Woman can’t get credit because creditors say she’s dead
Sandra Hermiston & Lynda Steele, CTV British Columbia
Published Tuesday, January 7, 2014 6:00AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 7, 2014 7:55PM PST
A Surrey woman is having trouble getting credit because the credit reporting agencies in Canada think she's dead.
Jill Colville and her husband Norm knew they had a problem when The Bay refused to let them buy a Christmas tree on credit. When they demanded to know why, the company told her in a letter that “it was unable to approve her application because a credit reporting agency had reported the applicant as deceased.”
Clearly it was a case of mistaken identity, but convincing the credit reporting agencies was not easy.
After several phone calls, Colville faxed copies of all her identification to prove she was alive, but was told it was up to her to find the real Jill Colville in B.C. that had passed away.
"It is in writing that she's supposed to be dead. How can a dead person get in contact with other people? It's impossible," said Norm Rennick, Jill's husband.
Frustrated with the situation, Colville and her husband contacted CTV’s Steele on Your Side.
"The only thing I could think of was somebody with some clout and some knowledge far above mine could maybe help me out with this," she said.
Steele on Your Side contacted both of the major credit reporting agencies on Colville's behalf. Equifax got back to CTV immediately saying it had no record of Colville being deceased.
Transunion took a few days to respond, but eventually emailed back to say "the consumer did have a deceased narrative on her file, which was supplied by one of her creditors." Transunion says the reference to being deceased has since been purged from Colville’s credit file.
So after two long years, Colville now has a new Hudson’s Bay card, and is happy to walk away from the frustrating credit nightmare.
For more information on how to secure a copy of your credit report click here.