July 2011

2021 Midwest Road, Suite 200, Oak Brook, IL 60523

Month: July 2011

Hide Your Children…

That's right. Adults are not the only victims of ID theft... kids are too. In fact, ID Analytics, a company that monitors consumer transactions in real-time, has issued a press release on a studying that found that more than 140,000 children in the United States are victims of identity theft every year. That's right, minors- people under 18 years of age. This can lead to a young child with a bankruptcy on his record or a 17-year straddled in $750,000 in debt.

The statistics are based on ID Analytic's Consumer Notification Service (CNS) that alerts consumers of potential privacy compromises under their names. ID Analytics found that most of the fraudulent transactions occurred in the credit card and cell phone/wireless industries. The reason why children are more vulnerable is because of the recency of their social security numbers (SSN) hence making it more difficult to verify the birth dates attached to children's SSNs.

It's possible that children won't notice the fraud until they become adults and want to use their credit only to find their name being tied to a criminal record or being denied financing or credit cards because of a bad credit history that was attained as a result of ID theft.

Other than organized crimes groups, it is often parents who are the perpetrators of identity theft. In an effort not to smudge his or her own record, a parent sometimes uses their kid's information when asked for identity. Ouch. ...

The Business of Law

The American Bar Association has published an article making the case that the legal profession was headed towards a stagnation even before the 'Great Recession.' This is due a 'paradigm shift' in the way legal services are provided. The premise of the article rests on statistics regarding legal services as a part of our GDP versus law jobs being available. The former has stayed the same whereas the latter has dropped. This indicates that legal services are still needed in these economic times, but consumers are finding alternative methods of getting those services. Additionally, the article points out that most people can not afford a lawyer (which is probably correct).

One section of the article discusses 'e-law.' E-law is finding resources online, namely templates and boilerplates, for legal documents such as contracts, wills, trusts, or even legal filings. I have had my reservations about e-law for awhile. My main contention is that boilerplates and templates often do not take into consideration the caselaw. For whatever reason, I find many contract templates that have clauses that are not upheld by courts or even have clauses that violate the law. One example of such a boilerplate is a 'no-oral-modification' clause. The clause essentially states that the contract can not be modified orally and that parties must, in writing, modify the terms. Well, this clause is not recognized in Illinois courts (as well as other jurisdictions). See Tadros v. Kuzmak, 277 Ill. App.3d 301, 312 (1st Dist. 1995). This mistake could ...