Identity Theft & Bankruptcy

With the rise of the internet has also come an increase in identity theft. It might happen when you click on the wrong suspicious link, or a hacker may make active efforts to access your financial accounts. If you don’t move quickly to freeze your credit, it could cause you financial devastation. Even in a protected account, it can take time to recoup funds lost through identity theft. The debts created from the theft of your identity could be so large that you might consider bankruptcy. Some identity thieves even make bankruptcy part of their strategy, filing a petition with someone else’s name and social security number. Read on to learn more about bankruptcy considerations when it comes to identity theft. To schedule your free debt relief consultation with an experienced Arizona bankruptcy lawyer, call 480-833-8000.

Identity Theft & Bankruptcy

What To Do If Someone Files Bankruptcy With Your Stolen Identity

The actions you take after discovering that someone has filed for bankruptcy with your identity can impact how much impact you feel as a result. The first thing you should do after discovering this information is alert the credit bureaus that the bankruptcy filing was fraudulent. The three major credit reporting agencies are: 

When you alert the credit bureaus of identity theft, you should also have them ask for your permission before any creditors open new lines of credit in your name. This freeze on your credit can be inconvenient, but at this point, you know that a scammer has access to your information and isn’t afraid to use it. Next, review your credit report to find inaccuracies or any other false accounts that have been opened in your name. 

Next, you can file a police report detailing the crime that occurred against you. This report should be sent to the credit bureaus to support your allegations of identity theft. The credit agencies will need to forward the police report to creditors under certain circumstances. If there are fraudulent charges on your credit report, you can also provide those creditors with the police report. Many companies have a fraud department equipped to handle issues like these. Last, you should write a letter explaining what happened to you to the local bankruptcy trustee. If a bankruptcy has been filed in your name, include the case number and any other information you have about the case. 

Bankruptcy To Deal With Identity Theft

Whether bankruptcy is a suitable option to deal with the effects of identity theft will vary from case to case. The answers to many questions may influence your decision, like:

  • Do you have other debts that need addressing that would be cleared by your bankruptcy filing?
  • If you know the person who committed the identity theft, are you willing to file a police report against them? 
  • Are you able to clear your identity theft debt through other means?
  • Will your assets be protected by exemptions if you file for bankruptcy?
  • Do you qualify for Chapter 7 and/or Chapter 13?
  • Would you derive any other benefits from filing for bankruptcy?

To have all of these questions answered by a skilled Maricopa County bankruptcy lawyer, call 480-833-8000 for your free consultation. 

Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy & Identity Theft

Whether or not you file for bankruptcy to address debts incurred through identity theft, it will benefit you to proactively improve your credit after the dust has settled. You should regularly monitor your credit to make sure there aren’t new fraudulent accounts opened in your name. If you file for bankruptcy, you should also monitor your credit to confirm that all of your debts are successfully cleared from your record. 

One of the simplest ways to build credit is through credit card spending. But after identity theft and/or bankruptcy, you might not feel comfortable with credit card spending. You will likely be barraged with offers for new credit cards after a bankruptcy discharge, but another option is available- a secured credit card. A secured credit card is also a great option if you are struggling to obtain approval for traditional credit cards. A secured credit card can usually be obtained through the bank with which you have your checking account. It works as a pre-paid credit card so you can never spend more than you have already apportioned for yourself. Making purchases on a secured credit card can improve your credit history, which can make it easier to get approved for other lines of credit in the future. 

After bankruptcy, your payments on secured assets will no longer be credit-reported, which could be a negative or a positive, depending on your situation. That means your payments on your home, car, etc., will no longer contribute to your credit score. This could be beneficial if you tend to fall behind on payments, but many post-bankruptcy debtors wish to improve their credit scores. This is why opting in for credit reporting whenever possible can be helpful after a bankruptcy discharge. A post-filing bankruptcy payment plan can also help rebuild your credit after discharging your debts. For more information, and to see if you qualify to file for as little as zero dollars down, call 480-833-8000 for your free consultation. 

Identity Theft By Someone You Know

You may be reading this and thinking, “Why would I file for bankruptcy after my identity is stolen? My account comes with identity theft protection.” Not every identity thief is a tech-savvy scammer in a location thousands of miles away. Sometimes, identity theft occurs much closer to home than one would expect. If you can imagine one of your relatives, roommates, or anyone else you know swiping your credit card to make purchases or cash advances, you can imagine being the victim of identity theft by someone you know. This can also be an example of when one might not want to press charges despite being the victim of a crime. You may have personal reasons to not press charges, such as seeking help for the perpetrator outside of the judicial system. The creditor associated with the identity theft debt might refuse to clear the debt without a police report. This essentially means accepting liability for the charges you incurred through the identity theft. If you want to discuss your options in this type of scenario in  Maricopa County, call 480-833-8000 for your free phone consultation. 

Have You Been The Victim Of Identity Theft? Discuss Debt Relief Options With An Experienced Maricopa County Bankruptcy Lawyer

Identity theft can happen to anyone, regardless of how protective they are of their financial information. At the very least, experiencing identity theft is stressful and inconvenient. It can also have severe ramifications for your financial situation. If your credit score is decimated by identity theft, you could be subject to less favorable terms for lines of credit, if you even qualify at all. It can also cause huge problems on your credit report if an identity thief files a fraudulent bankruptcy petition in your name. Credit monitoring and active steps to improve credit history can help a person recover after this type of event. If you’re seeking a free consultation with a law firm that practices bankruptcy across Maricopa County, get in touch with Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyers or call 480-833-8000 to speak to one of our experienced team members today.


My AZ Lawyers Logo

Mesa Bankruptcy Law Office 
Mesa Bankruptcy Lawyers
4065 E University Dr #500
Mesa, AZ 85205
(480) 470-0005

Phoenix Bankruptcy Law Office
668 North 44th Street, Suite #300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
(480) 833-8000

Glendale Bankruptcy Law Office 
My AZ Lawyers
20325 N. 51st Ave.
Suite #134
Glendale, AZ 85308
(623) 640-4945

Tucson Bankruptcy Law Office 
My AZ Lawyers
2 East Congress St. Ste. 900 
Tucson, AZ 85701 
(520) 306-8729

Avondale Bankruptcy Law Office 
My AZ Lawyers
12725 W. Indian School Rd.Suite E, #101 
Avondale, AZ 85392 
(623) 399-4222


Additional Information at:
Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyer
Mesa Bankruptcy Lawyers
Phoenix DUI Lawyer
Chandler Bankruptcy Lawyer
Tempe Bankruptcy Lawyers
Vegas Zero Down Bankruptcy Attorney
Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers
Tucson Bankruptcy Lawyer
Arizona Zero Down DUI
Las Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers
AZ Bankruptcy Lawyer