Erroneously Reported As Deceased
Most people are surprised to learn that being erroneously reported as deceased is not as uncommon as one might think. The problem arises on tens of thousands of consumer's reports each year. The issue usually first comes to light when a person applies for credit and their application is denied citing that the applicant is reported as deceased. The problem places creditors in a difficult situation. As an initial matter, the existence of the deceased marker on your credit report can cause the creditor to think you may be attempting to engage in identity theft using the personal information of a deceased person. Even if the creditor appreciates that the existence of the marker is in error and that you are not in fact deceased, the creditor usually is still unable to make a loan. The reason for this is that the deceased marker's presence on your credit report prevents all scoring models from creating a credit score for you. Without a credit score, banks and other lenders are usually handcuffed from approving a loan or line of credit.
The cause of this problem can have many origins including:
- A creditor has made a coding error when entering your data into its credit reporting database;
- A creditor erroneously reports you as deceased instead of a spouse who recently passed away;
- A creditor erroneously reports you as deceased when a family member who has the same or similar name has passed away;
- Your social security number is erroneously entered in the social security administration's deceased master file;
- Someone has falsely communicated to a creditor that you are deceased;
- Your credit file is mixed with someone who is deceased.
Disputing a deceased marker on your credit report can also present difficulties. Many times credit reporting agencies will refuse to provide you with a copy of your credit file because their computing systems have you flagged as deceased. Additionally, the credit reporting agencies often will not simply accept a letter from you claiming you are not deceased to correct the problem.
Erroneously Being Reported As Deceased Is A Serious Problem You Should Not Ignore
If you are reported as deceased on your credit report, you should not ignore this problem. Minimally, you need to contact credit reporting agency to dispute the erroneous items on the report. You also may want to consider speaking to a lawyer. An erroneous deceased marker on your credit report can cause numerous harms including:
- Closing of accounts you already possess because the bank thinks you are deceased;
- Denials of credit including mortgages, auto loans and credit cards;
- Delays or denial of your employment application if your credit is checked;
- Being denied an apartment or other rental property;
- Being denied utility services such a cable TV or a cell phone;
- Denied insurance;
- Falsely being accused of committing identity theft.
In addition to these harms, erroneously being reported as deceased can adversely impact your reputation and cause substantial emotional stress. All of these harms are compensable under the law, but you are unlikely to receive any compensation without help from a lawyer.
Do You Need Help?
If you think you have been erroneously reported as deceased, Gorski Law may be able to help resolve the problem and obtain compensation for you. Initial consultations are always free. Call 215-330-2100 or email the firm to schedule a consultation.