Heart transplant teen denied housing due to credit reporting mistake

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 9, 2014) — Connor Steele got a new heart and a new lease on life January, but his mom can’t get a lease on a new apartment because of a credit reporting mistake.

“Somebody hit the wrong button,” said Heather Snodgrass.

The heart of Heather’s 16-year-old son was damaged by a virus and the family was told last summer that Connor needed a new heart and would be on medication for the rest of his life.

“We have to be in a clean environment because his immune system is down,” Snodgrass told FOX59 News in a temporary apartment associated with Riley Hospital for Children.

Connor sat on the couch and played video games with a friend while his mother displayed a letter and notes on her fruitless attempt to explain the credit reporting agency’s mistake.

Snodgrass said she was sitting in the family’s former home at Christmastime when she received word of an errant credit report that claimed a medical billing company…not a landlord…had evicted her from the home she was currently living in.

“I don’t know how they can put an eviction on it,” said Snodgrass. “Medical companies can’t evict you.”

Apparently Snodgrass’ credit reporting agency thinks they can.

Snodgrass said the family always intended to move out of its current home once Connor got his new heart so that the family could be closer to relatives in Hamilton County.

She paid off the last of an $1,800 debt to the medical billing company two days before Connor’s transplant, but by then the mistaken credit report was already making it impossible to arrange for a new home after her son’s hospital stay.

“We applied to get apartments in Westfield,” she said. “My credit report showed an eviction on it from a medical company.

“I’ve never been evicted anywhere. A medical company put it there.”

Snodgrass said the apartment complex where she applied to live is sympathetic to her plight but bound by company rules to deny her application.

She said the credit reporting agency suggested she get proof from Hamilton County courts of an eviction that never happened in order to prove to the agency that she’s not a deadbeat.

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