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Filing bankruptcy is not for victims of identity theft

Thousands of Ohio residents fall victim to identity thieves each year, and the resulting harassment from creditors and debt collectors prompts some victims to consider filing a personal bankruptcy. While a bankruptcy filing does put an end to creditor harassment, it may not be the most prudent path to take for individuals who have temporary credit issues rather than an overwhelming and unmanageable financial situation.

The wide availability of inexpensive electronic skimming devices that can collect data from nearby credit or debit cards has led to a surge in identity theft around the world. Identity theft victims can demand that credit reporting agencies remove negative information from their personal credit histories once they have reported the crime to authorities, but dealing with these companies can be a thankless and frustrating process.

Filing a personal bankruptcy and putting an end to harassment in one fell swoop may seem like an attractive proposition to individuals who do not have the patience to deal with credit reporting agencies, but this can negatively impact credit scores for up to 10 years. While this may not be a major concern for those seeking a financial fresh start after struggling with unmanageable bills for months or years, identity theft victims may be better off putting their frustrations to one side and dealing with the collection agencies.

While attorneys who focus their practice on debt relief may not suggest a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy filing to the victims of identity theft, they could help them deal with consumer credit reporting agencies. Companies that deal with the records of millions of consumers are sometimes slow to respond to individuals who are having problems, and a letter from an attorney may result in identity theft issues being taken more seriously and handled more promptly.

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