I just had a legal hold put on my bank account. Upon contacting Rubin & Rothman, LLC., who issued the “Information Subpoena and Restraining Notice”, I have come to find out that they are representing a debt collection agency that alleges that I owe a debt from a credit card opened in 2000.
This is clearly an identity theft issue. First, I was 12 years old in 2000. Second, the name they had on file with my social security number is not my name (they have the last name correct, but not the first… and I know no one by this name). Lastly, I’ve never lived at the address they listed. Moreover, I lived in a completely different city, 45 miles away. As far as I can tell, the only correct information they have is my social security number.
After explaining this to the debt collector over the phone, she accused me of lying and told me that if I wanted to work this out, I would have to send her copies of my birth certificate, social security card and give her personal information (where I work, currently live, family members). Knowing that they would most likely use this information against me, I did not give them anything.
My questions are as follows:
1. What do I need to do to prove that this is clearly a case of identity theft?
2. What legal actions can I take in order to get my money back?
3, 4, & 5. I have copies of the subpoena and the court documents from when this mystery person was taken to court. But I was never served! Having my bank account frozen was the first time I had heard of ANY of this. On the back is the court documents is an affidavit of service. They noted that they affixed a copy of the summons to the door of this address listed (that I never lived at) and mailed a copy to this same address. The document claims that the address was confirmed by a neighbor, which cannot be true because this person does not EXIST. Nothing else was filled out.
So, my questions are (3) what is the minimum requirement needed for proof of service? (4) Did they meet these requirements (legally)? Lastly (5), do I have any chance of getting this thrown out due to improper service?
If this is the first you’ve discovered about this identity theft problem I would do two things immediately. First, you need to get a copy of your consolidated credit report and look at all three credit bureaus. The consolidated credit report link is for the report I use myself and prefer.
What you are looking for are other accounts that might have been opened in your name as well but have not risen to this level.
Next, I want you to contact your local police department and tell them you want to file a police report for identity theft. Tell them about the current account and any additional accounts discovered on the credit report. You will need this police report and report number to provide to the creditors and collectors to prove you are a victim of identity theft.
For those accounts that are not yours on the consolidated credit report, notify the individual credit bureaus, identified in the report, and tell them you were a victim of identity theft.
As far as the suit goes it sounds like you have a real issue that the law firm and collection company did not taking proper action to identify the correct person.
I’m going to ask the resident debt collection expert to comment on this article and give us some guidance on what to do next. The good news is this will get fixed and reversed. The bad news is you are going to have to invest a bit more time to do it.
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.
You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.
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