San Francisco, CA asked in Civil Litigation, Landlord - Tenant and Public Benefits for California

Q: Can I sue my roommate for using my name and information to apply for California rent relief?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, using someone else's personal information to apply for benefits or services without their consent may be considered identity theft, which is a crime under California Penal Code 530.5. If your roommate used your name and information to apply for California rent relief without your permission, you may have grounds for legal action.

However, before considering a lawsuit, you should consider the following steps:

1. Gather evidence: Collect any documents, emails, or other proof that your roommate used your information without your consent.

2. File a police report: Report the incident to your local police department, as identity theft is a criminal offense.

3. Contact the California rent relief program: Inform the program administrators about the fraudulent application and provide them with the relevant information and evidence.

4. Place a fraud alert or freeze on your credit: This can help prevent further misuse of your personal information.

5. Consult with an attorney: Discuss your situation with a legal professional to determine the best course of action and whether a lawsuit is a viable option.

In some cases, pursuing a lawsuit may be more time-consuming and costly than it's worth, especially if the fraudulent application did not result in any direct financial harm to you. An attorney can help you assess your options and determine the most appropriate steps to take based on your specific circumstances.

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