Do you have a question about consumer credit? You may find an immediate answer by using the search engine. If you can't find what you're looking for, please fill out the form, being as specific as possible.
Please note: The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team will include it in a future column.
The information contained in this column if for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding your particular situation.
Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Column responses reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived responses may not reflect current Experian policy.
Topics addressed on July 20, 2011:
CPS documents helpful in fraud by mother against child in foster care
I have received a few inquiries involving debt owed to companies. I am 21 now, and the cases were for bills from 2004 till 2008. I was 14 at the time and in foster care. I am positive it was my mother, and I have letters from the government stating I was in Child Protective Services custody. Is this enough to dispute the charges?
Documentation from Child Protective Services should be sufficient to dispute the information and have it removed from your credit history. You may also be asked to provide proof of your identity and your age.
You can request your report at http://www.experian.com as a fraud victim. Experian will add a temporary security alert to your credit history and provide a free copy of your credit report. It will include dispute instructions and advice to help guide you through this situation.
You also should notify the companies that are contacting you that you are a victim of fraud and send them the documentation, too. They may have the accounts removed from your credit report without additional action being necessary.
The more difficult issue is that you may need to file a fraud report with the police that would name your mother as the identity thief. Understandably, that can be a very difficult thing to do. However, with an official police report it can be much easier to remove the fraudulent information.
Family fraud is among the most emotionally difficult issues we face. You have our best wishes.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team