Over the last few years, I have read of several cases of bankruptcy related identity theft. As if the Internet wasn't enough, smartphones, tablets and laptops make stealing a person's identity easier than ever.
Below are some common forms of bankruptcy related identity theft:
- Filing for bankruptcy under the name and/or Social Security number of another person, including friends, family members and coworkers.
- Accumulating debt under a false name and/or Social Security number and then filing for bankruptcy under that person's name.
- Transferring of property to a friend or relative and then filing for bankruptcy using that person's name and/or SSN as a means to avoid foreclosure.
- Filing for bankruptcy under the name and/or Social Security number of an individual whose information was stolen.
Fraud in relation to bankruptcy is usually first detected when the victim contacts the United States Trustee's office and begins asking questions about why they have received mail about having filed for bankruptcy. If you receive a notice of a 341 meeting of creditors and you have not filed for bankruptcy, do not simply assume a mistake and discard the notice. You may have had your identity stolen.