Donner Applewhite, Attorneys at Law
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Can I have a fraud alert under the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

With the availability of information and the number of people who are using their personal information on various devices, it is understandable that St. Louis residents are concerned about identity theft. Since identity theft is a criminal act that is growing in frequency and damaging people in myriad ways, it is important for people to protect themselves. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows people to shield themselves with a fraud alert. Of course, when people are dealing with identity theft and are seeking to repair their credit after these criminal acts, legal assistance is essential.

A consumer can ask consumer reporting agencies to put a fraud alert in their file. This gives creditors and others information that the person could have been victimized by identity theft. With the fraud alert, it becomes harder for another individual to open an account in the person's name. Creditors will adhere to a series of procedures to provide protection to the consumer. It is important to remember that those who use this alternative could face a delay in getting legitimate credit for themselves.

A consumer must contact one of the three consumer reporting agencies to the put the fraud alert on the account. When it has been processed by one, the others will be informed as well. They will all place the fraud alert on the consumer's file. With an initial fraud alert, it will be in the file for a minimum of one year. Should it be an extended alert, it will be there for seven years. A consumer must give personal information to have the fraud alert added to their report. An extended alert will require the consumer to give the agencies an identity theft report.

People are often completely unaware of what is in their credit report. There could be mistakes that prevent them from getting loans and mortgages. Incorrect information can be in the credit report and certain protective measures might not be in place to help those who are victimized by identity theft. A law firm that has experience with the Fair Credit Reporting Act can help with any issue that is related to this law, identity theft and consumer credit. Calling for help can be beneficial for a person's financial life to be put in order.

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