How to Restore Your Identity

If your identity has been stolen there are steps you can take to restore your identity, your credit, and your good name.  There are also steps you can take to stop debt collectors and creditors from collecting debt that is the result of identity theft.

The first step to restore your identity is to contact the creditors and collection agencies and let them know the debt is the result of identity theft.  Make this contact in writing and do not try this if you authorized the debt or received any benefit from the debt.  Lying to get out of a debt that is legitimately yours could subject you to a criminal prosecution for perjury.

Your next step to restore your identity is to contact the credit bureaus and instruct them to cease any further reporting of the identity theft debt.  Again, make this contact in writing and do not lie or seek to mislead the credit bureaus.  You should also request a fraud alert to prevent any future thefts of your identity from occurring.  Renew the fraud alert with the credit bureaus every 90 days for at least a year or request an extended fraud alert once you have fully prepared an identity theft report.  You should also obtain your credit reports at least once each year just to be sure there isn’t other fraudulent activity taking place.  In most cases, credit monitoring services are not worth the cost so stay away from them.  Credit fraud alerts and personal diligence on your part in protecting your private information are generally sufficient to stop future identity theft from occurring.

In most cases, restoring your identity will require you to, among other things, complete an Identity Theft Affidavit and file a police report.  Do both immediately and include these documents with your letters to the creditors, debt collectors, and credit bureaus.

Restoring your identity after a theft can be a time-consuming and difficult job.  Taking these steps will help you restore your identity and protect your good name. They will even protect you from future theft.  Take back control of your identity.

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