Last year, a 91-year-old Marylander had the shock of her life. She discovered that, according to the Social Security Administration, she was already dead. This wasn’t just comical. It immediately impacted her life because, since she was “dead,” she was no longer eligible for the retirement benefits that she lived on. And she isn’t the only person this has happened to. Each year, the Social Security Administration incorrectly reports that about 13,000 people are dead.
And similar issues happen with credit bureaus. The credit bureaus, too, prematurely issue death notices that impact people’s lives. If you’re finding yourself in that position, here’s what to know:
Why Might This Have Happened?
It could be that there was an error on the part of Social Security or another agency, and that information was subsequently furnished to the credit bureaus.
But other reasons why a credit bureau may mistakenly believe that you’re dead are often the same reasons for other errors in their credit report:
It could be a case of mixed files—your record includes information from someone else (often a relative or someone with a similar name), and that person has deceased.
It can also happen if you’ve been a victim of identity theft. For example, it could be that someone who died had been using your identity, or they could have submitted a false death certificate in hopes of getting some benefit (such as a life insurance policy payout).
Do I Need to Worry About This?
Once you get past the initial surprise of being told you’re dead, you might wonder if an incorrect death note in a computer file matters—particularly since you’re right there in the flesh.
It does matter. With a death flag on your credit report, you are unlikely to get any mortgage or loan. Your credit score may also drop. Yes, even though you are standing there, live, and in person, potential lenders may be concerned that you are the person who is committing identity theft or is otherwise playing fast and loose with financial records.
That’s why, if you need help with a wrong death flag or any other incorrect information in your credit file, don’t wait. Contact an attorney at Credit Report Law Group who specializes in representing clients like you—a lawyer who can help you repair your record and obtain compensation for any damages you sustained. Don’t let a wrong note in a credit report impact the life you’re living!