Not dead yet: Oregon woman disputes Wells Fargo’s claim of her demise

LINCOLN CITY, Ore. — An Oregon woman was surprised to learn she has been dead since 2019. At least, that is what her bank said.

However, 76-year-old Judy Cashner is very much alive, The Oregonian reported.

Cashner, of Lincoln City, said she received a letter from her bank, Wells Fargo, on Aug. 10 addressed to her estate.

“We are sorry for your loss and understand this is a difficult time for you,” Wells Fargo notified Cashner, the newspaper reported.

According to the letter, the bank informed Cashner’s estate that credit card payments received after her death would be applied to transactions after her passing, according to the Oregonian.

“If this was not your intent,” the bank wrote, “please call us.”

It was a scene straight out of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” where a peasant tries to convince an official that he was “not dead yet.”

Cashner said she originally found the situation amusing, but her smile disappeared after she learned that Wells Fargo had notified the three credit reporting agencies that she had passed away. Cashner and her husband were attempting to refinance their home to pay for a septic tank replacement, but that task was getting backed up by paperwork.

Cashner’s lender told the couple that it did not have the information it needed to approve the loan.

“My income was not available,” Cashner told the Oregonian, “because I was deceased.”

That problem was resolved, but Cashner said that thousands of dollars in “non-estate” charges remain on her credit card bill, the newspaper reported.

The bank declined to comment, citing privacy issues, the Oregonian reported. However, it was unclear how the bank determined Cashner had died. Bank officials said it typically requires a Social Security number and an official death certificate to prove a customer has died.

Cashner still needed to convince Wells Fargo customer service agents that she was still alive.

“They’re not amused but they, they’re not horrified either,” Cashner told the Oregonian. “They’re just: ‘Oh.'”

The bank eventually asked Cashner to go to a local branch, where she showed them her driver’s license and signed a “declaration of life” form.

“The lady at Wells Fargo told me I looked good,” Cashner told the Oregonian. “So, I did like her for that.”