Dear Equifax And Heartland Bank, I Am Not Dead

A 46-year-old woman near St. Louis would like to to refinance her mortgage and maybe get some new credit cards. She can’t, though. As far as her bank and the credit bureau Equifax are concerned, she’s dead.

The alleged dead woman filed a federal lawsuit this week. Her problems started about a year ago, when she had herself added to her parents’ bank accounts in order to help them manage their finances. Her parents are both alive, so that isn’t when the error occurred. It’s not like the case of a woman who was accidentally declared “deceased” on her hospital paperwork, setting off a bureaucratic nightmare. No one knows how this information entered her record, so no one knows how to get rid of it. Apparently.

Equifax told reporters that they blocked the offending account from the woman’s credit report, so theoretically no records should show her as “deceased” in the future. Will that work?

While most of us aren’t declared dead behind our backs, one report indicates that about a quarter of Americans have some kind of error on their credit reports.

‘Excuse me, I’m not dead’ St. Louis County woman pleads to her bank [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]