NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The wait is over for Pat Golab, who for the final yr has labored with us to clear her title of an SBA mortgage authorised in her title.
The letter states that, “after a radical overview of the mortgage report and the data you might have offered, now we have confirmed that you simply didn’t apply for this mortgage nor obtain any profit from this fraudulent mortgage.”
Thieves used her identification to safe a $45,000 SBA Financial Harm Catastrophe Mortgage. Not solely did Golab not apply, however she doesn’t have a enterprise of her personal.
Once we first met, we weren’t positive the place this might take us. Golab had by no means handled the SBA earlier than and albeit, neither had I. We knew she was the sufferer of identification theft. The indicators had been apparent from the start.
It started with a letter again in September 2020, once they notified Golab that her software was authorised. She referred to as the SBA a number of occasions, who later directed her to the Workplace of the Inspector Basic the place she may declare identification theft.
“It was so time-consuming and tense,” Golab mentioned.
We referred to as and left a number of messages. Once we did get a reply, we had been informed to be affected person with the method. In the meantime, the mortgage was accruing curiosity, and shortly the one correspondence Golab had with the SBA had been the payments that arrived each month.
In a single cellphone name with an SBA official, they informed us that Golab was not anticipated to pay as they continued their investigation. Nevertheless, that didn’t imply the payments would cease or that the mortgage would disappear from her credit score. Golab was nonetheless on the hook for the cash.
The state of affairs reached its boiling level for Golab after she managed to get her fingers on the appliance utilized by these thieves to safe the mortgage.
“They didn’t even reply half of the questions and easy issues like, ‘have you ever ever declared chapter,’” Golab mentioned.
Thieves used her title, deal with, and social safety quantity to use for the $45,000 mortgage however left just about every part else clean.
Easy questions like ethnicity, gender, and veteran standing went ignored. Golab says that ought to have been a purple flag, however it solely acquired worse from there.
“Issues like, ‘how lengthy have you ever been in enterprise?’ Nothing,” Golab mentioned.
This is similar software that calls for each query answered, in any other case the appliance is returned. For causes that aren’t but clear, this software was authorised anyway. We’ve since discovered that the SBA expedited some functions to assist pay companies faster within the pandemic.
With little vetting, it’s mentioned that as a lot as $79 billion has been authorised for fraudulent loans since March 2020.
“This might occur to anyone and I don’t know something that I may have achieved to safeguard my data extra,” Golab mentioned.
We contacted Congressman Jim Cooper’s workplace, the place they too made cellphone calls and despatched emails to the SBA on Golab’s behalf. Between their assist and Golab’s perseverance, the wait was lastly over.
Golab says she can be extra vigilant about her credit score report back to the place she will spot purple flags sooner. She additionally contacted the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC), the place they will place a free one-year fraud alert in your credit score. You’ll be able to go to identitytheft.gov for an entire information by the method, in addition to freezing your credit score report and extra.
To her credit score, Golab stored each letter and e-mail saved and ready herself as greatest she may for the chance to make her case. She is aware of there are a lot of others on the market who could grow to be victims themselves. For them, she has this message.
“I assume simply persevere, even when it looks as if you’re not getting anyplace. You’ll be able to’t hand over,” Golab mentioned.