What Happens when Government Records of Persons with the Same Names or SSN’s are Mixed

The courts and the state departments of motor vehicles sometimes mix the files of two persons with the same or very similar names. When one person applies for credit or job or tries to renew their driver’s license, they may be denied credit or a driver’s license based  on adverse records that belong to another person. It can be very difficult for such persons to clear their records. For example, the Guardian has an interesting first person story on a woman in New York named Lisa Davis, whose court and DMV records were mixed with other persons named Lisa Davis over a period of years. She at first thought she was a victim of identity theft, but after finding and meeting the other Lisa Davis she found out it was not identity theft. Instead, they were both victims of sloppy record keeping by the local courts and DMV.

Another example is the case of a person I am representing who shared a SSN with a person with the same first and last name. The Social Security Administration mistakenly assigned the same Social Security number to both persons. The Social Security Administration assigned my client a new SSN years ago, but the credit agencies failed to unmix his files with the other person, who had not only bad credit but a criminal record.

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