I dedicate this blog to my amigo- or should I say my other half- Hugo R.
I will spare his last name for the sake of his safety, especially considering I’m pretty close to tracking him down. Below is the sequence of events that can only happen to someone who must have too much spare time on their hands:
August 2010: I decide to apply for my first credit card. Yes, I am aware that I am 24 years of age, and, according to the unofficial American handbook, I am wrong. I should have taken out student loans for a private university, a car loan for a nice Mustang convertible, applied for a Victoria’s Secret, a Sears card, a MasterCard, and be paying off my credit debt with my alternating credit cards. I get denied.
September 2010: I am still livid from August 2010. I decide to “dispute” the rejection and reapply for the same card (the one that gives me American Airlines miles). Duh, why else would I want to mess with a credit card? I pay with money, it’s green, it works. I get denied again. My ‘balances are too high,’ which makes literally zero sense because I’ve never had a ‘balance’ in my life.
December 2010: After a two month hiatus from the credit business, I go to a local bank with my husband to open up a checking account, let me repeat, a checking account. I get denied. I am unaware that anyone can get denied putting their own money into a bank. I am given a list of places to call/fax/mail to find answers. I try, but it’s Christmas.
January 2011: I find out my amigo (Hugo R.) has done more damage than I can fathom. He has taken my social security number for his own, and has been trekking my number into debt for over five years, opening (at least) five accounts through Bank of America. I am puzzled because I had accounts with Bank of America prior to Hugo- and apparently they raised no red flags. I learn I have a home in foreclosure, auto repossession, and furniture loans that are charged off, amongst a gazillion other items. I have contacted the FTC, the IRS (he may be using my number to work), the SSA, IDAC, BOA, OCWEN, Experian, Equifax, TransUnion. I have sent twenties of faxes, affidavits, copies of social security cards, and letters begging for answers. I spend four hours a day for two weeks and have closed two accounts; I have even bought ID Insurance. I am told that my credit reports are not showing the fraud. I am totally topsy-turvy.
January 23, 2011: I think I find Hugo on Facebook. I resist the urge to message him, but I tell everyone I know, including the people at Staples (where I send my faxes).
January 25, 2011: I am no longer stressed. I will figure this out, Hugo. In the words of Antoine Dodson, “I’m gonnn’ fiiiinnnnddd youuu!” Instead of fear, I feel pride. I have owned homes, cars, furniture…I have lived in California…I have even had premium visa’s. Maybe my old home is on the beach, my car- the Mustang I always wanted, the furniture- shabby chic. I liken this to reincarnation. I have had many lives. I have been Hispanic. I have been a man. Perhaps, I have even been an illegal immigrant.