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article imageBank of America declares living customer dead for last 3 years

By Leigh Goessl     Feb 11, 2012 in Business
Prosperity - Imagine living day in and out not knowing you were dead?
That's what Arthur Livingston recently discovered. In Oct. the Prosperity, S.C. man tried to obtain a loan from a mortgage company. It was at that time he learned he had been declared "dead."
According to ABC News, the Bank of America had reported Livingston dead back in May 2009 and passed this information to major credit agencies.
Despite this situation being highlighted in the media, Livingston still cannot get himself declared alive by the Bank of America. He initially contacted local television company WIS-TV, who featured his situation.
"I spend every minute I have either sending a message or calling, faxing or just, you know, wondering it is going to be resolved today," said Livingston told WIS-TV. "I went to Bank of America, I brought this to their attention and we're working on 100 days now with no resolution," he said.
Originally Bank of America told him it would take 30 days to resolve.
While Livingston has been clearly alive for the past three years, his being listed as deceased is causing numerous problems for him and his family. Currently he and his wife are trying to get their new house built, but cannot do so because the couple can't get the loan required to start the building as the mortgage company cannot get a credit score. Livingston's credit report says, "file not scored because subject is deceased."
Livingston also worries his credit will be negatively impacted because of inactivity. Yet, he has been active. ABC News reported the 14-year Bank of America customer pays his BofA credit card bill in full each month. He said his bill is often substantial because work-related travel expenses are charged, yet his fulfilling his financial obligations each month are not being reported.
"[Bank of America] is well aware that the account is very active on a daily basis," Livingston said. He's even emailed bank CEO Brian Moynihan to no avail. He describes an endless circle of no resolution and words of his situation being "escalated."
ABC News reported a spokeswoman for Bank of America told the network on Thursday the company is "working with Livingston directly" to "resolve this issue as quickly as possible."
Bank of America has frequently been cited as making errors that significantly affect the lives of individuals and families. In March 2010 the Bank of America repossessed a woman's home, despite the fact her mortgage was up-to-date. Not only did she come home to find her door padlocked, her pet parrot was missing and her house had been trashed; water and electric lines had been cut and her carpets and furniture damaged.
BofA had a similar foul-up in Spring Hill, Fla. when the bank foreclosed on a couple's retirement home that had been fully paid for in cash. In that case, the bank had listed an incorrect address on foreclosure documents, it was a neighbor who purportedly had defaulted on a loan. In another case, BofA had locked a non-Bank of America customer out of his home. The homeowner had purchased the foreclosed home, but because BofA hadn't updated its records and had the original owner listed who was the person foreclosed, the new homeowner was locked out.
After WIS-TV ran their report on Livingston, a representative of the bank reportedly called him and said they would get the error resolved.
"It's inexcusable. She's making it sound like now it can be a quick fix. It should have been a quick fix three and half months ago," he said. "I've really reached my limit."
The family had hoped to move into their new home by April, but being the construction hasn't even started yet, that is not possible since the construction is going to take four to six months before the house is ready.
It also looks like once this is finally resolved, Bank of America will lose a 14-year customer. Last fall the bank raised customer ire when they decided to tack on a $5 fee for debit-card use in response to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 and the Durbin Amendment which placed caps on banks' ability to charge merchants for POS sales. A Nov. 2011 poll showed many BofA customers were most likely to leave and take their banking business elsewhere.
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