Not Dead Yet!
September 8, 2004 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Haveyoueverbeendeclareddeadfilter? Yeah. More inside.

My grandmother died about two years ago. She was a co-signer to my sister's school loan. When the estate was going through the will process they reported the death to the loan company to remove her estate from the debt. Instead of removing her, they removed my sister, and helpfully passed it along that she was dead.

Long story short, the government has delcared my very much alive sister dead. She found out about her demise while applying for a loan for a car. Apparently you can't sell dead people automobiles.

She's started the process to having the declaration reversed, but is being told by everyone that the process will take six to eight months. Meanwhile, her life is unraveling. Her bank just froze her accounts. Etc, etc. Having completed paramedic school, she's unable to take the state test because the dead can't take them. So far she's still receiving a pay check (works for Jersey City, NJ's 911 service), but she has no idea how long until that goes fubar.

She's contacting a lawyer, but does anyone have any tips, ideas, what-have-you for speeding up the processes of being declared alive? It's very hard being a Dead-American in our society.
posted by FunkyHelix to Pets & Animals (21 answers total)
Watch your brain, man. Sounds like your sister might try to eat it.
posted by ph00dz at 11:46 AM on September 8, 2004

Response by poster: You know, I went for the zombie joke first when she told me. Dead people have no sense of humor.

posted by FunkyHelix at 11:49 AM on September 8, 2004

The problem is that so many different agencies now likely have her marked as dead, making it highly unlikely that she'll ever be truly, fully 'alive' in the legal sense ever again.

I'm sorry for her loss.

That said, have fun with it. Fight a parking ticket on the grounds that dead people cannot get parking tickets.
posted by nathan_teske at 11:56 AM on September 8, 2004

Can she get damages from the loan company? This is a pretty serious error on their part that's having a tangible effect on her life and financial standing.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:02 PM on September 8, 2004

Were I her, I would contact the state's attorney general. With identity theft on the rise, many states have set up processes to help people to clear their record and regain their identity. If that process exists in her state, that would be helpful, but even if it doesn't, this type of thing is what attorneys general are supposed to do.

If I were her, I'd walk up to a tough-looking guy in a bar and ask him if he's Richard Simmons. Because she can't die -- she's already dead.
posted by waldo at 12:08 PM on September 8, 2004

Did your sister know that her loan was cancelled in the first place? If not, I echo Pink's idea and go after the loan company for fubaring up her life.
posted by jmd82 at 12:46 PM on September 8, 2004

Of course, now she can kill that ex-husband who's been bugging her. Or at least that's what I learned from an Ashley Judd film.
posted by yerfatma at 1:19 PM on September 8, 2004

What an opportunity! She can strike up a whole new life, completely outside the knowledge of the government!

I say she become a secret agent.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:06 PM on September 8, 2004

Hang on: didn't the loan co. need proof, like a death certificate, or did they share the same name? Couldn't we all do this to our own advantage?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:00 PM on September 8, 2004

Get that woman a talking car stat.
posted by kindall at 5:12 PM on September 8, 2004

Response by poster: Dash, there was a certificate for my grandmother. What we think happened was instead of inputing my grandmother's social security number, they put in my sisters. So it was my grandmother's name, but my sister's number. However once the ss# came up as having died, that's what all the agenancies picked up. At least this is what we can figure out tracing back the mistake.
posted by FunkyHelix at 6:06 PM on September 8, 2004

O I C.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:11 PM on September 8, 2004

I would speak to the loan agency through a lawyer as this is their fuckup, not your sister's. They should be spending time and effort to make the problem go away, not your sister. Remind them that every time she has to fix another individual problem like this, she's once again confronted with her grandmother's death, causing her great emotional distress in addition to the clear actual financial damages and the damage to her name and reputation she's already suffered as a result of the loan agency's inattention, incompetence, and negligence.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:13 PM on September 8, 2004 [1 favorite]

my god, between the spiders and the undead, you're having a hell of a happy hoedown
if it's because of social security, that's why federal documents have been affected and private and local probably haven't unless taxes and such come up. maybe she will lack taxes justifiably for the duration of her stay in limbo. They would be the ones to straighten it out, as in the case of purposeful effective identity theft. someone could jump on the opportunity to assume her identity when her number goes defunct as she might have to get a new one.

("Remember, the guard in the SS office is armed. That's what federal means."-- 7 yr old in line)

Bring All of your identification and a long book.
(I have different legal names and birthdays: i know.)
posted by ethylene at 6:29 PM on September 8, 2004

I like five fresh fish's idea...
posted by reverendX at 6:31 PM on September 8, 2004

It's very hard being a Dead-American in our society.

I hear you can still vote, on the other hand.
posted by weston at 6:35 PM on September 8, 2004

last word dropped after book:

--how i learned to transform into a walking file cabinet

(thank you technology!)
posted by ethylene at 6:37 PM on September 8, 2004

How did you manage to get different birthdays, ethylene?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:48 PM on September 8, 2004

I have an ex-roommate with two 'legal' dates of birth ... as a result of being born on February 29th. That's my guess for ethylene's problem as well.
posted by anastasiav at 8:27 PM on September 8, 2004


trying to jump on the growing list of "declassified operatives", eh?
try a combination of lunar calendars, immigration, moving a lot and the strangely happy slack paperwork of the new york tristate area in the seventies.

and my father.

(i'm still pretty sure i can blame by dad who i believe only learned my real birthday a few years ago.)
posted by ethylene at 8:32 PM on September 8, 2004

Contact a legislator for state problems and/or congressional rep for the federal problems.

Where does she live in Jersey?

Senator Doria who now represents parts of Jersey City is a veteran legislator with a very good staff.

Speaker Sires also represents part of Jersey City. So if she lives in Jersey city one of those offices (different districts) would be a good place to start.
posted by szg8 at 2:04 PM on September 9, 2004

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