Shortly after surviving the death of her husband and a life-threatening medical crisis, Ann Howe of Seattle decided to refinance her home mortgage. Everything went smoothly until the bank informed her that the refinance couldn’t be completed because the credit bureau Experian was convinced that she was dead.
Correcting the mistake was an interstate nightmare that took the full-time attention of Howe’s daughter in California. She sent letters, faxes, notarized explanations, long distance phone calls, but for months, she kept running into the same brick wall.
Howe’s daughter, Julie Kerr, says everyone knew Howe was alive, but the bank wouldn’t budge without a credit report from Experian.
“(They said) ‘We don’t care, we have to get a credit score and without that credit score, we can’t make the loan and we can’t get a credit score because you’re deceased. Now we know you’re not deceased, but they think you are. So we’re not going to do this loan,'” Kerr said.
This woman’s story eventually had a happy ending, as she managed to convince Experian that she remains alive, but her story serves as a reminder to check your free annual credit report from all three major bureaus regularly—and to watch them closely after major life events such as marriage, divorce, or death of a relative or spouse.
Woman denied credit, told she’s dead [KOMO] (Thanks, Chuck!)