Read a few of our inspiring stories of people who have achieved financial success through the Clinic’s domestic violence program. And take a closer look at how they did it!
In March 2016, a case manager at the Brooklyn Family Justice Center referred Sarah* to a financial coach to discuss suspected identity theft. After pulling her credit reports, her coach discovered several accounts Sarah did not recognize, as well as phone numbers that belong to her former husband and abuser. Her credit score was a low 590 because of the $5,466 in debt that was not hers. Additionally, after her abuser was excluded from the household, Sarah found a 2015 tax return and W-2 in her name – even though she had not worked since arriving in the United States in 2013.
Sarah worked with her coach to contact each creditor and initiate fraud investigations, as well as filing the Identity Theft Affidavit from the Federal Trade Commission. To solve the problem of the fraudulent tax information, they reported her abuser and the false information to the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration. Sarah was persistent in following up with the creditors, and several months later, her persistence paid off. All of the fraudulent accounts have been removed from her credit files and her earning history has been adjusted with the Social Security Administration. Now, her credit score is up to 699 and is thrilled to finally move forward with her life for her and her two children!