What canI do about identity fraud and an overdue payday loan?

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What canI do about identity fraud and an overdue payday loan?

Someone contacted me today saying that i owed a payday loan company $1500 and that they were going to have a sheriff serve me and take my to court for fraud. About a year ago I noticed that my bank account was withdrawn by about $1500 so I called the bank and they wouldn’t let me close the account. The bank has been sending me overdrawn notices in the mail for 2 years now. I didn’t take out this loan but the company even has my mom’s cell phone number and my mom’s maiden name. Ipulled my credit the other day and noticed a few credit cards/utility bills in my name also that I never opened. So I disputed them. Obviously whoever did that, did this. When I explain this to the company all they do is try to settle with me or threaten to press charges saying that I will be served with a notice. Should I settle or fight them in court ?

Asked on January 19, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) As a general matter, you are not responsible for charges, loans, etc. which you did not in fact take out--e.g. which were caused by identity theft.

2) However, you have failed to act on the alleged identify theft for at least 2 years. This may preclude you from claining it, either due to the statute of limitations passing or simply because after two years it will be difficult to prove that you did not authorize the loan, the passage of time makes it look like it was your loan and you're now just trying to get out of paying it, etc. Simply ignoring overdrawn notices for 2 years looks bad for you--a reasonable person would have resolved this previously.

3) In terms of what to do--it will be tough to fight without an attorney, but attorneys cost money. Unless you have very compelling evidence this was not you--NOT merely your statement--you may be best off, given the passage of time--settling if you can do so for less than $1,000 or so. Fighting with an attorney could easily cost you several hundred $$$ after all, and fighting without an attorney, there's a good chance you'd lose and have to pay the full amount. (And even with an attorney, unless you have good evidence, winning is never guaranteed.)


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