Authors: Jeanette Torres
(PROSPERITY, S.C.) -- Arthur Livingston of Prosperity, S.C., is hoping Bank of America will reimburse thousands of dollars incurred after the company erroneously reported that he was deceased on his credit reports.
Bank of America has been reporting him as deceased to the three major credit agencies since May 2009, he said. His credit report states "file not scored because subject is deceased."
The mistaken code was finally removed on Feb. 22, four and a half months after Livingston, 39, learned about the error and complained to the bank.
The regional manager of a chemical company, Livingston discovered the dilemma when he tried to obtain a loan from a mortgage company in October. The problem may have begun when Livingston, who said he has been a Bank of America customer for 14 years, sold his home in May 2009.
His mortgage company is now able to obtain his credit score to give him a loan for his new home, but the incident has added thousands of dollars to the building process and affected his credit score after he made a dozen credit inquiries.
His family's plan for their new home was to begin construction in mid-December and move in by April. Livingston, along with his wife, son and daughter, 8 and 5, respectively, have been living in a rental home while they wait. It has cost them $6,000 in rent so far and will likely cost another $6,000 as they wait for the new home.
Livingston is asking Bank of America for compensation for rent "because we've established no equity in our home for over four and half months."
"It's been a complete waste of time," he said of the "inexcusable" mistake.
In addition, the builders will have to clear the land for his new home again, which cost $2,450 the first time back in October. And since October, the contractor sent him a bill indicating that his building costs, like copper wire and concrete, have increased $4,000.
"We were unable to lock into a contract because we were unable to obtain a loan," he said. "If [the contractor] starts building tomorrow we are looking at an additional $4,000 that we don't think we should have to pay."
Livingston said he would be "impressed" if Bank of America offers reimbursement for the related extra costs, but the impression he has received is "they don't really care."
"They're not going to lose a customer other than me and that doesn't seem to bother them," he said.
A spokeswoman for Bank of America said for privacy reasons the bank does not discuss details of individual customer concerns.
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