Bank declares living customer dead
For the past 3 years, Bank of America has been telling credit agencies that Arthur Livingston is dead. The trouble is, he's not.
In October, South Carolina resident Arthur Livingston was surprised to learn that his bank thought he was deceased -- and had been since May 2009. But three months later, despite having contacted Bank of America multiple times, he's more than a little frustrated.
It might be funny -- as Livingston's friends originally thought -- were it not for the fact that the error has put his life in limbo.
Because of the reporting error, Livingston and his wife can't get the loan they need to start building their family's new home. And despite the fact that he has two checking accounts, a savings account and two college savings accounts for his children at Bank of America, as well as a credit card -- which he pays off every month -- Livingston isn't benefiting from these good-credit deeds.
The problem seems to have originated in May 2009, when the Prosperity, S.C., resident sold his prior home. At that time, the bank began reporting him as deceased to the three major credit reporting agencies, according to ABC News. Now, Livingston's credit report reads "file not scored because subject is deceased." Post continues below."I went to Bank of America, I brought this to their attention, and we're working on 100 days now with no resolution," Livingston told WIS-TV. Initially, the bank told him it would take 30 days to resolve, but despite the media attention, Livingston is still not officially "living."
Bank errors are not uncommon
Declaring an undead customer deceased is just one of several bank errors wreaking havoc on the lives of ordinary people, according to New York Magazine. The publication reports that both Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have started foreclosure proceedings on more than one customer who did not default on their loans.
One possible explanation for the error is that the big bank could have another customer with the same name and may have mixed up their accounts, Victor Searcy, the director of fraud operations for IDentity Theft 911, told ABC News.
"Regardless of the situation, it shouldn't take 100 days to investigate and clear," Searcy said. "He can obviously present identification and appear in person to provide 'proof of life.'"
Credit-scoring expert Tom Quinn of Credit.com explained to ABC News that most credit bureaus can't generate a score for customers once a bank reports them as deceased.
"Just another good reason why consumers should periodically check their credit report for accuracy and follow the disputing-inaccurate-information process if they find this kind of inaccurate information on the file," he said.
Resolution should come soon
After WIS-TV aired a segment on Livingston's plight, the bank said it would contact him directly and would get things straightened out as quickly as possible, which won't be too soon for Livingston. ABC News reported:
"It's inexcusable. She's making it sound like now it can be a quick fix. It should have been a quick fix three and half months ago," he said. "I've really reached my limit."
Livingston has been a Bank of America customer for 14 years, but told ABC News that he doesn't intend to keep his accounts at the bank in the future.
As long as the bank delays resolving this issue, however, it has Livingston as a customer.
More on MSN Money:
Takes them 10 secs to screw up the man's Life...takes over 3 months and counting to make it right???
F- these guys.
and this gem:
""Just another good reason why consumers should periodically check their credit report for accuracy and follow the disputing-inaccurate-information process if they find this kind of inaccurate information on the file," he said""
And wtf good does it do, When ya cant get it fix anyway?
...Real helpful information there slick.
Next time you have a credit card payment, send them a note stating since the bank considers you deceased you will not be making payments anymore.
Open new accounts with another bank (explain the situation so they know what to expect on the credit report) then close out all the BoA accounts.
REALLY!?! Do the banks not check the SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER associated with every account? Not only has someone been "sleeping at the wheel" --- they've been in a freaking coma!
with a good credit union.
This bank needs to be closed, its assets liquidated, and the people running it barred from ever again dealing with finances.
They need to be GONE!
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