Identity theft is a kind of crime that can cause significant damage that lingers for many years, especially when it causes reputational harm or negative credit history. Because of such issues, it’s essential to take immediate action to protect yourself if you have a suspicion that your identity has been stolen.
Fortunately, there are many ways which can help you recover from identity theft and protect your identity in the future — identity theft attorneys are a great source to turn to. Such attorneys have experience with protecting the rights of identity theft victims and also understand the rights and remedies that may be available to you under federal and state laws.
The task of recovering your identity as well as clearing your name can be a challenging and time-consuming task, not to mention that it requires the following:
- Filing a police report
- Submitting a report with the Federal Trade Commission
- Contacting financial institutions to initiate fraud alerts or close accounts
- Contacting credit bureaus to remove fraudulent information from a credit report
- Contacting creditors or debt collection agencies
Identity theft attorneys have experience communicating with the above entities and understand their legal obligations to cooperate with you. Another great thing about getting an attorney is that they prevent these entities, particularly debt collection agencies, from contacting you directly.
Identity theft attorneys can also advise you of all the rights and remedies available to you under state and federal law. Under federal law, a victim of identity theft has a right to restitution not only for the actual harm incurred but also for the time spent trying to fix such damage.
Many state laws provide additional remedies to victims, such as the ability to file suit against the criminal and recover damages. An identity theft attorney can advise you of such rights as well as any relevant statutes of limitations.
If you do decide to contact an attorney to assist you with an identity theft matter, be sure to:
- Confirm the scope of representation: It’s best to know whether he or she will be limited to communicating with relevant entities to correct your records or whether your attorney will prepare and file a complaint and represent you in Court.
- Ask about their experience: It is in your best interest to know whether they have handled cases like yours, and if they have, how many cases, and what was the result of those cases.
- Confirm the fee arrangement: Before getting your attorney to do any work on your case, first settle the fee arrangement. This may include a contingency fee, a flat fee or an hourly fee, along with what rates you will be charged and whether a retainer will be required.
- Review the written representation agreement: It is best to have a representation agreement in writing, but make sure you review it carefully before signing.
However, instead of worrying about getting your attorney, why not make use of Identity Protection services. Aside from having all the necessary arrangements done for you, they can give you the protection that will help you avoid having to get an attorney in the first place. Identity Protection services work night and day to make sure that your personal information will never fall into the wrong hands.