Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
A woman living in Lincoln City, Oregon, “was surprised to discover she had been dead since 2019” after being notified about the news of her death in a letter addressed to her estate from her bank – which is among the largest banks in the United States – according to a news report from The Oregonian/OregonLive.
“We are sorry for your loss and understand this is a difficult time for you,” Wells Fargo wrote to Judy Cashner, 76, in a letter dated August 10, 2020, which explained that credit card payments received after her passing would be applied to transactions made after her death, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
In addition, Cashner said Wells Fargo had notified three consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) that she had died, making it difficult for her and her husband to refinance their home so they could replace a septic tank since their lender did not have the information needed to approve the loan, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
“That situation ultimately got resolved, but weeks later thousands of dollars in mysterious ‘non estate’ charges nominally remain on Cashner’s credit card bill. And it’s still not clear how Wells Fargo got the notion that she had died or why it failed to verify that information before acting on it,” The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
Citing Cashner’s privacy, Wells Fargo declined to comment on the story but said the bank ordinarily requires a Social Security number (SSN) and an official death certificate to establish that a customer has died. The bank said it will investigate Cashner’s situation and give her answers after inquiries from The Oregonian/OregonLive.
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