Re: Bankrupt Tenant - Posted by JohnBoy
Posted by JohnBoy on December 31, 1998 at 15:01:09:
As long as the creditor has the correct name and SS# of the person that opened the account and you are not that person, then the creditor will usually correct the problem and have any information being reported on your credit file deleted. BUT! IF your name and SS# show up in their system as the person being on that account, then you will find yourself beating your head against a brick wall. They WILL NOT co-operate with you regardless of what you say or offer to them in proof that this is not your account. IF the creditor has an application on file that was signed by someone then you might get somewhere. IF this creditor does not have a signed application then your stuck with the burden of proof that you did not open this account. Creditors that don’t take signed credit applications would be creditors that take applications over the phone. Some credit card companies, utility companies, etc. take credit applications over the phone that never have a signature on them from the person opening the account.
Basically, if I have your name and SS# and I call the electric company to have service turned on in your name, using your SS#, then later I quit paying for the service, the electric company disconnects the service, reports a charge off on your credit file, turns the account over to a collection agency in which they report the collection on your credit file, your going to have one heck of a time getting that corrected. Your NOT going to be able to MAKE the creditor produce anything unless you actually take them to court and PROVE your not the guilty party. I know this because I’ve been down this road in the past.
I was living in CA. when an electric company 2000 miles away reported a charge off and turned the account over to a collection agency where both were being reported on my credit file. I called the electric company to straighten THEIR mistake out. First they told me I had to deal with the collection agency since they no longer had the account. When you call the collection agency they tell you to contact the electric company if you dispute the account, that only they could correct the account if its incorrect. This was a nightmare in itself. You just keep getting the run around between the two.
Finally when I got someone from the electric company to look into this account the next nightmare begain. They punched up the account and verified they had my name with my SS# as the person that opened the account. I explain this was impossible and I lived 2000 miles away from where they say this account was for service at. They said since they show my name and SS# in their system then it has to be my account, period! I demanded they send me a copy of the credit application so we can find out who signed it. They said they don’t require a credit application to be signed. They just take the information over the phone when you apply for service. I said, wait a minute! You mean to tell me I could call you up on the phone, use someone elses name and SS# to get service turned on? And then if I don’t pay the bill, that person gets the account reported against their credit file when they knew nothing about it?? They said thats the way it works! If someone used your name and SS# then you must know who that person is, otherwise it will remain on your credit file. I couldn’t get anywhere with them regardless of what I was willing to provide as proof that I had nothing to do with that address ever!
Finally I tracked down the name of the CEO for Edision. I sent him a certified letter demanding a letter of apology and to delete this from my credit file with-in 10 days or I was going to file suit against their company. I said in the letter that I was in the process of closing on a mortgage in 15 days where they were charging me an additional 2% in interest on my loan as a result of their negilent information being reported on my credit file. If this was removed before my loan closes my interest rate would go down 2%. If they ignor this demand that I will be suing them for gross negligence and the additional 2% in interest I’m paying on my 30 year loan as a result of their mistake! I received a letter with-in the week stating they were sorry for the mix up and would delete the information from my credit file and would send a letter to the collection agency instructing them to delete any information they were reporting. This process took 3 months to get resolved.
I took a copy of the letter to my local credit bureau and they deleted it immediately from my credit file. They also kept a copy in their file in case the information ever showed up again on my file so they could delete it again if it ever showed up again.
As far as getting a new SS# goes, unless they changed things, you CAN NOT get a new SS#. I’ve tried when I lost my wallet that had my SS# card in it. You can get a new card, but you can’t ever get a new SS#. I had this problem with the electric company, inquiries on my credit file not authorized by me, and a Nordstrom credit card showed up as a new account opened by me that I never opened, applied for, or ever had a credit card for. I was also in CA at the time where they’re a lot of illegals crossing the borders using fake SS#'s to get jobs. When I went to the SS office they said I could not get a new SS# regardless of what ever happens as far as someone else using my name and SS# is concerned. They said if someone else uses my SS# to get a job with, then all the SS# deductions being taken from their pay will go into my retirement account. So thats not a big deal to them and said its a good deal for me if someone uses my SS# for that reason. I said I was more concerned about running into a future problem with the IRS. If my SS# is showing income that I never earned they may catch it later and come back to me claiming I never reported it and charge me back taxes, penalties, and interest on money that wasn’t earned income from me. They said I would have to deal with the IRS if that was to ever happen and they should be able to straighten that out since who ever was using my SS# would more than likely be using a different name.
As far as people using my name and SS# to get credit, I would have to take that matter up with the credit bureau’s and the creditors that were establishing credit to someone else under my name and SS#. I said, but this could turn into a living nightmare for the rest of my life if my name and SS# were to get out and be used by other people which it already has. They said sorry, but you can NEVER get a new SS# once a number has been assigned to you. You get one number and that number stays with you for the rest of your life. The only way a person could ever get a new number would be as result of going into a government protection program where you changed your identity.
This was about 10 years ago so maybe they changed things since, I don’t know, but back when I went through this they said there was nothing I could do to ever get a new SS# regardless of any problems I may have as a result of someone else using my identity.