9 Investigates

Action 9: Gaston County woman says credit reporting agencies think she’s dead

BESSEMER CITY, N.C. — Jacqueline Hubbard’s a staple in Bessemer City. But, she went to her bank and said the teller told her the computer said she’s dead.

“If the computer tells you that, it’s got to be 150 percent right,” Hubbard told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.

She said it killed her credit score.

“Impacts your whole life,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard said at her age, she doesn’t plan to borrow money again so she decided not to fight it and not to correct the mistake. But, she realizes other people in the same situation should.

“Younger folks who are looking to take out a loan or get a credit card, if they had this, they’d be told, ‘No,’” Hubbard said. “They’d be shackled.”

Stoogenke offered to go to bat for Hubbard, but she told him to save his energy to help other people who are more likely to borrow money.

It’s called “Death by Credit Bureau.” It’s estimated banks, credit card companies, the three credit reporting agencies and Social Security declare at least 1,000 people dead by mistake every month.

If this happens to you:

- Get a copy of all three credit reports.

- See if you can tell if the mistake happened with your mortgage, auto loan, credit card or something else.

- Fight it.

- You may have to go to the source.

- If the credit reporting agencies won’t budge, you may need a lawyer.