A woman from London claims her housing authority tried to evict her by sending a notice to her aunt, who died earlier this year. Now, the horrified woman says she has no idea whether she'll be allowed to stay in the home she has lived in for the past seven years while caring for her sick relative.
Bonny Tracone, 51, moved into her aunt's home outside London in 2005 after the woman had a stroke, according to This Is Local London. Tracone had assumed that after her aunt passed away, she would be able to take over the tenancy.
Unfortunately for Tracone, it wasn't that simple: The housing association thought that she was in violation of its policy on succession so the housing authority sent her an eviction notice, which was mistakenly addressed to her deceased aunt. A spokeswoman for the the housing association told the site they were very sorry for the mistake, adding that their policy is in place to "ensure fairness" when filling affordable housing spots. They plan to meet with Troncone on Wednesday to discuss her tenancy.
It's not the first time a deceased homeowner has been targeted for eviction or foreclosure. In May 2011, a representative for the Tampa, Fla., foreclosure process server company ProVest LLC allegedly falsified documents to indicate she had served foreclosure papers to a deceased homeowner, Salon reports.
The process server claimed that when she knocked on the door, a man answered and claimed to be the deceased, allowing her to serve the papers. The company is currently being investigated by the Florida Attorney General’s Office on charges stemming from multiple cases.
In a number of mistaken identity cases, the opposite situation occurs -- companies somehow come to believe customers are deceased and therefore deny them services. Earlier this year, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported on the case of Bea Cohen, an 81-year-old woman who accidentally filled out her paperwork incorrectly when she was discharged from the hospital in 2006.
As a result, various credit card companies believed her to be deceased, and she has been unable to open a new line of credit or refinance her home since that time, the Star-Ledger reports.
According to an investigation by WHDH Boston, the Social Security Administration admits that employees accidentally add 14,000 people to the "Death Master File" every year, an error that normally occurs during data entry.
"[People] don't find out until they go to their bank that they can't access their funds," attorney Steve Weisman told the station. "They don't find out until there is no social security check that they have been declared dead."