that.

    I feel for your case, and you may very well win, but I don't think that small claims is going to be a good choice for you here. In most states, small claims court has a ceiling amount to be sued for of about $5000 or less. You might be in your best interest to find a lawyer who will work on a contingency basis. You may be able to sue for a rather large amount based on the age of the account. 1992 was 10 years ago, and you have been suffering for almost 10 years because of the fraudulent account. Just try to do your best, and don't let them see you sweat.

    Keep us informed, and good luck! :)
  12. Erica

    Erica Well-Known Member

  13. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

  14. Erica

    Erica Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Breeze. I remember seeing that site a long time ago and couldn't remember the address. You are a doll!

    I'd rather be drinking! hehe
  15. Sybil

    Sybil Member

    I have a similar type question....

    I recently also had a family member used my info to get a credit card. Is there a limit or statute on identity fraud? I had been told by one credit card company that if I did not report fraud within 60 days of learning of the crime I would be responsible for the fraud, while later on another agent at the credit card company told me that he knew of no time limits placed on reporting identity fraud...which has left me confused, particularly as the company has my voice on tape turning the cards off in October, over 8 months ago, when I would like to turn in the family member using my name now. So my question is: is there a time limit? and if so by calling in did I admit knowledge of the card and must now accept responsibility?
  16. tom65432

    tom65432 Well-Known Member


    I am a little confused by your questions, but will try. If I am wrong in my assumptions, I will try again.

    Is your intention to turn in your relative now to the criminal authorities? If so, go ahead. The time limit that will apply will be what is the statute of limitations for that crime in your state. For example, if a large purchase was made, that might qualify as grand theft. Typically, that would mean they would have to prosecute within three years of the date of the crime. But, it varies from state to state. A good prosecutor will probably find something to prosecute for.

    Usually, you have to start the prosecution with the police, not the prosecutor.

    Second, you say you turned off the card last year. I assume you closed it out. Since you cancelled it, there should be no charges after that date. So the question is whether you are liable for charges before that date. Did you tell them at the time there was fraud involved? Did you fill out fraud paper work with the CC company? Or, did you play nice and try to protect your relative? What are the details?

    You can discuss the situation with the relative, informing him you may have to file criminal charges to protect yourself. He may be able to come up with the money real fast. DO NOT THREATEN him with criminal prosecution if he does not pay. That might be construed as extortion. Just discuss the possibility
  17. Sybil

    Sybil Member

    I guess I wanted to know how long I have after I find out that a family member has opened a credit card account in my name, without my knowledge, to report the crime to the credit card company? Is there a place that lists the time limits in each state that you could point me to?

    Do these guys (at the credit card companies) even know what they are doing? I don't think are much interested in helping me, just getting their money.

    Thanks, I will give it a try, and let you know. You gave me someplace to start.
  18. Squawk1200

    Squawk1200 Well-Known Member

    Denise, what state do you live in? Also, if you do have a good FCRA & FDCPA claim, the Court should award you attorneys' fees if you win. Persdonally, if it was me, I'd haul everyone involved -- including my mother -- into court pronto.
  19. Squawk1200

    Squawk1200 Well-Known Member

    Forget about the so-called doctrine of "estoppel by silence".

    Any claim asserted under the FCRA must be brought within two years of the date the claim arises. See 15 U.S.C. S 1681p.
  20. wwwdenise

    wwwdenise Member

    Thanks, everyone for the support. It really helps.

    I live in Atlanta. The crime was committed in Upstate NY.

    (The statute of limitations for arresting someone for the crime of forgery in NY is 5 years--I didn't even find out until 5 years later) It took me almost 2 years after finding out about it to report it to the police--I really did not want to have to arrest my mother. But I finally did it (reported it) anyway a couple of weeks ago)

    And thanks for the advice. Definitely, if anyone knows of a lawyer who specializes in this type of thing in Atlanta, please let me know.

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