ABA Journal


Banking Law

Woman sues in effort to prove she is alive

Feb 11, 2014, 01:44 pm CST


I guess reports of her demise have been greatly exaggerated.

By EsqinAustin on 2014 02 11, 4:54 pm CST

Good luck getting the credit reporting agencies to correct anything... review yours sometime and see how much information is incorrect, improperly spelled, and not even related to you.

By mike on 2014 02 11, 5:52 pm CST

maybe equifax can just get an injunction ordering her dead. That would probably be easiest for them. I'd hate to have them have too much trouble as they ravage people's lives.

By benvoglio on 2014 02 11, 7:34 pm CST

@3: That might actually be an option if this were in Texas!

By EsqinAustin on 2014 02 11, 7:35 pm CST

@4 actual lol. i think you are on to something...

By benvoglio on 2014 02 12, 9:08 pm CST

They will simply argue that dead people do not have standing to bring this suit...

By Wonko the Sane on 2014 02 14, 9:04 am CST

He who repeats a defamation also defames.

By Mags on 2014 02 14, 12:42 pm CST

Telling the dead that you are not dead is a troublesome affair. The machine has only its criminal enterprising creditor's to establish information, that often has no merit or evidence. And thwarts the living with unsubstantiated suffering with its unfair equations.

By UnInvited on 2014 02 14, 1:12 pm CST

This sounds like a case that will require expert medical testimony !

By MDINMI on 2014 02 14, 1:22 pm CST

Dead people wanting credit repair..., another sign the zombie apocalypse is imminent.

By Provided, however on 2014 02 14, 2:34 pm CST

The penalties for this should be WAAAY bigger than per violation. Sounds like the credit reporting agencies and banks drafted that legislation. Perhaps the Hartland Bank could be compelled to offer her a mortgage on favorable terms. Hard to understand why they haven't done so already. It would be great press for them.

By Vermont Lawyer on 2014 02 14, 2:35 pm CST

Does she have standing?

By IzzyS on 2014 02 14, 2:51 pm CST

Ahh, but computer say. . .computer always right

Hal knows when humans are violating protocol and will terminate - Space Odyssey 2000 mind set

this is going to be a great case opinion ' federal court speaks for the un-dead'. . .ya think Voldemort is involved
working the conspiracy theory with Hal

By Jo on 2014 02 14, 2:52 pm CST

If she wins the suit, will the damages be paid to her estate?

By LawLOL on 2014 02 14, 3:15 pm CST

Poor Doc Daneeka!

By Ohio Lawyer on 2014 02 14, 3:18 pm CST

She should go on a crime spree.

By SlipKid on 2014 02 14, 3:53 pm CST

I want to be declared dead on my credit file and start fresh under a new name. then, i can be resurrected and start my whole credit life again with no student loans!

By fedupwiththesystem on 2014 02 14, 4:10 pm CST

@Vermont Lawyer "Hard to understand why they haven’t done so already. It would be great press for them."

Banks are stupid.

By kman on 2014 02 14, 4:18 pm CST

There should grounds for punitive damages. And the claim by equifax falls flat when they are reporting something a bit outside the scope of the account from the furnisher of the information. This is not just account information.

By Mellowish on 2014 02 14, 4:24 pm CST

@15. Yeah, poor Doc. Daneeka of Catch-22:
Hilarious memories of red-tape absurdities!

By profrace on 2014 02 14, 7:46 pm CST

This should play great in the courtroom: "Your Honor, don't listen to her. We have a report from a bank."

By B. McLeod on 2014 02 15, 2:14 am CST

# 21

But your Honor, I 'strenuously object' on the grounds that the alleged statement from the bank is
"spurious chicanery" and I would like a copy of those unredacted memos, meeting notes, any and all other communications, electronic or otherwise, on this matter, to determine their frame of mind . . . as it is obvious, my client has no mind according to the bank because she is dead according to their accounts.

! YET ! My alleged dead client has been making mortgage payments. . . ! AND ! has requested not once but twice for the bank to refinance. . . .Is the bank leading this Court to believe that seances were held or one of the lending officers had a vision or a haunting from Christmas Past or Present, namely Ebenezer Scrooge, whom I have on good authority has been in consultation with Voldemort and Hal . . . .

By Jo on 2014 02 15, 5:17 am CST

I would think allowing her defamation argument could be interpreted as discriminatory and therefore without merit.
After all, if she were to prevail on a claim that reports of her death are defamation does that not prove that being dead is a negative trait? Since this (death) is rarely a lifestyle choice it would be against public policy for a court to find that being identified as one of "them" is defamatory.

By Fresnojake on 2014 02 15, 7:27 am CST

Discrimination under the Fair Reporting Act leans more towards red-lining, colour, race, age and my personal favorite "targeting ethnically diverse areas for /as transportation corridors and its related tactics of equity stripping"

However, defamation, is sorta a policy thing - in the case, "circumstances of fraud, malice, and willful and wanton misconduct" occurring over a years time with the defendants clearly seeing and or hearing that this woman is not dead. I think she has a good leg to stand on, considering all the CRA's were slammed with class actions back in the 70/80's for failure to correct pursuant to FCRA and yes there were "un-dead" people as well.

Let's hope the ssAdministration doesn't get wind of this. . . .they are worse than the CRA's when it comes to correcting information. . . its that whole government superiority complex thing that they got going on. . .

By Jo on 2014 02 15, 1:24 pm CST

I agree with Vermont Lawyer the damages for this sort of stupidity should be greater. However, it strikes me that every time the credit agency reports this woman as dead that is a separate violation, which would act to increase her damages. In NJ our Consumer Fraud Act entitles the claimant to treble damages, costs and fees, however since it's not my field I don't know if the Federal Statute which preempt state law. I would hope not to the extent that it would allow greater damages in a case such as this. The object of such laws is not only to allow recovery of damages but deterrence.

By George Sly on 2014 02 17, 3:45 pm CST

I am with you George Sly. . .it would seem to me the each and every time it was reported constituted a separate and distinct act and action. . . and I do apologize for the length . . ., but I am doing stretch exercises for the mind before, I sit down to think. . .

In Shea v Rice (DC 2005) discusses a "continuing violation doctrine" and "discrete acts" both of which were actionable under Title VII - employment.

In Lynch v Household Finance 405 US 538, a garnishment case discusses the dormant commerce clause, that there is "no distinction between personal liberties and proprietary rights"

In West Coast Hotel Co., v Parrish, a minimum wage case, the Court discusses the due process clause of the 14th Amendment governing the states, and various violations against "women is a deprivation of freedom of contract" [300 U.S. 379 , 392]

Experian v Superior Ct (Sorensen) G036211 Part II discusses statutory punative damages as well as for each occurance of false reporting (

US v Patton (a felon body armor case) - the references may prove interesting. . .pretty good read if you need to brush up on the commerce clause: (
The Supreme Court has articulated "three general categories of regulation
in which Congress is authorized to engage under its commerce power." Gonzales
v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1, 125 S. Ct. 2195, 2205 (2005). These are "the channels of
interstate commerce"; "the instrumentalities of interstate commerce, and persons
or things in interstate commerce"; and "activities that substantially affect
interstate commerce." Id.; see also United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549, 558
(1995); Perez v. United States, 402 U.S. 146, 150 (1971).

So I guess in context of this, the federal fair credit reporting act would supercede, but I am not an attorney at law.

By Jo on 2014 02 17, 5:54 pm CST

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