OK, at least I hope it’s the beginning of the end of this identity theft saga.
I spent over 2 hours on the phone on Friday trying to sort out what happened and fix it. Plus an additional hour or so on Monday. And a lot more time waiting for confirmation letters (I’ll be waiting on those for a few weeks more).
First I called the IRS. After spending a good 40 minutes on hold (OMG hold muzak is awful), I spoke with a very nice and very helpful woman. I was just trying to find out what I needed to mail them to dispute the tax adjustment. In what ended up being FABULOUS news, because I have all the paperwork, including the Federal court case number and the names of the two women that conspired and stole my identity, we were able to resolve the issue over the phone. I don’t owe the IRS any back taxes for forgiveness of a fraudulent loan.
I’ll still be holding my breath until I get the confirmation letter from the IRS that all is resolved. In three to five weeks. Natch.
Next I called the lending agency that filed the loan forgiveness using my Social Security Number. More time on hold with maddening muzak. After a good 15 minutes, I explained the issue to the receptionist. The woman who answered the phone was sufficiently horrified by the situation. After some back and forth and putting me on hold a few times to find out who to transfer me to, she asked me who I spoke with back in Dec. 2006. I gave her the name of the woman, and lo and behold, she still works there. SHE STILL WORKS THERE. Whoa. Unfortunately she wasn’t in on Friday, so I left a detailed message of the situation, reminding her that we spoke in Dec. 2006 about this same case, and for her to call me on Monday.
On Monday morning the woman from the lending agency called to get some more information. She does remember me and the situation and the ensuing court case (they filed a bunch of documentation with the courts). Needless to say she was very surprised to hear from me having assumed all was over and done with when the women were sentenced in 2008. Gee. I thought the same thing.
Apparently they were mandated by the courts to file 1099-C Cancellation of Debt forms for a number of accounts. The fraudulent account got mixed up in that. I’ve sent her all the relevant info about the 1099-C (date of file, etc.) on my IRS letter so hopefully she can figure out how an account closed due to fraud got mixed up in the court requirement. I also sent her the employee ID# for the lovely woman I spoke with at the IRS so she can fix the IRS issues on their end. She also promised to find a way to flag the fraudulent loan account so it never happens again. NEVER EVER. Somehow they have to figure out how to mark in their system to NOT file any paperwork with my Social Security Number. They can’t delete SSNs from their system (why, I’m not entirely sure…something about their antiquated system not letting them – they can correct, but not delete) but they should be able to permanently flag the account. She will mail me a confirmation letter detailing the situation and what they’ve done to fix it.
I still can’t fully exhale even now that things are in process to repair the latest issue and I’ve confirmed there will be no lasting damage. I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll really be able to trust that it’s all behind me. If nothing else, this has taught me to never ever let my guard down.
If you’re a victim:
DO NOT DELAY. Act immediately. Alert your bank(s), credit/loan companies, and the 3 credit reporting agencies to flag your accounts, file a police report in the jurisdiction the fraud/identity theft has taken place, file an affidavit, and document everything. Keep your documents. I dug my 3 inch file out of a box of old files and it’s what has kept the pain of the process this time to a minimum. I can guarantee I will keep it forever now.