Credit Reporting Agency Says Woman Is Deceased, Woman Says Hey I’m Alive

Kimberly Haman was applying for a new mortgage when her application was put on hold. The reason? Equifax, one of the U.S. consumer credit reporting agencies, thought she was dead.

Ms. Haman says Heartland assured her in April that it would fix the mistake. But by the end of June, her mortgage application got turned down because her existence (aliveness?) was still not reflected in her credit report, according to her lawsuit.

“Dear Kimberly Haman,” wrote the lender. (A copy of the letter appears below.) “We regret to inform you that we are unable to proceed with you loan as of today June 20, 2013. The reason for your denial is that your status from Equifax is reporting you as deceased.”

She then contacted Equifax about her predicament, the suit claims. A half a year had gone by since that fateful trip to the bank, she says, but the grim reaper was still haunting her finances. Ms. Haman in August was denied a credit card for the same reason, according to her lawsuit.

How easy is it to convince a credit reporting agency that you’re not dead because … you’re not dead? Not easy, apparently. Six months later, Haman was still listed as deceased and was denied a credit card because of it. She filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Missouri last week.

Photo: Simon Cunningham

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