Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Same name - different debt

Technology has made it easier to store and recall information whenever we need it. This can be anything from our banking information, to hospital reports to what book you took out at the library. It's all there at the tip of someone’s fingers ready to be recalled when needed. This has certainly made our world more efficient but it has also created problems where people with the same name get into trouble and the finger is wrongly pointed at you.  This happened to a family member of mine who went to get a mortgage and discovered he was rejected because the bank told him he owed thousands of dollars to another financial institution. He didn't, and now carries an affidavit that says, I am not that person, in case he ever is asked to prove his real identity again.

A CBC investigation revealed that a man fought one of the major wireless companies for three years to prove a bill he was accused of not paying was a case of mistaken identity.  Read his story here- Rogers bill ruins credit rating of man who doesn't have Rogers account

Here's how you can prevent and/or remedy a case of mistaken identity.
  • Check your credit score once a year. 
  • If you get a call from get as much information as you can about what you're being accused of.
  • Close all your dormant financial accounts.
  • Keep the final bill of any loans you have paid off.
  • Go to the company that is accusing you of not paying your bill.
  • Don't fight with the collection agent, they deal with irate people all the time and can tolerate you more.
  • Contact Phone Busters or Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to get specific advice.
  • Give your child a middle name to make their identity more unique.

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