How Do You Prove You’re Not Dead?

Continuing our foray into the consumer macabre, a reader complains about being dead.

Dallas paid off her JCPenney card balance of $934.98 and closed her account in 2001.

In 2005, she got a letter from TSYS Total Debt Management Inc addressed to her estate. The letter said TSYS was very sorry for her passing but they really needed $934.98 . When she contacted TSYS, they said they had accidentally sent similar letters out to many JCPenney customers and Dallas should just ignore the letter.

Last week, she went to get a mortgage but was unable to. Dallas was dead. Or at least, as far as the bank was concerned, because all three credit bureaus listed her as deceased.

Dallas says she has tried contacting the credit bureaus but they won’t help her, because she’s dead. Both TSYS and JCPENNEY/CHASE GE Money Bank acknowledge their error, but won’t assist her in clearing up the report.

Ask The Consumerists: how do you prove to the credit bureaus that you’re not dead?

(P.S. Check your credit report once a year.)