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Identity Theft, Credit Score, Parents, Physical Damages

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    DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Its not that she's NOT paying the bills, it's that she's not paying the bills on time.

    Well, it pretty much equates to the same effect on credit scores....It sounds like she screwed hers over to the point of no return, and then you were the next closest and easiest target to get a "fresh" start. As someone else has said already.....Without intervention from the authorities, your sister is most likely next, once she's old enough - probably whether you're there or not.
    I plan on getting one, and paying off and subsequently canceling the internet/phone/cable. As I actually use that, and I'll just have the account transfered when I move.

    No, no, no, sweet zombie Jesus on a pogo stick, do NOT do this! This sort of stuff will not just disappear instantly from your record if you pay it off - and who's to say your mom won't continue to find new avenues to exploit you? Taking responsibility for any of her fraud is a very, very bad idea.
    but only if I'm in a financial situation where I'd be allowed to take custody of my sister.

    You will not be in a better financial situation for a very, very long time, if you do not get outside help fixing the damage your mom has already done to your credit. Employers will check credit history as part of the hiring process. Landlords will check. Banks will check when you open accounts. Anyone that you want to give you anything even semi-important will check.

    EDIT: By way of example, I am 27, with an essentially spotless credit history - and I still haven't really had luck getting a credit card approved besides a cruddy Sears/Citibank card, thanks to the short length of my financial record. Now imagine what someone will think if they look at your history and see the same lack of length, plus massive numbers of late payments and/or collection notices.

    This is beyond your ability to fix by yourself - as much as it may hurt, you need to get the police involved now, before it goes any further.
    I've decided for now I'm going to avoid fucking up my mom's interests, but once I'm on my own, if I find anything building up in my name, her ass is going to jail

    While it's admirable and completely understandable that you want to essentially give her one more chance....It will not end well. The longer you wait to call her on this and throw up a roadblock in the form of outside intervention, the more trouble she is going to build up for you. Assuming what you have told us is accurate, she has already committed several massively illegal acts, and it sounds like she's not at all likely to change her ways.

    Again, you are out of options as far as fixing things and having a sane life for your and your sis afterwards - you need to contact the police as soon as possible.

    Deathwing on
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    Sharp10rSharp10r Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    MC Mystery: You're getting sound but difficult advise on how you should proceed if protecting your future is a priority. Your response to the counsel hasn't outweighed what they say. So ask yourself, is your unwillingness to do these things intellectual (reason based), emotional, or willful? I think it's safe to rule out intellectual, because there are overwhelming reasons for you to listen to the replies and 1. get authorities involved, 2. don't cloud the issue by taking responsibility for the fraudulent bills, and 3. get out of there. Also, your will is to protect yourself, that's why you posted in the first place.
    I write all this to say: it's possible (and probable) your emotions are clouding your judgment on this. Strain your emotions through your intellect and do what needs to be done.

    Sharp10r on
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    honkymcgoohonkymcgoo Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Trust me dude, credit is not something to fuck around with. When I was 17 and first got my big fun checking account, I bounced two checks because I didnt really understand the whole system. Now as soon as I found out they bounced I went right down and took care of it, and then it didnt happen ever again. But that shit still fucked me up for years, and its not even that big a deal in the grand scheme of things, nowhere near what youre gonna have to deal with. When I went for my security clearance in the army? That was a major sticking point as it put my reliability in a negative light. And I didnt get terrible interest rates but they sure as hell were nt great on any loans I had. Keep in mind that when you first start out, you have zero credit because there have been no accounts to calculate a score for you. For the first year or two even if you have perfect payment histories on everything, you might still be turned down a few places here and there for lack of payment history. Its not neccesarily bad, it just means they dont know enough about you yet. In your situation thuogh, not only do they not know much about you, what little they do know is that youre a deadbeat who pays nothing on time ever. Realistically if you got a job it would be next year before you got this all paid off. So you would be 19 yes? That means if you got it all paid off, and kept paying it perfectly on time forever and your mother never did this again then you would be 26 before it left your credit report. In the meantime, you can forget about getting credit cards, bank loans, car loans or any of that stuff. It wont seem like such a big deal while youre in college, but when you graduate and its time to start your own life, maybe get married and start a family you wont be able to right away. Because if you graduate at 22 or 23, youre still 2 or 3 years away from being able to get any kind of line of credit. Credit is not something you want to fuck with, like others have said it can prevent you from renting a home, getting a job or even getting accounts with utility companies.

    honkymcgoo on
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    wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    MC Mystery wrote: »
    I plan on getting one, and paying off and subsequently canceling the internet/phone/cable.

    No. No no no no no no no.

    Do not take any responsibility for these things at all. Once you take responsibility for even a single account your mother opened without your consent you're going to be fucked very hard for a very long time. If you cloud the issue that these things were done without your consent it will not end well for you.

    Jesus CHRIST don't TOUCH those accounts your Mom made. Turn her in, don't accept responsibility for her horrible actions. Listen to DevoutlyApathetic, his advice is true. DO NOT ATTEMPT to resolve those accounts or have any association with them yourself. DO NOT.

    Look, I understand that there is likely nothing more difficult than having to turn your own mother in, but for the love of good, look at this reasonably. Take a step back. If you had a friend who came to you and told you these things, what would you tell them? You are 18 years old, and you have come here asking for our help and advice. What we are saying is very hard. I'm not one to immediately say "go to the cops" for everything, but my good, look at what is happening. The advice we are giving you is not fun, and very grim but it is simply what must be done.

    Because you are 18, you don't know all the consequences that what your mother has done will have on her life, your life, and your sister's life. Think about the fact that EVERY SINGLE PERSON HERE is telling you to do the same thing. This is not a discussion where half the people are telling you to go to the cops, the other half are saying to try to fix it yourself. EVERY SINGLE PERSON HERE is giving you the exact same bit of advice, not one person has said anything else. Take a step back, and think about that. I know we're mostly random internet people, but one of the things I like to think about this community, and the H/A forum specifically, is that we are all here to help eachother. If every single person is telling you the same thing, I really, really, really encourage you to listen.

    wunderbar on
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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Yes, whatever you do DO NOT pay any bills. Your mother has stolen your identity - if you take responsibility for those bills it will be that much harder to deal with this shit, and from the sound of things I doubt she'll be paying you back ever. YOU NEED TO GO TO THE POLICE. Look up the number in your phone book, or dial 311, or go to the fucking police station yourself. You are rationalizing a situation that should not be rationalized. Your mother does not have to go to jail over this, but you are going to need some serious help from the police in order to rectify this situation.

    Here's the reality check: you are fucked. Good luck trying to get a loan for when you want to buy a car/house in the future. Good luck trying to open an account with any company (cell phone, TV/internet, etc.) without having to pay a security deposit. Good luck trying to find a landlord who will rent to you when your credit report says "this kid can't pay a bill to save his fucking life."

    The longer you wait to actually deal with this by going to someone who can really help you, the worse it's going to get. Not fucking with your mothers "interests" (which appear to be buying/renting shit she can't afford and then stealing your identity when her own credit goes to shit) is NOT A SOLUTION. What are you afraid of? I'll say it again - don't refuse to do anything about this because you think you'll be putting your mother in jail. That doesn't have to happen. What does have to happen is that you need to sever yourself from her financial situation so that you can actually have a life.

    tsmvengy on
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    honkymcgoohonkymcgoo Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Yeah, I just want to reinforce some things Ive said before and the post above said also, JAIL IS DEFINITELY NOT THE ONLY OUTCOME HERE. You really need to go to the police, but like I said before your mom has a pretty good chance of getting some much needed rehab and credit counseling and will be on probation clearly for a while, but if she can turn herself around theres a chance her record will be sealed or expunged. This is really something that will be good for your mother, your sister and you. Court systems are making a big swing towards rehabilitation as opposed to incarceration, so please believe me when I say that even with a semi competent lawyer you should be able to get a pretty minimal sentence for your mother. The best thing you can do if you are concerned about her going to jail, is attend any sort of hearing and speak on her behalf. You still have to say that she did what she did, but you can at least paint her to be a good mother etc. and say that you think with some counseling and rehab she could be a much better person.

    honkymcgoo on
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    CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Also realize that most apartment complexes check your CREDIT HISTORY before they decide to let you live there. It's up to you to decide what they're going to find at this point. You CANNOT afford to let your mother destroy your credit score.

    Crashtard on
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    PussumPussum Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Ok man first off stay strong. Secondly, you need to start filing identity theft paperwork right now. It isn't a joke. Even though that is your mother your credit is going to determine how easy your life will be for the most part. No one gives a shit about the circumstances of how your credit got to the level it is at. All they care about are the blemishes. What your mother is doing is completely and utterly wrong. She is using your identity to allow herself privileges she does not deserve. If you were to get identity theft stuff processing it would be an easy case for you to prove that it wasn't you. You are still pretty young and inexperienced with that kind of stuff (I assume), you live with your mother still, and your mother doesn't exactly have the best credit history (from what I have read). You need to take action to alleviate a big problem that I can see coming down the pipeline in the future. Blemishes on your credit take YEARS to go away. Being so young you do not need those kinds of strikes against you before you even get started with life.



    http://www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html

    Equifax: P.O. Box 740250, Atlanta, GA 30374- 0241.
    Report fraud: Call (888) 766-0008 and write to address above.
    TDD: (800) 255-0056
    Web: www.equifax.com

    Experian: PO Box 9532
    Allen TX, 75013
    Report fraud: Call (888) EXPERIAN (888-397-3742) and write to address above.
    TDD: Use relay to fraud number above.
    Web: www.experian.com/fraud

    TransUnion: P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790.
    Report fraud: (800) 680-7289 and write to address above.
    TDD: (877) 553-7803
    E-mail (fraud victims only): fvad@transunion.com
    Web: www.transunion.com


    The nice thing about reporting identity theft with one company is that once you call and file it with one they automatically forward the information to the other credit companies so you don't have to call them all. You can also get a free copy of your credit report sent to the house when you file, but be warned. No matter what, whenever you check your credit it has a chance to lower it. Your credit score goes down whenever someone checks your credit even if it is you.

    In regards to your sister. The solution is a little more complicated, but still easy to get done. If you feel strongly that your sister is in danger being in the house with your mother without you if you so decide to leave you can file for guardianship or forcefully get the government involved and make it so that they award you with sole custody of your sister until she is 18. It sounds to me like you are living in some pretty dangerous territory. Mom's are not supposed to go ballistic on their children like that at the drop of a hat. Abuse is no joking matter and from what I have read from you, that woman you call mom is the very definition of an unfit mother. Don't beat around the bush with it. Call it for what it is. You are an adult now. As an adult you are not only responsible for your own future but as a brother, human, and most importantly a man you are obligated to ensure that your sister is safe from harm as well.

    Pussum on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Crashtard wrote: »
    Also realize that most apartment complexes check your CREDIT HISTORY before they decide to let you live there. It's up to you to decide what they're going to find at this point. You CANNOT afford to let your mother destroy your credit score.
    Most jobs check your credit history before hiring you, too. I'd lay money that colleges are doing it now, as well.

    Thanatos on
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    honkymcgoohonkymcgoo Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Crashtard wrote: »
    Also realize that most apartment complexes check your CREDIT HISTORY before they decide to let you live there. It's up to you to decide what they're going to find at this point. You CANNOT afford to let your mother destroy your credit score.
    Most jobs check your credit history before hiring you, too. I'd lay money that colleges are doing it now, as well.

    They are down here unless youre on the prepaid plan or put cash up front pretty much. State budget cuts have forced the colleges to become a lot more selective, and the easiest criteria to go by is can/will you pay?

    honkymcgoo on
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    DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    :^: Sound advice across the board.

    Don't keep rationalizing this shit. You're mom is basically ruining your adult life. No one in this world can get anywhere with bad credit, it's a fact of life. This is something that will soon hit you like a train wreck if you don't report this fraud and take your mother to court.

    Demerdar on
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    SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    honkymcgoo wrote: »
    Yeah, I just want to reinforce some things Ive said before and the post above said also, JAIL IS DEFINITELY NOT THE ONLY OUTCOME HERE. You really need to go to the police, but like I said before your mom has a pretty good chance of getting some much needed rehab and credit counseling and will be on probation clearly for a while, but if she can turn herself around theres a chance her record will be sealed or expunged. This is really something that will be good for your mother, your sister and you. Court systems are making a big swing towards rehabilitation as opposed to incarceration, so please believe me when I say that even with a semi competent lawyer you should be able to get a pretty minimal sentence for your mother. The best thing you can do if you are concerned about her going to jail, is attend any sort of hearing and speak on her behalf. You still have to say that she did what she did, but you can at least paint her to be a good mother etc. and say that you think with some counseling and rehab she could be a much better person.


    Yah, pretty much this.

    Two things about Socail Services - these guys are not monsters. There are a lot of bad tales out there for sure, but they are people who want to help other people. They are ready and willing to sit down and have a discussion about what will be best for you and the members of your family, and probably have more than a few options you've never even considered.

    Getting the law involved through these guys (rather than calling the cops and have the cops bring in SS, which results in the problem being attacked from a completely different, more aggressive angle) will help ensure that everyone gets the best treatment and situational help that can be provided. There is room for negotiation, there is a place for discussion and counselling. There are ways to legally ensure you have continued access and visitation to your sister, etc.

    But it sounds like someone needs to grab your ma by the ear and tell her to smarten the hell up, or shes going to lose everything precious to her. You're the kid, and although you feel like the burden is on you to do so, its not your job. There are people trained to help out with that.

    Good luck man, its sounds pretty rough.

    Sarcastro on
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    DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I'm going to second calling the authorities. Call the billing companies and inform them that those bills they are trying collect on were fraudulently opened and you have contacted the authorities. Get a credit report and find out what else your mother might have done. She may have credit cards open in your name. Protect your identity. Read this article. You can alert the credit companies to not allow any credit or accounts to be opened in your name without contacting you first. This is all going to take a lot of work, but you want to do it. What your mother is doing is ruining your credit rating for years to come, so you need to nip this in the butt now.

    As for your sister, it may be more difficult. Be aware that this may take getting a lawyer involved. I don't know, but prepare for the event. Also, getting the authorities involved may slap some sense into your mother, so to speak. From what it sounds like, it may not, but not doing anything isn't going to change anything at all.

    Dalboz on
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    FireflashFireflash Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Like others have said, you have to take action as soon as possible, and not touch any of the fraudulent accounts in your name. Since you seem to be her favorite punching bag it's not impossible that all the accounts made in your name are also a way to trap you in her home. Maybe she figures that with the bad credit you won't be able to move out by yourself.

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    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Crashtard wrote: »
    Also realize that most apartment complexes check your CREDIT HISTORY before they decide to let you live there. It's up to you to decide what they're going to find at this point. You CANNOT afford to let your mother destroy your credit score.
    Most jobs check your credit history before hiring you, too. I'd lay money that colleges are doing it now, as well.

    I recently found out that at least two of the credit reporting agencies erroneously put my dad's Chapter 7 bankruptcy on MY name (we have the same name, i'm the Jr).

    Since 2004.

    It was basically the reason I wasn't getting hired for anything serious, especially anything involving money. I got it taken care of.. but damn. That was coming up every time I applied for something.

    To the OP;

    Both your mom and her boyfriend are committing abuse. Your mom is doing it to you and your sister physically and mentally, and her boyfriend is doing it mentally. You should NOT have to know what your parent's sexual fetishes are. You shouldn't have to wake up one day hoping he didn't steal all your money for food and rent. Your sister will become the new target once you leave if you don't get out of there.

    You are trying to rationalize it, but this is a natural coping mechanism. It is not a healthy one. She is never going to pay those bills. This is what happens when somebody is addicted to a substance. They're "cool mom" when sober, but when on something or mad they're a completely different person. Your situation is reading exactly like the boy in the book A Child Called It, down to how your mother is acting and your responses.

    The first thing you need to do is get Social Services involved with your sister. Yes, you may not be living in the same apartment/house for a while, but your sister needs a stable enviroment where she's not being judged by the color of her skin and knows she can go to bed and wake up in the morning and not have to worry about if she's going to be able to eat.

    Then you need to lock down your credit with fraud alerts. Get policed involved. Unfortunately, since she's your mom and knows your social security number, she can open accounts in your name endlessly until you do this.

    Lastly, you're going to have a bit of a road ahead of you. Expect to be ostracized by the rest of her family. Expect a lot of counseling sessions with her, since the state will keep working towards her taking custody of your sister again, if they think they can. But you need to do this for your own mental health and your sister's mental health and security.

    Once you have enough money and a steady job, after a certain age your sister will be able to come live with you. But only the local police force and government can legally change the situation at this point.

    Call them. Now. Or tell us where you live so someone can submit a report for you.

    FyreWulff on
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    FembotFembot Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    This woman does not deserve a "free pass" because she happened to give birth to you and your sister. Take any and all action possible to get that shit out of your name and restore your credit. If that lands her in jail, so be it. It will be well deserved, and maybe it'll be a wakeup call for her.

    You and your sister do not deserve the physical and/or mental abuse. You haven't posted again, but the last I saw I got the impression that you didn't think your sister had it that bad. She does. She may not be being physically abused now, but it's very very likely to happen once you've gone. She is also currently suffering the mental abuse of being in such a hostile living situation - this is very serious. Take any and all possible action to get the both of you out of there.

    Fembot on
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    cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    ...I hope the OP is doing okay.

    Remember, calling the authorities on this does NOT necessarily mean your mom is going to jail, but it is necessary to get you out of this mess.

    cloudeagle on
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