I’m pretty excited about today’s post because it’s gonna provide some very interesting responses in the comment section below (assuming you leave me a comment that is :)). I was browsing the web yesterday and came across this question in a PF forum…
My mother has been using my credit cards and has ran up a serious balance. Now she doesn’t want to pay them. Am I stuck with this debt that isn’t mine? Or could I threaten with having her arrested for identity theft?
Oh. Pick me. Pick me. I know the answer. You throw that woman in the slammer and never look back. Oh wait… If mom is in jail, who is going to fold my clothes and make me meatloaf?
Looks like we have a little predicament here. It’s a tough call not knowing the specifics of the situation (persons age, amount of fraudulent debt, relationship with mommy, etc) so I’m not gonna really try and provide any insight. What I am going to do, however, is play the hypothetical game and ask “What would you do?”
Here’s the situation….
You wake up tomorrow to a phone call from Bank of America. They say you are 6 months late on your credit card payments. “That’s funny” You think to yourself, “I’ve never had a CC with BoA.” After some investigating you come to realize yo momma (or dad/sibling/spouse) has racked up a solid $30,000 in debt on a CC she fraudulently took out in your name for silly things like entertainment, cosmetics, etc. It’s not that she needed the money for medical treatment or something urgent. You’re now on the hook for the $30k and have zero to show for it.
Personally, I would probably file the criminal charges (no offense Mom Ninja). It would be extremely difficult to do because I’m a total mommas boy, but she raised me to be a law abiding ninja (in fact she told me if I ever drank underage she would send my a$$ to military school). Why should she not be expected to adhere to the same standard? A $30,000 debt would be a major setback seeing that I am only one month away from being debt free. I’m also a few months out from starting a family of my own and have a responsibility to put Girl Ninja’s needs first. So yes, if my mom took out $30K in my name, and blew it on a bunch of random junk, I would seek the death penalty file a criminal complaint against her.
Alright, now you know the situation. How would you handle it? I’m sure most of you would confront mom and tell her she has to make the payments. Let’s assume she can’t afford to, which is a reasonable assumption seeing that she resulted to identity theft. What do you do? Do you tell your mom your pissed at her, but make the payments yourself? Refuse to pay, refuse to press charges, and let the delinquent accounts wreak havoc on your credit score for the next 7 years? Or do you head down to the local PD and file a police report knowing that she could possibly face some jail time (don’t drop the soap mom)?
For those of you that aren’t aware, the only way (that I know of) to have fraudulent charges removed from your credit report is by filing a police report indicating your identity has been stolen. You then take this police report to the credit reporting agencies as well as your specific creditors to have the bogus debts disappear. It’s not as simple as disputing them online.