Unfortunately, when I meet with identity theft victims in my Reston, Virginia office, most do not understand the necessary steps that they must take to recover from the problems associated with identity theft. A previous blog post discussed what you should do if you are the victim of identity theft which included police contact information so that identity theft victims in Richmond, Henrico, Stafford, Prince William, Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington, or Alexandria may obtain identity theft police reports. This post will describe the protections that identity theft victims have under the FCRA’s identity theft blocking statute, 15 U.S.C. 1681c-2.
The identity theft blocking statute is a mechanism that allows identity theft victims to block identity theft related accounts from reporting on their credit report. By invoking the block, the victim can begin the process of recovering their good credit history. To invoke the block, the FCRA requires that the identity theft victim provide four things to a consumer reporting agency:
- appropriate proof of identity;
- a copy of the identity theft report;
- identification of the accounts related to the identity theft; and
- a statement from the consumer that the accounts are not related to any transaction by the consumer.
If a consumer provides this information, the CRA must block the identified information within four business days. Next, the CRA has to notify the creditors of the block including the dates that the block will remain in effect. Because various exceptions to the requirements exist in the statute, an identity theft victim would be wise to consult with a lawyer that specializes in identity theft issues. I am always happy to speak with identity theft victims at 703-390-9205.