Identity theft is on the rise.
After several years of major data breaches, it's almost guaranteed that your private identifying and financial information – for example, account number, date of birth, or social security number – have been involved in a data breach and are in the hands of “bad guys.” Identity Theft. This is especially so after the 2017 Equifax data breach, which resulted in compromised data for 147 million American consumers.
The effects of your data being in the wrong hands can have devastating and long-lasting effects, including having accounts opened in your name, funds stolen or charged to existing accounts, having your tax return intercepted, or even having a third party take over your cellular phone account.
In addition to the amount of work it takes to deal with these and other repercussions, it can also feel like your sense of self has been violated. Identity theft is an intimate crime, one that leaves the victim feeling vulnerable and untrusting.
In theory, there are federal and state regulations designed to lessen these terrible impacts of identity theft. However, the companies subject to these regulations, such as banks, credit bureaus, and collection agencies, often fail to comply with their duties.
Instead of providing you with information you're entitled to and instructing you on the steps necessary to remedy the situation, they hold you responsible for whatever harm the identity theft has caused. They place the burden of proof on you to clear your name. It's already jarring enough to have your identity stolen. It's salt in the wound when a company blames you, which can occur for years following the data breach.
This is where we come in. We support our clients who experience secondary financial repercussions because of a company's inability to effectively manage a data breach. We've worked with victims of a data breach who initially felt that their only option was to file for bankruptcy to discharge debts that they didn't even have in the first place.
We've also supported clients who experienced illegal harassment on debts that popped up in their names after a data breach. Neither of these things should ever happen to a consumer whose identity has been stolen, but unfortunately, sometimes they do.
Contact us immediately if you feel trapped, confused, or overwhelmed by the effects of a data breach. We are here to guide you toward resolution and security. We can get you the information you're entitled to, help you to clear and correct your credit reports of any inaccurate information, and shut down any debt-collection lawsuits.
We use the FCRA and FDCPA to get information, hold companies accountable, and seek compensation on your behalf. In addition to the financial or technical aspects, we also know that identity theft is personal. We are committed to helping you to rebuild the trust and peace of mind that you deserve to feel as you navigate your relationships with financial companies.
Call or email today to work with us to formulate a plan on your behalf. Together, we will ensure that you are treated fairly and that you are protected from the fallout of identity theft.