I received one piece of mail on Monday. Just one. A plain envelope, nothing unusual about it. I figured it was another credit card offer. Especially since my last name spelled incorrectly.
I was wrong. What was contained in that envelope was a panic attack on one 8 x 11 sheet of paper.
A letter from a collection agency. For a debt I’ve never heard of. Submitted for collection by an insurance agency I’ve never heard of or ever had contact with. I have no record of any of these companies anywhere.
I had a panic attack. I couldn’t breathe. I started crying hysterically. I couldn’t even speak for a good 10 minutes. The room was spinning and I had to sit down in the middle of the living room so I didn’t fall over.
Once I pulled myself together again and the hysterics stopped, I realized what this actually was: yet another remnant of my identity theft. I thought it was over with the sentencing of the two women by the Federal courts back in February.
But someone, somewhere, didn’t do what they were supposed to do and neglected to remove my name from one of the accounts when they set about recouping their losses for the property the women bought with the fraudulently acquired loans. I was deemed not financially responsible for ANY PIECE of it over a year ago now (see this post). My credit report was expunged of all traces. All per Federal law. I have an extended fraud alert on my credit file, meaning no new lines of credit can be opened without contacting me via phone first. Last time I checked, everything on my credit report belonged to me.
Which is why this letter is so out of left field. This is the first contact I’ve received about this claim. Not a single phone call. I’ve received no letters until this one from any of the companies involved in the claim. And I do actually open every piece of mail addressed to me (including misspellings of my name). I’m obsessive about opening it, and shredding anything and everything with my name and/or address on it.
So now I’m back to making phone calls. I called the collection agency to let them know it’s related to the identity theft and if they don’t remove my information and all claims against me from the file and cease pursuing me for the money they’ll be in violation of Federal law. I was assured by the woman that the account would be closed immediately, and I would be receiving a letter confirming that immediately. She apologized profusely, and told me they have no record of identity theft in their account files. So I traced it backwards to the initial credit union that filed the insurance claim to recoup their losses. Their records clearly indicate that it was fraud and they forwarded all the appropriate paperwork (such as a copy of the ID Theft Affidavit I filled out) with their claim to the insurance agency. I then spoke with the insurance agency that initiated the collection, and they say it’s indicated in their files that it was fraud and it never should have been sent to the collection agency (who is also apparently part of the same insurance company). Basically someone didn’t read the entire file and it was pursued in error. But there’s still the question as to WHY my information was still present in the file in the first place, since it should have been removed. They collection agency should never have had access to it.
I also called and added an addendum to my report filed with the FTC. And I’m in the process of requesting more credit reports to be on the safe side (all additional reports related to the theft are free, above and beyond the 3 free a year everyone gets). I’ve already done everything else I was supposed to do. Everything else I can do. There isn’t a piece of paperwork to fill out or a phone call to make or a report to file that I haven’t already done. There was literally nothing left for me to do but call and give the collection agency the FTC report and Federal court case numbers. Numbers they should have received from the initiator for the claim as proof that this was fraud.
Once I got over the panic attack, I got angry. Angry that someone’s oversight has reopened old wounds. Angry that once again, it’s on ME, the VICTIM, to fix it. I thought the nightmare was over.
When will it be over?
How much more do I have to endure?!?