Arthur Livingston, 39, maybe "alive" in the "technical" tense. He is "breathing" and his "biological heart" is "beating." But he's not alive in a much more important sense: his bank has declared him dead. Since May 2009.
In the future (now), all life-related processes will be handled directly by the financial institution to which you have pledged the most significant portion of your estate. When you die, your bank will alert the credits rating agencies that you are no longer a participant in the life economy:
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 Bank of America.
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.
Livingston says he's lost several thousand dollars because of the fuck-up, and that Bank of America "doesn't really care." But doesn't he see that it's has given him the most precious of gifts: life? Not that it's surprising:
[Consumer attorney James B.] Fishman said cases in which consumers are mistakenly declared deceased don't occur every day but are "not unheard of."
"It doesn't surprise me to hear a bank would do that," he said.