My Mother Keeps Taking Out Credit in My Name. – Beth


“Dear Steve,

I live in Pennsylvania and lived in PA all my life, my Mom lives in Illinois. I recently received a bill in my name from a collection agency for a little over $650. I continued to read the details and it was from an electric company from my mom’s one old address in IL. I was completely shocked when I received this being that I never lived with her or at this residence. It turns out that she put the electric bill in my name. This is not the first time this has happened. I have received bills from collection agencies for smaller amounts for unpaid phone bills that she had put in my name. In the past I have sent her the phone bills and they were paid. I am affraid she is ruining my credit.

How does she have the authority to put bills in my name? Should I contact these companies and explain the situation? How do I find out if there are any other unpaid bills in my name, so I can have the name changed to my Mom’s?


Dear Beth,

She is ruining your credit. And your mother does not have the authority to put bills in your name. What she is doing is illegal credit fraud and identity theft.

Her actions leave you in a terrible bind. What you can do is file a police report against her for identity theft. The police and courts will then deal with her. If you go that route you can then notify the electric company about the identity theft and give them a copy of the police report and that should do it.

If you ignore this and don’t file the police report now that you just learned about this, it will become your responsibility. Most people don’t want to press charges against their parent, relative, roommate, etc. So instead they get stuck with the bills.

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You are not being punished by the electric company. It’s you mother that knowingly did this. This is her deal and her fault. If she’s doing this her credit must be absolutely horrible. By the way, that’s not a forgiving excuse.

To see what else might be in your name, get a copy of your three bureau consolidated credit report with the credit report monitoring service so you’ll know of any new activity by her on your credit. This will be the most inclusive document to see what else might be in your name but not all creditors, like utilities report to the credit bureau.


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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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