Identity theft leaves some consumers in need of debt relief

On behalf of Bankruptcy Law Firm of Clare Casas on Friday, August 21, 2015.

Identity theft is an old problem for consumers who have had the misfortune of watching their credit card debt skyrocket thieves run up charges until the fraud is discovered by the card holder or by the credit card company. As a general rule, a consumer’s losses are limited by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. But, not all victims of identity theft are equally protected.

Tightening security has driven identity thieves into new areas. Health care has become the newest arena to which criminals have shifted their focus. Once they steal an innocent consumer’s identity, criminals use it to obtain health care, medical supplies and equipment, and prescription medications. Because there are no federal laws in place to protect the victims, Americans are facing a new identity theft threat that could leave them struggling to eliminate debt that they had not hand in creating.

Medical debt incurred by thieves using an innocent victim’s identity is handled on a case by case basis by the medical facilities and health insurance companies. What victims seeking debt relief are discovering is that privacy laws designed to protect patients are standing in the way of identity theft victims getting information from their own records.

Health insurance carriers have formed an alliance to combat identity theft, but consumers burdened by medical debt that might not belong to them are struggling to find answers to the problem. If you are in need of debt relief, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, bankruptcy attorney might be able to suggest ways to stop creditors and get the fresh start you need and deserve.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “How Identity Theft Sticks You With Hospital Bills,” Stephanie Armour, Aug 7, 2015

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