Living Man Sues Experian After Being Declared Dead on Credit Report

Dead Man Suing — Death and taxes may be certainties, but a Parsippany credit-reporting service manages to mix up the dead with the living, a federal suit charges.

Chanse Maykut, 41, of Lagrangeville, N.Y., was turned down for an auto loan and for cable TV because Experian Information Solutions declared him dead in his credit report. His lawyer, Mark Mailman of Francis Mailman Soumilas, Philadelphia, says the company apparently confused him with a relative or other namesake.

Not taking it lying down, Maykut sued on Oct. 3, claiming Experian disregarded a Fair Credit Reporting Act requirement to take steps to ensure record accuracy. He contends that a credit checker can easily verify a consumer’s death by requesting a death certificate or checking with the Social Security Administration, but instead, Experian merely marks “deceased” in the report.

Maykut seeks statutory, actual and punitive damages and attorney fees. Mailman notes that the FCRA allows for assessment of emotional-distress damages in such cases, an element that can be “very, very significant.”

A call and an email to Experian were not returned.


Charles Toutant

New Jersey Law Journal