Skip to main content
Steven Michael Fahlgren

Steven Fahlgren’s Answers

251 total


  • How should I handle identity theft?

    I was living with a friend of mine and entrusted some of my personal documents to her aunt, and adult that at the time I trusted. however when said friend and I had a falling out her aunt used my documents to open an airline credit card in my name...

    Steven’s Answer

    I am sorry to hear of your troubles. As a previous victim of identity theft, I have some idea what you are going through at this time. I have also been involved in hundreds of hours of litigation with the credit bureaus and obtained a multimillion dollar jury verdict against Equiifax so I have considerable experience with this problem. See http://www.fortheconsumer.com/in-the-news.htm

    You should file a police report if you have not done so already. In my experience, I have not seen a high priority to prosecute identity thieves. If there is a prosecution, the court has authority to issue orders to correct public records. See Section 817.568(9)(b), Fla. Stat.

    You should review your credit reports ASAP. It would probably be a good idea to review your credit report prepared by Equifax, Trans Union, Experian and Innovis. You can get the first three so for free once a year by calling 877-322-8228. It is a lot simpler and quicker than jumping through all the hoops on the internet and you do not risk mistakenly agreeing to waive your right to a jury trial by arbitration. Please be sure to stay on the line until you have ordered all three reports. You can order your free copy of your Innovis report by calling 1-800-540-2505.

    If there are errors on your credit report, you should consider disputing with the credit bureaus who claim you owe a debt. You should be as detailed as possible. Hopefully, that will take care of the problem or at least help. Because you have advised that your case involves identity theft, you should file a police report and also complete a fraud affidavit from the FTC to submit to the credit bureaus along with your dispute. I strongly recommend that documents be sent to the credit bureaus rather than calling in your dispute or disputing online. In my experience, the credit bureaus take document disputes a little more seriously. If you do not dispute with the credit bureaus, it makes a case against the credit bureaus much more difficult. If you contact my office via email, I can provide a free instructional letter that helps you draft a dispute to the credit bureaus.

    You should request that the credit bureaus give you an EXTENDED fraud alert on your credit reports.

    If there are errors on your credit report, you should also dispute with the furnishers who claim you owe a debt. If you contact my office via email, I can provide a free debt validation letter. In your disputes, as set forth in my instructional letter, you should be as detailed as possible.

    If the credit bureau, creditor or debt collector writes back requesting more information, you should provide that to them even if it seems to be a stalling tactic or nonsense. If you do not, they will take the position in any litigation that you failed to mitigate your damages. Most judges and juries are going to expect you to use your best efforts to solve the problem.

    If after you dispute to the creditors and the credit bureaus, the debt collectors continue to try to collect the identity theft debt by sending you dunning letters or by placing or leaving items on your credit report, then you probably have a claim under Florida's Consumer Collection Practices Act and/or the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

    Please act quickly because there is a two year statute of limitations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, although there is an argument now that it can be longer if you did not learn of the violation for some time. Your failure to act quickly could result in a loss of valuable rights. There is only a one year statute of limitations under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. I cannot give you any advice as to when the statute of limitations starts running unless and until I am retained because sometimes it is not clear.

    See question 
  • Can I sue my auto loan company if they reported 6 months payments late on my credit report. When I'm current with my car payment

    They are aware of the situation now however it has not yet been resolved. My credit score has dropped tremendously. They seem not to care at all.

    Steven’s Answer

    Without a dispute to the credit bureaus first, your case would be difficult. Although the furnisher/auto loan company may have violated Section 1681s-2(a) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, I do not believe there is a private right of action without disputing first to the credit bureaus. There are two provisions of the FCRA that attempt to preempt defamation actions and it would be wise to become familiar with those also. If you need a sample dispute letter, please feel free to send an email to me. I wish you the best in the future.

    See question 
  • Identity theft ?

    On 25th April 2014,My signature was forged on promissory note which was used to represent in an ongoing second degree felony case.based on the promissory note case was closed. the promissory note was examined through a handwriting specialist(retie...

    Steven’s Answer

    I am sorry to hear of your troubles. As a previous victim of identity theft, I have some idea what you are going through at this time. I have also been involved in hundreds of hours of litigation with the credit bureaus and obtained a multimillion dollar jury verdict against Equiifax so I have considerable experience with this problem. See http://www.fortheconsumer.com/in-the-news.htm

    You should file a police report if you have not done so already. In my experience, I have not seen a high priority to prosecute identity thieves. If there is a prosecution, the court has authority to issue orders to correct public records. See Section 817.568(9)(b), Fla. Stat.

    You should review your credit reports ASAP. It would probably be a good idea to review your credit report prepared by Equifax, Trans Union, Experian and Innovis. You can get the first three so for free once a year by calling 877-322-8228. It is a lot simpler and quicker than jumping through all the hoops on the internet and you do not risk mistakenly agreeing to waive your right to a jury trial by arbitration. Please be sure to stay on the line until you have ordered all three reports. You can order your free copy of your Innovis report by calling 1-800-540-2505.

    If there are errors on your credit report, you should consider disputing with the credit bureaus who claim you owe a debt. You should be as detailed as possible. Hopefully, that will take care of the problem or at least help. Because you have advised that your case involves identity theft, you should file a police report and also complete a fraud affidavit from the FTC to submit to the credit bureaus along with your dispute. I strongly recommend that documents be sent to the credit bureaus rather than calling in your dispute or disputing online. In my experience, the credit bureaus take document disputes a little more seriously. If you do not dispute with the credit bureaus, it makes a case against the credit bureaus much more difficult. If you contact my office via email, I can provide a free instructional letter that helps you draft a dispute to the credit bureaus.

    You should request that the credit bureaus give you an EXTENDED fraud alert on your credit reports.

    See question 
  • Car Dealer put wrong lien holder in FL

    In FL-Purchased a pre owned vehicle with financing. I signed a 60 mo loan with BOA and when I got the certificate of title copy it shows a different lender. Now BOA wants me to start making payments but how can I make payments to them if they are ...

    Steven’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Baron. It could be innocent or not. You are supposed to make payments to the creditor in the retail installment sale contract (RISC) until it is assigned to another lender. You need to get to the bottom of this before you default under the RISC. Take Abraham Lincoln's advice and seek counsel.

    See question 
  • I am financing a car and weeks later I discovered that I was contracted to buy the Sport but driving the base @ the Sport price.

    I am on the hook for $20000.00 when the base model for the same year car is far less. The dealer sold a newer model Sport model with almost the same miles for the same price. My financing contract clearly says exactly what the dealer told me and t...

    Steven’s Answer

    According to the information you have provided, you have a problem with a car dealer; specifically, you may have purchased a vehicle without proper disclosure or in a situation where the prior use, condition, history or type of vehicle was misrepresented. Fortunately, I have a lot of experience defending and suing car dealers. Prior to forming my own practice in 2002, I represented several car dealers. Since forming my own practice, I represent consumers and no longer represent any car dealers. I have sued several car dealerships for selling a used vehicle without proper disclosure. You have provided some basic information about your problem, but it would be helpful to review the contract documents.

    It sounds like you may have a claim for breach of contract, fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Just because something is sold "as is" does not give the seller a license to lie about the prior use, condition or history of the vehicle. There are certain disclosure laws that apply to car dealers selling cars to consumers versus a dealer selling someone a vehicle for commercial use.

    It would also be useful to read a detailed time line in chronological order reflecting the dates and the specific details of what happened. I really need to know what representations were made, when they were made, who was present, the details and date/time of all communications with the car dealer, any finance company or any repair shop relating to your potential matter. It is very important that you also provide a chronological copy of the relevant documents including but not limited to any advertisements that may pertain to your vehicle, any documents you obtained from the dealership, finance company or repair shop.

    Ordinarily, you should not get the vehicle repaired or dispose of the vehicle unless and until it has been inspected by your expert and the other side has been given a significant opportunity to inspect the car as well. Otherwise, you may be subject to a defense that you spoiled the evidence.

    Again, based on the information you presented, you may have a case under Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act or another cause of action. Effective July 1, 2013, a law requires specific demand letters to car dealerships or you will lose valuable rights. It is usually advisable to retain an attorney before pursuing litigation. I wish you the best in the future.

    See question 
  • I bought a car from a Volvo dealership- the Carfax issued on purchase did not include any accidents

    The car has 75,000 miles on it and needs a new transmission, possible new engine and on and on. I think that this is ridiculous but for a car with fewer miles and Volvo will not help with repairs- because they say the car was wrecked. The Dealer...

    Steven’s Answer

    You may have a fraud claim or a warranty claim or both. According to the information you have provided, you have a problem with a car dealer; specifically, you may have purchased a used lemon vehicle without proper disclosure. Fortunately, I have a lot of experience defending and suing car dealers. Prior to forming my own practice in 2002, I represented several car dealers. Since forming my own practice, I represent consumers and no longer represent any car dealers. I have sued several car dealerships for selling a used vehicle without proper disclosure.

    You have provided some basic information about your problem, but it would be helpful to review the contract documents. It would also be helpful to know if the vehicle is unmerchantable, i.e., whether it would pass without objection in the trade under the contract description. In other words, how serious was the damage and the repairs. Each of these answers will help determine how "material" the misrepresentation the dealer made as to the prior condition, use or history. We usually need to have an expert prepared to testify if the case is litigated. This can be costly so we need to know beforehand just what damages were involved and the extent the repairs were performed adequately or not.

    It sounds like you may have a claim for breach of contract, fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Just because something is sold "as is" does not give the seller a license to lie about the prior use, condition or history of the vehicle. There are certain disclosure laws that apply to car dealers selling cars to consumers versus a dealer selling someone a vehicle for commercial use.

    It would also be useful to read a detailed time line in chronological order reflecting the dates and the specific details of what happened. I really need to know what representations were made, when they were made, who was present, the details and date/time of all communications with the car dealer, any finance company or any repair shop relating to your potential matter. It is very important that you also provide a chronological copy of the relevant documents including but not limited to any advertisements that may pertain to your vehicle, any documents you obtained from the dealership, finance company or repair shop.

    Ordinarily, you should not get the car repaired unless and until it has been inspected by your expert and the other side has been given a significant opportunity to inspect the car as well. Otherwise, you may be subject to a defense that you spoiled the evidence.

    Based on the information you presented, you may have a case under Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act or another cause of action. Effective July 1, 2013, a law requires specific demand letters to car dealerships or you will lose valuable rights. It is usually advisable to retain an attorney before pursuing litigation. I wish you the best in the future.

    See question 
  • How to file forgery or identity theft?

    My employer used my personal information to make promissory note. he used Social, signed, name and address to make a promissory note. Promissory note is sixty thousand dollar worth. How to file case in Florida? File case with law enforcement or FBI ?

    Steven’s Answer

    I am sorry to hear of your troubles. As a previous victim of identity theft, I have some idea what you are going through at this time. I have also been involved in hundreds of hours of litigation with the credit bureaus and obtained a multimillion dollar jury verdict against Equiifax so I have considerable experience with this problem. See http://www.fortheconsumer.com/in-the-news.htm

    You should file a police report if you have not done so already. In my experience, I have not seen a high priority to prosecute identity thieves. If there is a prosecution, the court has authority to issue orders to correct public records. See Section 817.568(9)(b), Fla. Stat.

    You should review your credit reports ASAP. It would probably be a good idea to review your credit report prepared by Equifax, Trans Union, Experian and Innovis. You can get the first three so for free once a year by calling 877-322-8228. It is a lot simpler and quicker than jumping through all the hoops on the internet and you do not risk mistakenly agreeing to waive your right to a jury trial by arbitration. Please be sure to stay on the line until you have ordered all three reports. You can order your free copy of your Innovis report by calling 1-800-540-2505.

    If there are errors on your credit report, you should consider disputing with the credit bureaus who claim you owe a debt. You should be as detailed as possible. Hopefully, that will take care of the problem or at least help. Because you have advised that your case involves identity theft, you should file a police report and also complete a fraud affidavit from the FTC to submit to the credit bureaus along with your dispute. I strongly recommend that documents be sent to the credit bureaus rather than calling in your dispute or disputing online. In my experience, the credit bureaus take document disputes a little more seriously. If you do not dispute with the credit bureaus, it makes a case against the credit bureaus much more difficult. If you contact my office via email, I can provide a free instructional letter that helps you draft a dispute to the credit bureaus.

    You should request that the credit bureaus give you an EXTENDED fraud alert on your credit reports.

    If there are errors on your credit report, you should also dispute with the furnishers who claim you owe a debt. If you contact my office via email, I can provide a free debt validation letter. In your disputes, as set forth in my instructional letter, you should be as detailed as possible.

    If the credit bureau, creditor or debt collector writes back requesting more information, you should provide that to them even if it seems to be a stalling tactic or nonsense. If you do not, they will take the position in any litigation that you failed to mitigate your damages. Most judges and juries are going to expect you to use your best efforts to solve the problem.

    If after you dispute to the creditors and the credit bureaus, the debt collectors continue to try to collect the identity theft debt by sending you dunning letters or by placing or leaving items on your credit report, then you probably have a claim under Florida's Consumer Collection Practices Act and/or the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

    Please act quickly because there is a two year statute of limitations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, although there is an argument now that it can be longer if you did not learn of the violation for some time. Your failure to act quickly could result in a loss of valuable rights. There is only a one year statute of limitations under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. I cannot give you any advice as to when the statute of limitations starts running unless and until I am retained because sometimes it is not clear.

    See question 
  • Tree service was paid fully and does not return to finish the work .

    We only have their cell phone number which only answers with a taped message to get back to us and so after more than a week we get no call back having been told it would be done. We have the check which is signed William Turner. B & M Tre...

    Steven’s Answer

    If the person took your money with no intention of completing the job, that person is guilty of fraud. I would speak to law enforcement or take them to small claims court.

    See question 
  • How do Lemon Laws work on As Is car?

    We bought a used car and the car lot said they were going to have it looked at and repairs done because it had an engine light on at the time. We took the car to the repair place they said and completed the sale. It was listed As Is. After getting...

    Steven’s Answer

    According to the information you have provided, you have a problem with a car dealer; specifically, you may have purchased a vehicle without proper disclosure or in a situation where the prior use, condition, history or type of vehicle was misrepresented. Fortunately, I have a lot of experience defending and suing car dealers. Prior to forming my own practice in 2002, I represented several car dealers. Since forming my own practice, I represent consumers and no longer represent any car dealers. I have sued several car dealerships for selling a used vehicle without proper disclosure. You have provided some basic information about your problem, but it would be helpful to review the contract documents.

    It is possible that you have a claim for breach of contract, fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Just because something is sold "as is" does not give the seller a license to lie about the prior use, condition or history of the vehicle. There are certain disclosure laws that apply to car dealers selling cars to consumers versus a dealer selling someone a vehicle for commercial use.

    It would also be useful to read a detailed time line in chronological order reflecting the dates and the specific details of what happened. I really need to know what representations were made, when they were made, who was present, the details and date/time of all communications with the car dealer, any finance company or any repair shop relating to your potential matter. It is very important that you also provide a chronological copy of the relevant documents including but not limited to any advertisements that may pertain to your vehicle, any documents you obtained from the dealership, finance company or repair shop.

    Ordinarily, you should not get the vehicle repaired or dispose of the vehicle unless and until it has been inspected by your expert and the other side has been given a significant opportunity to inspect the car as well. Otherwise, you may be subject to a defense that you spoiled the evidence.

    Again, based on the information you presented, you may have a case under Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act or another cause of action. Effective July 1, 2013, a law requires specific demand letters to car dealerships or you will lose valuable rights. It is usually advisable to retain an attorney before pursuing litigation. I wish you the best in the future.

    See question