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Alive, but described as deceased on your credit report?

Posted by Brett D. Sherman | Mar 14, 2022

Are you very much alive BUT being described as deceased by a credit bureau (like Equifax, Experian, and/or TransUnion)? You may be surprised to hear that this happens pretty much every day. Why? Because the credit bureaus do not have reasonable procedures to prevent you from being incorrectly classified as deceased. 

There are two primary scenarios that lead to the vast majority of consumer reports on which a consumer is misrepresented as "deceased."

First, one of your creditors or another furnisher of information to credit bureaus inaccurately told Equifax, TransUnion, and/or Experian that you are dead.  No matter how many accounts you may have that prove you are still paying your bills (and are, therefore, alive), it is often the case that just one creditor inaccurately reporting you as deceased will result in a reckless credit bureau reporting your death to the world. Because you are deceased as far as one or more credit bureaus are concerned, your ability to participate in the economy is essentially frozen. The credit bureaus do not reasonably investigate or prevent such inaccurate reporting because they do not have reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information reported about you (all of us).  

Second, a credit bureau might report you as "deceased" in consumer reports if your credit file is unlawfully mixed and/or merged with the credit file of another consumer who actually passes away. Mixed credit files and merged credit files happen when there are violations, usually reckless violations, of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  

You should contact Sherman & Ticchio or another qualified consumer attorney if Equifax, TransUnion, and/ or Experian reported you "deceased" to any third party. Under the FCRA, you have the right to an accurate credit report.    

About the Author

Brett D. Sherman

In 2020, 2021, and  2022, Brett was selected by Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers as a "Top-Rated Consumer Law Attorney in New York, NY."

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