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Is a Police Report Required for Claim that a Loan is Not Yours?

arkovich_law-narrowDo you see a debt on your credit report that is not yours?

Did a relative (mother, child etc.) sign your name to obtain a loan?

This is a typical fact pattern we see for our Fair Credit Reporting Act cases.  Some unauthorized person signed for a debt and now our client is the one whose credit is being dinged or worse.

You call the creditor:  “I didn’t sign for this debt.”

The first response given by a creditor is “well you need to file a police report then.”

Many people don’t want to do that.  I don’t blame them.  Is is a legal requirement before any change is made to someone’s credit report?

Where in the Fair Credit Reporting Act is a police report required?  Is the filing of a police report necessary before an investigation?

We found some case law on the topic.  Defendant appears to argue that its statutory obligation to conduct a reasonable investigation was extinguished when [p]laintiff failed to provide-in the short timeframe demanded-the specific documents it requested. Defendant cites no law that supports such a bright line rule.”  Sponer v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98427, at *8 (D. Or. June 7, 2019); Boggio v. USAA Federal Sav. Bank, 696 F.3d 611, 619 (6th Cir. 2012) (“Plaintiff’s] failure to provide a fraud affidavit or police report could not have affected USAA’s already completed investigation. Second, the text of § 1681s–2(b) does not permit furnishers to require independent confirmation of materials contained in a CRA notice of a dispute before conducting the required investigation.”)

Bottom line, there may not be a legal requirement to file a police report to impose a burden to investigate the dispute on the creditor – but if you file the police report, it does tend to eliminate a lot of defenses — or provide support for a claim that the debt is not yours.


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Here is some more info on a credit furnisher’s obligations when someone reports ID theft:

If the consumer’s dispute mentioned ID theft, then a cursory investigation will certainly not suffice. Hunsinger v. Bank of Am. Corp., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206708, at *15 (N.D. Ga. Oct. 16, 2012)(“[a]bsent allegations of fraud, identity theft, or other issues not identifiable from the face of its records, the furnisher need not do more than verify that the reported information is consistent with the information in its records . . . Whether an investigation conducted by a furnisher in response to a notice of dispute is reasonable thus depends in large part on the allegations by the consumer and the notice of the allegations provided to the furnisher by the credit reporting agency.”)


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