My Mother Opened Credit in My Name While I Was in a Coma

“Dear Steve,

My credit was ruined in early 2004 when I was in a coma and my husband had decided to leave me, take the money and not pay the bills. I lose everything, home, car, credit and any insurance money he spent. So I had started over from nothing. I have now found out that my recently deceased mom, had opened credit card accounts in my name with Lowes, Dillards, and possibly one other creditor ( I am still trying to find out whom). She had done this in 2005 without my permission.

My boyfriend and I are wanting to marry. I dont want to ruin his credit because of a few people in my life whom took me for a ride. I have done all that I can to rebuild, but it’s been a huge battle and he knows that. The things from the marriage would probably be gone in the next two years, so I do not contact them because I do not make enough to even negotiate with the old debt. I have proven to my boyfriend that I am credit worthy, because he has done little things to help me, loan wise, and I am very reliable about paying those debts. My problem is, I dont want to bring my bad credit score into a marriage to a great guy with a good score. Can you give me some guidance in this department? Also, what the heck can I do about the debt that my own mother incurred in my name? I am more than happy to fight in whatever way I can about those because, they are not mine and I did not authorize those.

Any guidance you can give me would be so helpful.”

Wow! I’m so sorry to hear about this. But identity theft typically happens by someone you know.

The first thing to do on those accounts your mother scammed you on is to promptly file a police report about them. Then contact the credit card companies and advise them. They will ask you for a copy of the police report or a contact at the police to confirm you did report it.

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If you have not looked at a consolidated copy of your credit report recently I suggest you do so before you contact the police. A consolidated credit report contains all three credit bureaus and it’s important to look at the consolidated report since they don’t report all the same information. You need to look for any other accounts you may be a victim on here. The link for the consolidated credit report is the same one I use.

Your great guy can’t marry into your credit score. Your history will have no impact on his score. No worries there. The only way it could be a factor is if you apply for new credit jointly and because your credit currently sucks you would not help to qualify for whatever it is.

Another consideration is to think about bankruptcy now to clear all the past debt and close the door on it. Just because a debt has passed a statute of limitations does not mean a future collection company can’t come back to pressure and intimidate you into paying for it. Is that something you really want to deal with in your new relationship?

Bankruptcy isn’t such a crazy idea here since it would allow you to block any future attempt to collect any of this past debt and let you walk into your new relationship without having to look back over your shoulder for someone that might surface to collect on a past you’d rather put behind you.

If it is an idea worth considering then click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney you like.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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