What is an Affidavit of Forgery?
Known either as an affidavit of forgery or a forgery affidavit, these legal documents are completed by a person who has been the victim of identity fraud.
Financial institutions and law enforcement authorities may both require these affidavits after a crime has been committed.
What needs to happen that you need an affidavit of forgery?
While looking through your monthly bank statement, something catches your eye: a check you didn’t write.
Whether you lost a check or someone stole it from you, you are now the victim of a forgery, and it could harm not only your bank account and credit history.
But it could also put you in danger of facing legal issues.
Checks aren’t the only personal items that can be forged.
Criminals can forge your medical documents, deeds, stocks, wills, prescriptions or even your government-issued identification.
Who may ask you to file an affidavit?
If you’ve been the victim of a forgery, both your bank and your local police department may ask that you complete an affidavit of forgery.
Essentially, this affidavit contains your sworn oath that the documents someone else has forged were indeed falsified and are not your doing.
A typical affidavit of forgery will include your state and county, your name, and space to identify what it was, particularly, that was stolen and forged, such as a specific check number.
It may also ask for the amount for which the check was written.
The fraud victim will sign the affidavit, date it, and provide other information as requested by the agency.
A notary signature may also be required for the affidavit.
A notary is someone who is appointed by a government to serve as an impartial witness.
Why are affidavits of forgery necessary?
These affidavits may be used as evidence in either a criminal or civil court.
They can help prove a document was forged and may be required by the court in order for a case to proceed through the proper legal channels.
Financial institutions and even credit reporting agencies may require affidavits before they offer to correct any inaccuracies that might have been caused by the forgery.
Once you’ve completed the affidavit, you may be asked to provide the document to law enforcement authorities.
The quicker the affidavit is completed and turned in to investigators, the better chance they have of finding the suspect and prosecuting the crime.
In some instances, affidavits help investigators gain access to video surveillance footage or other evidence that might be related to the forgery.
For instance, when police know where the check was used and when, they may be able to visit the business and pinpoint the suspect through surveillance.
An affidavit may also help you replace your stolen Social Security Card, birth certificate, driver’s license or other personal information by acting as a standard method of “proof” that a forgery has occurred.
But beware: Providing false information in an affidavit of forgery is, in most areas, a fraudulent crime in and of itself.
Falsifying an affidavit in order to avoid a debt or other issue can lead to jail time and a civil penalty such as a fine.
Where do I get an affidavit of forgery?
Most financial institutions have their own processes and specific affidavits, so if you’ve been a victim of forgery, ask your institution how to proceed.
You can also contact your local law enforcement agency for recommendations, or, if you have hired an attorney, ask he or she how to proceed.