Scam Targets Bankruptcy Filers

Scam Targets Bankruptcy Filers

Phone scammers are targeting bankruptcy filers in several states, using personal information from filings and posing as attorneys to get intended victims to immediately wire money to satisfy a debt.

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys issued a warning that “Under no circumstances would a bankruptcy attorney or staff member telephone a client and ask for a wire transfer immediately to satisfy a debt. Nor would the bankruptcy attorney and staff ever threaten arrest if a debt isn’t paid.”

Bankruptcy filers in Vermont and Virginia reportedly have received calls. Vermont’s Attorney General says scammers use software to “spoof” the Caller ID system so the call appears to be originating from the phone line of the consumer’s bankruptcy attorney. Typically the calls come late in the evening or during non-business hours to make it difficult for intended victims to verify the call by contacting their attorney.

Consumers receiving this kind of call are advised to hang up and contact their bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. Do not give any personal or financial account information to the caller.

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source:  uscourts.gov

What to Do If You Become a Victim of Identity Theft

What to Do If You Become a Victim of Identity Theft

by Bernard Pragides

If you have had identity theft or frauds occur, there are some steps to take to report the fraudulent activity. And there are steps to follow to retake control of your life.  Follow each according to the information you have about the fraudulent activity.

  1. Being by calling in and reporting whatever information you have to your local authorities, even if it’s online fraud. Law enforcement may want to send out someone to take a report or ask you to come in to file one.
  2. If there was a company involved in the fraud and you have information about them, contact the Better Business Bureau and fill out a report. This can be down quickly and easily online by starting at: http://www.bbb.org .
  3. Along with #2 above, contact the Attorney General’s Office for that state in the U.S.A. Simply key in “attorney general office of (state you are in)” to search engines for online information and complaint / fraud forms.
  4. If the fraud occurred via the telephone, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by calling toll-free: 1-877-ID THEFT (877-438-4338); TDD at 202-326-2502. Contact them by mail in care of the: Consumer Response Center, FTC; 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.; Washington, DC 20580, USA.
  5. If the fraud involved the post office, contact them for more information. Their website with plenty of contact details is at: http://www.usps.com or call them at: General Information 1-800-ASK-USPS® or (800) 275-8777.
  6. If any checks were involved in fraudulent activity, contact your bank and close the account immediately. Then follow up with any of the following check companies involved as needed (ask your banker or accountant):Equifax — (800) 437-5120 CrossCheck — (800) 552-1900 CheckRite — (800) 766-2748 ChexSystems — (800) 428-9623 National Processing Co. (NPC) — (800) 526-5380 TeleCheck — (800) 710-9898 SCAN — (800) 262-7771
  7. If you believe or know that your social security number has been compromised, contact the Social Security Administration at:Social Security Administration Office of Public Inquiries
    Windsor Park Building
    6401 Security Blvd.
    Baltimore, MD 21235

    Call 800-269-0271 http://www.ssa.gov

  8. If you need to inform the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), they have a procedure, their “1.13 IRS Procedures: Reporting Fraud” online at: http://www.irs.gov/faqs/faq1-13.html for more details and how to file a report. Write to them in care of:Internal Revenue Service Fresno, CA 93888
  9. Print out this list for emergencies and handy reference. And share it with your friends and loved ones to protect and help them in the event of identity fraud and theft.

About the Author

Bernard Pragides is an author and offers expert advice and tips regarding identity theft. Please visit his site http://www.IdentityProtek.com for more helpful information

Refinancing After Bankruptcy

Refinancing After Bankruptcy

By Carrie Reeder

Refinancing after a bankruptcy can seem like an especially difficult challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Six months after your bankruptcy has been finalized, you can find lenders willing to refinance your mortgage. In fact, refinancing your mortgage can help rebuild your credit to good standing in two year’s time. The following steps will help you find the best refinance lender while helping you rebuild your credit record.

Preparing For Refinancing

Right after bankruptcy, you have six months to prepare to refinance your mortgage. Begin by establishing good payment history by regularly paying your bills and current mortgage. This is also a good time to open a credit card account to start establishing good credit history.

If possible, also start building up a savings account. The more cash assets you have, the better your application will look. Consider having a garage sale or taking a second job to raise funds.

Researching Lenders

Once you are ready to refinance, research mortgage lenders and their rates. Online mortgage websites allow easy comparison shopping. Look at both interest rates and fees of refinancing quotes. Usually a slightly higher rate with low fees is the best deal.

With bankruptcy on your credit report, you will typically need to work with a sub prime lender. You can expect to pay a few percentage points above a traditional mortgage, which you can find through online mortgage companies.

Choosing Your Refinancing Package

You may be offered a chance to cash out part of your home’s equity when refinancing your mortgage. If you need to make home improvements or buy a car, this may be a good option. However, if you keep your home’s equity in place, you are improving your credit.

Once you have decided on your terms, you can finish your loan application online or through the mail. Quotes are not guaranteed, so rates may vary slightly once your application has been approved. Before the loan is finalized though you have the opportunity to review the loan again.

After Refinancing

With your refinancing completed, you can plan to lower your interest rates through refinancing in two years by building up your credit score. Continue to make regular payments and add to your cash reserves. Before you apply to refinance again, review your credit report to be sure your bankruptcy closed all past accounts on your record. With a solid credit history behind you, you can apply to traditional mortgage lenders.
Refinancing After Bankruptcy

Carrie Reeder is the owner ABC Loan Guide (http://www.abcloanguide.com), an informational website about various types of loans.

To view Carrie’s recommended sources for refinancing after a bankruptcy online, visit this page: http://www.abcloanguide.com/lessthanperfectcredit.shtml.