Woman denied loan; Experian Credit Reporting Agency tells her she’s dead

78 year old Ann Howe found her husband of 55 years dead. If that wasn’t awful enough, a lump on her forehead was misdiagnosed and turned out to be cancer. She had to undergo cancer surgery. A few days after the surgery, her doctors had to perform open heart surgery on her that nearly killed her.

But, bless her heart, Ann endured. That must be why Experian tried to kill her again.

When Ann was finally recovered enough from her ordeals, she thought it would be a good idea to refinance her home at a better rate. So she applied for refinancing at a local bank. That’s when things got bizarro.

Things were going fine. Two of the credit reporting agencies showed her credit rating was close to 800. But her Experian report had a problem.

“Because somebody made a real ignorant mistake when they told Experian that I was dead,” Howe said. “I mean, that was a terrible blow.”

Howe’s Experian credit report had her listed as deceased. One of her creditors had reported her as 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.

Even though Experian had recorded a mistake, and even though Ann’s daughter gave all the documentation under the sun to both the bank and Experian, the bank wouldn’t budge without the Experian report and Experian wasn’t interested in doing more than dragging its ass. Ann and her daughter were told it would take 30-45 days to correct the mistake.

By then, of course, Ann’s loan rate would no longer be locked in. So Ann’s daughter Julie went over their heads. She went to a local radio station. Once this stupidity became public, Experian corrected the problem right away.

Desperate, Kerr contacted the ABC affiliate in San Francisco, KGO-TV.

One phone call from the news staff did the trick. The creditor admitted its mistake, sent an apology, and within 24 hours, the credit report error was corrected.

“I mean it was just mind-boggling,” said Kerr.

Howe got her loan and her good interest rate, but she’s still furious.

“Because it was just stupid. And nobody should go through this,” she said.

Good on you, Ann and Julie. Shame on you, Experian. If you are going to control people’s destiny, the least you could do is get it right, shitheads.

Lesson: You have to embarrass these bastards to get their attention. Otherwise, Customer Service in the USA is long dead.


Don't let Experian Dipwads Declare You Dead Too.

Second lesson: Check your credit reports. You are entitled to free credit reports yearly by law known as The Fair Credit Reporting Act,  passed by Congress several years ago. Unlike everything else the current Congress is “Giving” you, this one really IS free.

There is a website you can go to that will tell you what to do. I don’t mean Free Credit Reports Dot Com. They want to help you part with your money. The real web site is here.

This is the ONLY correct government designated site you should use. NONE of the sites on the internet or on Tee Vee are the actual free sites. Don’t get sucker punched by sites that want your money no matter how catchy their song is. The reports really ARE free here.

I said here. Right here. Get it?

If you still don’t get it, please know that I have used this site myself twice, although I prefer using their 800 number because I get a rash at the thought of giving out my social security number to anybody while online.

The two times I have used this site, I received my credit reports from all three agencies within ten days. Yes Uppity did it. If  Uppity did it, you can do it too.

You can call their number and apply for the free reports from all three agencies once every rolling year.

Once again, this is the only correct site.  It costs you nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

Did I mention that this is the only correct free web site designated by the FCC  for free credit reports? I just want to make sure.

Here is a quote  directly from the FCC.gov site which describes your rights and provides you with instructions on how to get your free credit reports. This site also warns against imposter sites.

You can order your free annual credit report online at annualcreditreport.com, by calling 1-877-322-8228, or by completing the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mailing it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

When you order, you need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. To verify your identity, you may need to provide some information that only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment.

So now you know what to do. Do it. And tell people you love to do it too.

Don’t let Experian decide you are dead. Make them do their job.


16 Responses

  1. Just another example of bastards ruling where common sense is called for.

    Back in the 1980’s my home went into foreclosure due to the lawyer I’d hired to ensure smooth sailing; he took a large shortcut. Never informed the lending institution of transfer of brother’s half to me. Wound up in a foreclosure procedure even though I’d been paying $100 per month above the minimum for a year.

    I continued making payments, but they were left unposted as they are when a foreclosure is due to a technicality. A very, very nasty feeling. Fortunately someone within a different financial institution possessed enough grace to dismiss the matter.

  2. I once took out a home equity loan in the days when they gave you a line of credit for 85 percent of the value of your home. this was a time when these lines were also tax deductable in interest. The first month I got a statement and there was nearly $30K spent. The problem is I hadn’t spent against the account. They insisted if it were on my statement that I SPENT IT. I went wild. I told them I wanted to see my signature on that check. THey told me they didn’t keep that record. They couldn’t tell me where I charged it, or what I spent it on. Can you imagine?

    I told them they had better start hunting for who charged 30k to my account. They dragged their knuckles and the interest piled up. I used a few thousand of the loan but the interest and principle on that 30k keep piling up. After four months they found the error and somebody had bought a very nice car and it somehow landed on my account. Of course they were close mouthed as to what really happened. ID theft wasn’t rampant then like it is now. It’s my guess some moron keyed the wrong account numbers into a charge. Of course the REAL spender said nothing when his or her statement didn’t reflect their purchase. THey probably figured they got away with the mistake and had themselves a free car.

    Anyways, they removed the charge and adjust the interest four months later. And they adjusted the interest WRONG. They compounded the interest CHARGED but only credited FLAT interest. In other words they tried to screw me out of interest money on a charge I never made. I sic’d my mother on them this time, armed with her calculator and she told them they had all better get their asses back to grammar school and learn to add. So the rest of the interest they “missed” was removed from my account.

    A few years later they were audited and it was found they also screwed ALL of their customers on credit line interest. I got a check for $500 back.

    The bank was Marine Midland, now known as HSBC. Stay away from these people, folks!

  3. I sic’d my mother on them this time, armed with her calculator and she told them they had all better get their asses back to grammar school and learn to add.

    Did she teach classes in managing dumbutts? UW, she could have made a mint off seminars. LOL

  4. LMAO uppity, that sounds like something my mother once said (not that it compares to the enormity of your experience. I had been looking for a new car (unfortunately, I had crashed my Sebring.

    No, I wasn’t drunk. Or on drugs.

    I passed out – it’s apparently a common thing for girls in their early 20’s. My adrenaline spiked and my blood pressure dropped and it was nighty-night Nyx. I just had the unfortunate luck of it happening while I was driving at 55 mph). We had been to a few car dealerships, and I knew what I wanted – a small SUV that wouldn’t use a whole lot of gas. Since I was still in college at the time, I also wanted a small car payment (I found out that the two didn’t exactly go hand-in-hand). We were perusing a Mazda dealership’s used lot when a poor hapless saleswoman came over. And tried to sell me a brand new Mazda RX7. The car payment for that baby? Well over what I could afford.

    And so we told her no. And so she persisted. And persisted, and persisted. It was at this point in time of my life that I realized exactly how scary my mother can be when she’s been trapsing around car lots with her husband and daughter all day, is tired, hungry, and just wants the saleswoman to leave her alone.

    It’s a true testament to that saleswoman’s fortitude and determination that even after my mother told her to buzz off, she *still* tried to sell me the car (even though I also told her I wasn’t interested). I won’t go into details here, but let’s just say that by the time we left, she was in her office wiping away tears. And they weren’t tears of joy.

    We left the dealership (with yet another salesman screaming after us that he could get us a really good deal on a Tribute) disgusted, and wound up going across the street to a Chevy dealership (where I got my lovely little Equinox).

    Moral of the story? Don’t mess with mama bear.

    And I love annualcreditreport.com They’re fantastic, and I’ve used them for the last few years myself. That poor woman! As if she hadn’t been through enough, those bastards over at Experian pronounced her dead. I thought they had to verify that sort of information with someone reliable…apparently not!

  5. Yeah NYX! Mama bear!

    You landed in mod because you changed your name. Sorry bout that.

  6. I just spent countless hours over the past couple of years trying to remove some false information off my credit report so we could refinance. It’s unbelievable. If you find an error you would assume simply explaining and sending them some evidence of the mistake would solve the problem. Oh hell no! There are no rules or rights for consumers, you are at their mercy . I suggest contacting the attorney general, your state reps, and the media if necessary. Nothing will make these three credit agencies care about you, except if you become a potential publicity problem. That seems to get their attention.

    It’s horrible, because all they have to do to really foul up your life is type one digit of your soc sec number in wrong. Just one tiny human error and you are toast.

  7. Shoot…I didn’t mean to comment under that username. I made a wordpress blog for my youth group’s service group, and I (unfortunately) didn’t log out of wordpress the last time I logged in there. I thought I was commenting under this name! WHOOPSIES.

    I’m sure I’m going to get in trouble for it (because the blog I created is supposed to be for youth group purposes only). Mnerk. Oh well. I don’t think the other users on that blog can see where I’ve commented anyways. At least, I hope not :-p (not that I’m embarrassed. I’m not. I’m just supposed to be all “professional” and only use that username for the youth blog).

    Kudos to you for recognizing me though!

  8. I’ll fix it for you, NYX.

  9. All set lil sister.

  10. damnit, i did it again. oy vey….

  11. if you could just ignore that one comment I’d be most appreciative. note to self: LOG OUT BEFORE COMMENTING. this is what I get for multitasking.

    Anyways, thankyou, you rock, and I owe you a cookie for being awesome. 🙂

  12. aunt Uppity likes PIE!!!!!!

  13. The woman was told she is dead? Ah, another ACORN voter.

  14. NYX, you did it again but it was in Moderation so i fixed it. However, the next ones will probably not be in moderation as the system “learns” you are ok with that name. So REMEMBER to change logins. K?

  15. lol, I got it. I was doing some work on the blog, and completely forgot that I didn’t log out…twice. It shouldn’t happen again (but, no guarentees – I’m a technical klutz).

  16. nyx, hon, if it does happen just do a post to warn me and I will fix it.

Comments are closed.