Does your credit report show you as deceased?

May 28th, 2019 by admin

Did you know that as many as 1,000 people are mistakenly included on the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File each month?  Because of errors like this, credit reporting agencies can easily mark a living person as deceased.

Most often, this happens if a creditor reports an account or accounts as being associated with a deceased individual or if your Social Security Number may have been reported as deceased. 

Does this mistake violate the law?

Erroneously reporting an individual as deceased violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Section 1681e(b) of the federal law states that “whenever a consumer reporting agency prepares a consumer report, it shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information.”  Credit reports agencies that mistakenly report an individual as deceased have not verified the information and thus have not done their due diligence.

How could this error affect me?

If you are accidentally listed on the Death Master File, your credit score returns to zero.  Among other things, this error could prevent you from:

  • Getting a bank account, credit card, or mortgage.
  • Renewing your driver’s license.
  • Getting health insurance.
  • Finding employment or an apartment.
  • Receiving personal or student loans.

This problem can prevent you from engaging in day-to-day activities, so it is important to rectify it as soon as possible.

What can you do if you have been mistakenly reported as deceased?


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