Why Marital Identity Theft Is So Hard To Fight

When someone steals your identity, getting a police report can be invaluable in correcting your credit history, contesting collections suits and seeking damages — but accessing law enforcement can be uniquely challenging if the culprit is your husband.

News Story (NATIONAL, New York)

RJ Vogt
December 1, 2019

Tags: Identity Theft

Organizations mentioned/involved: Her Justice (New York), Legal Aid Society (New York City)


“It’s very common for clients to have not had any access to or knowledge of their financial situation when they were in an abusive relationship,” Koven said. “They might not have even had access to the mail.”

Other barriers persist as well: Young pointed out that many of her clients don’t know their identities have been stolen until they’re contacted by creditors or denied opportunities due to their defrauded credit histories. By the time they realize what’s going on, they might already be facing collection lawsuits in court for debt they never incurred. Young said an estimated 98% of respondents in New York City collections cases face their creditors alone, without counsel.

“It’s a poverty trap,” Young said. “You not only face the direct consequence of going to court and owing money, but also don’t have access to things you need to survive, like credit and housing.”