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'Parents opened up credit cards in my name while I was at college. They got 15K in debt.' UPDATED

'Parents opened up credit cards in my name while I was at college. They got 15K in debt.' UPDATED

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There's a big difference between a boundary crossed, and a full-on violation.

"Parents opened up several credit cards in my name while I was away at college. They racked up more than $15,000 in debt and now they want me to kick me out because I brought it up."

I guess this is a lesson in paying attention to my finances. After having just finished my freshman year of college, I came back to my parents' house for the summer. My mom made it a habit on Monday/Tuesday to make sure she got the mail before I had a chance, even running from the kitchen Tuesday to make sure I didn't get it as I was expecting an Amazon order.

Today, the mail came kind of early and there was a letter from a collection agency addressed to me. I only knew it was a collection agency once I opened it and discovered I supposedly owed nearly $5000 on a Capital One card I had no idea I was ever signed up for.

Once I got done freaking out, I called my dad at work and asked him what to do. It was weird when he said to talk to my mother about it. He didn't seem happy at all but I didn't think much of it. Once my mom got home, I asked her about it and she said her and my dad opened up a few credit cards in my name for household expenses.

She said she thinks I owe around $10,000 to three different credit card companies. I checked my credit and it turns out I owe over $15,000. We ended up having a huge argument about it with my mom saying her parents did this to her when she was 18. She said that I could file for bankruptcy and that it wouldn't hurt me because I wouldn't be trying to a buy a house for several years.

I'm interested in going into a government-related job and a bankruptcy would probably disqualify me for it. She knows this but it doesn't seem like she cares. My dad got home a couple of hours ago and they talked to me together. Either I can declare bankruptcy once they spend up to the credit limit of the last card with any credit on it, or they said I could move out at the end of the month.

It just feels like its incredibly unfair because it doesn't sound like bankruptcy will actually do anything for my credit and probably sink my job opportunities. How can I get my credit score back to where it was, which was around 720, and how can I get this to not affect my credit going forward?

Commenters did not hold back one bit.

CheckingOut2024 wrote:

That's identity theft. It's a f-lony. The ball is in your court. You could easily have them arrested and you can lien their property.

Flashy-Whereas1245 wrote:

It's a win win win...punish them for being terrible parents, punishment for being identity thieves, and OP improves their credit and doesn't have to wait for an inheritance 💜

Edit: I'll spell it out since it isn't clear enough based on responses. "Win win win" is a quote from Michael Scott on The Office. This was meant as gallows humor. I understand there are no winners here. The joke was that this is a shortcut to a non-existent inheritance (and yes I'm aware they are probably broke, that's the point of the joke).

I'm autistic and not always very good at jokes. But I'm still making them even if just for my own amusement. Just to be clear I absolutely have sympathy for this terrible situation. I've also commented more seriously elsewhere in the comments.

muffinman0807 wrote:

Not sure if this is another comment but I’ll write this out.

F- these pieces of s-t. You owe them nothing now, this is an egregious betrayal of you as a person. They are trading your financial future for some new shit in their house. F- them

You are a tenant and they can’t just kick you out. They have to evict you. If they change the locks, throw your stuff away or anything like that, call the police for an illegal eviction.

Absolutely record the next conversation you have on this subject. Use the voice recorder on your phone but RECORD THE CONVERSATION.

Go to the police and file a police report with the evidence. It will be able to be removed from your credit and hopefully land them with some jail time and a big fine hopefully.

F- these people. I have 3 kids and I can’t imagine ever stealing from them.

HomefreenotHomeless wrote:

How about option C - you file a report for fr*ud and sue them. Pull the 15k from the home equity.

A month later, OP shared an update.

Update: I ended up taking the advice of the vast majority of people here and I filed a police report. The officer took some printouts of everything as evidence. Once I had the report, I called all of the places listed on my report and gave them the report number. The three credit card companies all took it and were pretty cool with it.

The collection agency wanted me to make a goodwill payment so they could start investigating my claim that it was fraudulent. They said they could still sue me even with a report if I didn't cooperate with their fraud report.

I refused obviously as I don't want them to be able to take money out of my bank account. I never told my parents that I went to the police and for a couple of weeks, they had no idea. Right after Memorial Day they received a call from a detective and everything blew up.

After the call, they began screaming at me and my dad started literally throwing my things out of the door. I called the authorities at that time and they showed up and told my parents if they wanted me to leave, they would have to evict me.

I came home from work the next day and the locks were changed. I called the police again and my parents refused to open the door and said all of my stuff was at my grandparents' house. I received another report number for the unlawful eviction, which I was told was a civil issue, and got my stuff from my grandparents'.

Luckily, I have a friend with a couple of spare bedrooms and she said I'm welcome to stay with her for a couple of months. I'm scheduled to move in to my own place in about a week. Once I get a full tally of the total cost of everything included in moving, I'll be filing a civil lawsuit against my parents for the unlawful eviction.

I was told my the same detective my parents didn't seem very truthful with anything and the state's attorney's office will be in contact in the next few weeks regarding identity theft charges. He said he believes they will likely prosecute, possibly as soon as this week.

If that's the case, they, or more likely just my mom, will be issued a warrant and have to spend at least a night in the clinker. No matter what, I feel as though I made the right choice.

Commenters were invested in the update.

TechGuy42O wrote:

FWIW you probably spoke to a collections agent who lied to you about them needed a ‘good faith’ payment to start investigating. 1. No ‘good faith’ payment is needed to investigate a situation like this, especially with a report.

2. The moment you pay them, they legally classify that as you accepting responsibility for the full amount as your debt. 3. Credit card companies and their debt collectors cannot sue you, they will just put it on your credit report and har-ss you.

throwleboomerang wrote:

The collections agency doesn’t want a “goodwill payment” so they can investigate- they want it so they can collect the debt from you instead of your parents. Paying the debt can be an acknowledgement that you owe it, even if you shouldn’t. Super scummy but not shocking.

dwinps wrote:

"A goodwill payment"

LOL, what a sleazy collector, they don't need money to "investigate", you literally don't care if they investigate or not, not your debt. Good for you, more people need to send their cr*minal relatives to j-il instead of letting stuff like this slide.

12doh94 wrote:

I'm happy you ignored the "goodwill payment," don't relent on it bc that could make you liable for future payments. There's also a bit to be said bc you have a police report, you never consented to have your information shared with them and also that if they want to communicate further, it must be via postal mail and not phone calls where they can pressure you.

Classichare wrote:

You did make the right choice. They ab-sed you behind your back, and when you fought back they showed you just how expendable you are to them. These are not your people. I'm sorry that they think you owe them the world for bringing you into it.

No parent should ever ab-se their position like this. They may seek your forgiveness later, but I don't think they're deserving of it at this point. I'm not suggesting that you give them a cold shoulder, but man, what they did was beyond wrong, and immoral.

Sources: Reddit
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