Woman mistakenly declared dead by credit reporting agency

Anne Howe is not dead, but her credit report said otherwise. So, as far as the bank refinancing the mortgage on her Bothel, Wash., house was concerned, there would be no loan. After all, she was dead. If you're dead you don't have a credit score. Without a credit score you don't have a loan.

Never mind that Howe was a regular at the bank, had an active account there and signed a notarized statement that read: "The report of my demise is inaccurate information."
"I just said, 'What? What are they talking about?' I said, 'I'm certainly alive. My doctor knows I'm alive," Howe told KGO-TV in San Francisco.

Howe's daughter Julie Kerr of Napa, Calif., turned to KGO-TV 7 On Your Side consumer reporter Michael Finney to see if he could bring her back to life on paper. You'd think being alive would be enough. But it wasn't that simple.

"I have to say that you don't hear that very often, where people are being reported deceased when they're not," consumer credit counselor Dan Parrish told KGO.

It turned out that the bank that issues the Lowe's store credit card had reported to credit reporting agency Experian that her account was closed because of a clearly premature report of her death.

After Finney spoke with Bank of America, the bank extended the rate lock on her loan as Howe worked to bring herself back to life. Finally, the bank that issued the Lowe's credit card wrote a letter to Experian and Howe was alive again. Her loan was also approved.
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