We had our identity stolen, around 1987/88, before it became known as "identity theft".
Our SSN and credit card numbers were stolen and debts rung up all over the country.
Since the creditors would not accept that the debts were not ours, the credit card banks likewise, we were advised to take a loan, settle with everyone to keep our credit intact.
This is where the trouble starts, we took a loan through the auspices of the SBA, using over $900,000.00 of inventory and equipment as collateral.
The nature of the collateral was well known to the Bank, they had hired me on two successive years to produce some for them for marketing purposes.
The problem came when we could not pay the loan back, the bank REFUSES to take the inventory because we signed a personal guarantee.
There's the rub, we were told by the bank officer that the personal guarantee was only a "formality" because the loan was to our corporation and the inventory and equipment owned by us personally.
We were told "don't worry, if anything happens, they will have to take the inventory and equipment first before going after you".
The collateral, even at auction prices is well over the money owed the bank, yet they are suing us for the whole amount, plus interest and legal fees.
An attornay has told us that this situation constitutes "a fradulently induced mistake", or that we were "induced to sign by a misunderstanding", that the bank has to abide by what we thought was represented to us or the contract is nul.
The bottome line is that we are being screwed because we can't afford the attorney fees to pursue this properly, we'd have to take it to court... we're told.
Add to that certain irregularities, like alterations of document and a suspect signature not resembling mine and we're going to be taken to the cleaners.
AND THE FACT THAT IF I COULD PROVE IT, BY HAVING RECORDED THE CONVERSATION, I COULD PROVE A "FRAUDULENTLY INDUCED CONTRACT".
Our lawyers don't seem optimistic.