Same Name, Same Bills?

Chloe and her mother have the same name. Her mom has bills in some of the same places. How does Chloe go about figuring out which bills are hers and which are her mother’s?

QUESTION: Chloe in Wisconsin and her mother have the same name. She’s beginning to work with creditors to pay things off, and her mom has bills in some of the same places. How does Chloe go about figuring out which bills are hers and which are her mother’s? Dave tells Chloe she’ll have to ask them to verify the Social Security numbers.

ANSWER: There should be a Social Security number associated with the bill. Ask them what Social Security number is on the bill. Don’t tell them your number. Ask them what number is on it or just ask them for the last four digits of the number because it will be different than yours. And you can say, “That one is my mother’s. Here’s her Social Security number.” Give them her full number, and make sure they have her address. Change that bill over to her, or tell them the bill is yours and they need to take your mother off of it. Give them your full Social Security number and address, and work out a deal with them on the bills that are yours.

You just have to get lots of clarity. You have to do some discussing with them. But if it’s a collector and they’re automatically saying it’s you, how do they know it’s you? They need to be able to tell you what information is on there.