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My Mother Stole My Identity And Has Not Paid the $5,000 Now Due. I’m 20 and Pregnant. – Mirellys


“Dear Steve,

I’m 20yrs old and about to have my first child, i’d really like to get my own place and be independent but it’s real hard because without my knowing my mother used my name and ss# to put utilities in the house and that’s been accumulating since i was about 15 now because of her i owe over $5,000 in debt.

I only have a part time job that doesnt provide me enough to send a little money to everyone and still have to survive.

What do i do? where do i go to for help? is it possible that i can qualify for any kind of grants?


Dear Mirellys,

What your mother did was illegal and trashed your credit. Unfortunately it has also left you in a horrible situation where the typical apartment complex is probably not going to give you an apartment with your bad credit without you putting up more money and the utility companies are not going to give you new service with the huge bad debts for utilities in your name.

The solution to this problem is going to be a multi-stage process. First, the only way for you to stop the old debt following you is going to be for you or your mom to pay that bill off, which you probably can’t do. Next, you’ll probably have to look at bankruptcy to eliminate that debt from your responsibility. When you do that the utilities are going to look at your mother to make other arrangements or switch the utilities off.

Next, you will have to start to build some new good credit. I suggest that you do this by getting and using a secured credit card that reports your activity to the major credit bureaus. You can’t build a new good credit history without having good credit reported about you.

There are no grants to bail you out of this mess. It is going to take hard work and certainly longer than nine months.

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The only other solution I can think of that is less expensive if for you to rent a room in a private home. While that might get you out of the house, since the utilities are in your name that does not eliminate the possibility that you will be sued by the utilities or you already have been sued by the utilities for the past due debts. The utility situation is simply an identity theft by family member mess that will take time to deal with. Thanks mom!

You should also get a copy of your consolidated credit report and make sure there are no other debts in your name that you don’t know about. Chances are, there are.


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About the author

Steve Rhode

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.


  • I’m sorry, but Mirellys’ mom needs to at least be listed on a police report. What the police do with it afterwards is their business, as odds are good they won’t give it to the DA for prosecution, but it gives Mirellys proof she did not make the charges.

    Secondly, with a copy of her credit report, Mirellys can contest the identity theft. Credit bureaus have 30 days to clear it up or remove the false items. it should be pretty easy to prove at 15 Mirellys didn’t open utility accounts.

    Bankruptcy should only be used as a very last result. Mirellys is not legally responsible for these debts and shouldn’t have to pay for them.

    If her mother threatens her with eviction, well, there are social service agencies who can help her. But to let Mom get off scott-free is wrong. Mirellys DOES have recourse.

    • It is interesting that most identify theft, like date rape, occurs by someone you know. Over the years I’ve seen so many cases of familial identity theft that it is commonplace these days. The reality is that most people are simply not willing to file a criminal complaint against the people in their lives and risk the chance of prosecution.


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