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How To Report A Death To Credit Bureaus

Large Landlords Can Report Directly

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The three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, allow high-volume landlords to report their rental payments directly to the credit bureaus each month. However, you need to generate a high number of payment records to begin reporting. TransUnion, for example, requires that you have at least 100 accounts before you can report tenant data. Because of the subscription requirements, direct reporting is not usually possible for most landlords.

Community Property States Are Different

If you live in a community property state, forget what you read in No. 1 above. Your rules are different.

In a community property state one spouse can be liable for the debts of another, even if they didnt agree to them or even know about them. So in a community property state you may be on the hook for the credit card debt of a deceased spouse.

This stuff can get complicated, especially when community property law is in place. Contact a consumer law attorney or probate attorney to get help.

Documentation To Have On Hand

When you make the request for a credit freeze on behalf of the deceased, you will need to send copies of certain important documents. These documents will serve to verify your relationship to the deceased and your authority to request the freeze. These documents include:

  • Copy of the will
  • Copy of the executor agreement
  • Copy of identification for the requestor
  • A certified copy of the death certificate

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How Do I Request A Credit Report For A Minor

If you want to determine if there is a credit report on a minor, you should contact the credit reporting companies and provide the following information about the child:

  • Legal name
  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate
  • A copy of the child’s Social Security card

And information about yourself:

  • A copy of your driver’s license or other government-issued identity card with your current address
  • A copy of a current utility bill

Make sure the driver’s license and the utility bill have the same address. You may also need to prove that you have legal custody of your child in cases where the credit reporting company has a legitimate need to obtain such proof.

Please note that, due to federal requirements, requests for children under 13 cannot be requested online. Minors between the ages of 13 through 17 can also order a report through the AnnualCreditReport.com website.

If you suspect someone is using your child’s information illegally, you should:

  • Contact all three credit reporting companies and report the situation.
  • File a police report with your local law enforcement agency.

Hire A Collection Agency

Sample Notification Of Death Letter To Credit Reporting ...

For either a flat fee or a percentage of the rent collected, you can hire a collection agency to chase delinquent rental payments and other tenancy-related debts. If the tenant does not pay, the collection agency can report the collection account on your behalf. When choosing an agency, make sure that it reports to all three credit repositories. Filing a collection account has a significant negative impact on the tenant’s credit score and may disqualify her from renting an apartment in the future.

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Other Steps To Consider

Closing up financial loose ends after a loved one passes away takes time. Handling their credit report is important, but it is only one step. Youll need to contact their creditors to cancel their accounts and settle any balances and make sure that mortgages and loans have been settled. Youll probably also need to take care of your loved ones tax returns for one final financial year deal with their bank accounts.

It can seem overwhelming, but take it one step at a time. Handling these details calmly and carefully will ensure that your loved ones accounts will be settled and will remain safe from any attempted compromise.

Equifax Office Of Consumer Affairs Po Box 105169 Atlanta Ga 30348 1

Requesting a copy fo the deceaseds credit reports will help you determine what creditors the deceased had and who to contact by phone of their passing. It is important to contact any credit card companies, banks, auto loans, or mortgage loans of their passing. Notifying them of the death will allow these account holders to close the account and not allow any further debt to accumulate.

One important factor to remember before closing out any active credit cards or trade lines is to find out if you or any other family member is joint on the accounts. Closing an active trade line that you are a joint holder on may end up damaging your credit.

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Escalate The Issue If Required

If you feel that a credit bureau has not treated you properly, you may file a complaint. This complaint can be made in writing to your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office. The federal government does not regulate credit bureaus.

In Quebec, these complaints must be directed to the Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec .

How To Report Bad Tenants To Credit Bureaus

How to Get Your Free Credit Report From Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion

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Most landlords are not able to report bad tenants directly to the three major credit bureaus. That’s because you need a merchant account to report a tenant’s delinquent payment activity, and most landlords do not generate enough monthly transactions to qualify for this service. The best option is to have a collection agency collect the tenant’s debt and report the collection account to the credit bureaus on your behalf.

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Dealing With A Credit Report For The Deceased

While its not something many people think about until faced with the issue, obtaining a;credit report for a;deceased person is important. Its important to remember that the death of a loved one can impact your finances. You may need to make sure the;credit report is accurate and take stock of any creditors you need to notify of the death, or see if theres any unresolved;debt that youre not aware of.

Its not uncommon for criminals to try to take advantage of the fact that someone who has passed isnt checking their credit, which can increase the chances of;identity theft and;credit card fraud. Thats why its crucial to handle this process as quickly as possible.

Get Multiple Official Copies Of The Deceaseds Death Certificate

Obtain original death certificates from the county where the deceased lived. The funeral director who handled burial, cremation or other arrangements may also provide you with copies of the death certificate. Get more copies than you think you need its easier than going back for more later.

You probably will want to get one death certificate copy for each of the deceaseds credit cards, three for the three credit reporting bureaus, plus copies for other estate purposes. Some states have both long-form and short-form death certificates, and banks will differ on which they require.

You do not want to deal with identity theft of a loved one several years after they have passed away.

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Request A Copy Of The Credit Report

Having a copy of the deceaseds most recent credit report on file will give you an accurate picture of the status of all of their accounts. If there are any outstanding accounts that need to be resolved, they will be reported here.

You can also check to make sure the account has been flagged. In order to request a copy of the credit report, you will need a copy of a government issued ID, such as a drivers license. Request a copy from all three bureaus to make sure you have complete information, since not all lenders and creditors report to all three bureaus.

Are Family Friends Or Heirs Responsible For Debts

Sample Letter To The Credit Bureaus Notifying Of Death ...

When you take out a credit card in your name, youre agreeing to repay whatever you borrow. Whether youre alive or dead, that obligation doesnt extend to your family, friends or, in most cases, even your spouse.

In short, while your heirs can inherit your worldly possessions, they dont inherit your credit card balances and they dont have to pay them. Exception? If someone else was jointly liable on the debt with you. Joint account holders are generally fully responsible for the entire debt, even if all the charges were made by only one of them.

The fact that your heirs arent responsible for your debts, however, doesnt mean your creditors wont try to collect from them.

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Obtain A Civil Judgment

If the tenant has skipped out without paying rent or you are evicting him for failing to pay rent, then you may want to sue the tenant to recover your financial loss. If you obtain a judgment, the court order becomes public record and eventually makes its way to the credit reporting agencies. It then shows up as a monetary judgment on the public records section of the tenant’s credit report. A civil court judgment can knock 100 points of the tenant’s credit score and stays on the report for seven years. This should alert future landlords to the tenant’s previous poor behavior.

References

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Report Any Suspected Fraud Found On Their Credit Report

When reading their credit report, in addition to gathering account information, you should also be on the lookout for any activity that seems suspicious. If you suspect theres fraudulent activity on a deceased persons credit report, notify the lenders for the accounts in question. You should also report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission and get a copy of an Identity Theft Report. Its also a good idea to file a police report documenting the fraud. They may require your Identity Theft Report from the FTC to launch their investigation.

We know theres a lot to manage when a loved one passes away. Taking time to protect their credit and personal information can help save you from the time and stress incurred from identity theft recovery. Were here to help you through every step to keep your loved ones personal information safe.

Disclaimer: The information posted to this blog was accurate at the time it was initially published. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. The information contained in the TransUnion blog is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. You should consult your own attorney or financial adviser regarding your particular situation. For complete details of any product mentioned, visit transunion.com. This site is governed by the TransUnion Interactive privacy policy located here.

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How To Report A Death To The Credit Bureaus

How To Remove a Fraud Alert From Your Credit Report – Experian, Transunion, Equifax

The sooner your death is reported to the credit bureaus, the sooner they can flag your credit report, which helps to prevent fraud. Rather than waiting for the credit bureau to receive notice from the SSA or be notified when creditors send their account updates, your family may want to report the death to credit bureaus themselves.

Only your spouse or another person with legal authority, such as the executor of your estate, can notify credit bureaus of your death. They will need a copy of your death certificate; anyone other than your spouse will also need to show proof that they’re legally authorized to act on your behalf, such as with a copy of a legal document with a court seal showing that they are the executor of your estate.

When one credit bureau is notified of a death, they will notify the others, so there’s no need to alert all three. Here’s how to report a death to each credit reporting agency:

  • Experian: Mail a copy of the death certificate to Experian’s Consumer Assistance Center, P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 7501, or upload it online.
  • TransUnion: Mail a copy of the death certificate to TransUnion, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016.
  • Equifax: Mail a copy of the death certificate to Equifax Information Services LLC, P.O. Box 105139, Atlanta, GA 30348-5139.

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Contacting The Credit Bureaus

Contact each of the three major credit bureaus in writing to request a credit report for the deceased. Include the deceased’s name, address and social security number for ease of identification. Also include a copy of the death certificate and proof that you are authorized to act for the estate, such as a power of attorney or a letter of testamentary from the probate court. Write to the agencies at the following addresses: Experian, P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013; Equifax Information Services LLC, Office of Consumer Affairs, P.O. Box 105139, Atlanta, GA 30348; and TransUnion LLC, P.O.Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022.

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Request A Return Receipt For Your Records

When you mail off your request, you should do so via mail and request a return receipt.This will add a level of security to your letter and provide you notification of when the request has been received.

Be sure to keep a copy of your request, just in case. And keep track of the date you sent the request, as well as the date of the reply. This information will be helpful in the event you have to send a follow-up request.

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Who Can Report The Death

You need to be close to the deceased to report the death to a credit bureau. You can be a personal representative of the state or a surviving spouse. The next-of-kin is usually entitled to do this, but you can check with an estate attorney if youre unsure.;

An estate attorney can also handle this process on your behalf. If youre working with an attorney to secure your loved ones financial affairs, they can guide you through the next steps.;

» Planning a funeral?

Hiring A Collection Agency Or Credit Reporting Service

  • 1Hire a collection agency. This is one of your options if you are not a large lender, but rather a small-volume creditor with only a few unpaid debts from customers. Collection agencies attempt to collect the debt owed to you. If they cannot collect, they report the default account to the three credit bureaus in their name. Therefore, using a collection agency is an indirect way of reporting to the credit bureau agencies.XResearch source
  • 2Choose a collection agency carefully. Do a search for collection agencies in the phonebook or online. Shop around for the best price. Collection agencies will charge you a small fee or a commission on the amount they collect.
  • Verify that the collection agency you choose is a member of all three credit reporting bureaus.
  • Collection agencies typically offer a discount for payment that may be substantial .
  • Be aware that you may be liable to the consumer if the collector violates the federal and state laws regulating the collection of a debt.
  • 3Hire a credit reporting service company. Credit reporting services will to do the reporting for you. Not only will these companies help you establish accounts with the three credit bureau agencies, if applicable, but they also provide other services as well.XResearch source
  • They provide help with formatting your information properly for submission to the credit bureaus.
  • They list your debtor’s bad debt on your behalf.
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