Woman denied mortgage due to being dead is very much alive

by MPA12 Feb 2014
A St. Louis woman recently ran into a problem while trying to refinance her mortgage – apparently, she’s dead.

Kimberly Haman, 46, is feeling rather lively for a dead woman, and has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Heartland Bank of St. Louis and credit reporting agency Equifax, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report.

The trouble began in February of 2013, when Haman’s name was added to her aging parents’ bank account so she could assist them with their finances, the Post-Dispatch reported.
“Heartland required Ms. Haman to submit to a credit application in order to be added as an authorized user on the account,” Haman’s lawsuit stated. “Although Ms. Haman initially resisted because she was in the process of refinancing her mortgage, she ultimately decided to sign the credit application upon being assured by Heartland that the credit check was routine and would not affect her credit score.”

In March, Haman was told her refinance application was on hold “as Heartland appeared to be reporting Ms. Haman as ‘deceased’ on her Equifax credit report,” the lawsuit stated.
Haman, believing “that such a ridiculous error could and would be remedied easily,” sent a letter to Heartland informing them that she was not, in fact, dead. Heartland replied with an April 2 letter stating that it still had Haman’s status listed as “alive,” and would inform Equifax. But when she tried again in June to refinance her mortgage, she was once again told that Heartland still listed her as dead.

After several calls to Heartland had failed, Haman called Equifax directly, the lawsuit stated. The credit reporting agency also failed to correct the error. At that point, the lawsuit stated, Haman was “left to question how and why she is supposed to prove that the Heartland entry is incorrect as reported, and why Heartland and Equifax are allowed to get away with skirting their obligations under federal law to report only accurate information about her.”

Hamas, a financial services supervisor, is requesting actual, punitive and statutory damages and attorney’s fees. As of the date she filed suit, she remained unable to get a mortgage or a credit card because of the errors on her credit report, the lawsuit stated.


Should CFPB have more supervision over credit agencies?