How to Contact Credit Reporting Agencies About a Death
When someone dies, the credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion may not get the news for a long time, if ever. It is important to let the credit bureaus know of a loved one’s death for several reasons.
First, it prevents people who know the deceased’s personal information from getting more credit and committing identity theft.
Second, it also lets the creditors know that the debtor has died, and will hopefully lead to the end of any collection efforts from unpaid bills.
Things You’ll Need
- Person’s death certificate
- Person’s Social Security Number
- Person’s date of birth
- Person’s last address
- Person’s photo identification (optional)
6 Steps to Contact Credit Reporting Agencies About a Death
1. Make copies of the deceased person’s death certificate, and make sure you have their Social Security number, current address, and date of birth. If you have their photo ID still, this is also helpful.
2. Write a brief letter explaining that you are the relative or spouse of the deceased person, and wish to inform them that the person in question is no longer living.
Include the full name, address, date of birth, date of death, and Social Security number of the person who passed away. You should state your name, current address, and relationship to the deceased person.
3. Print the letter and place it in an envelope along with copies of documents such as the deceased person’s death certificate and, if available, photo ID.
4. Send the letters using certified mail to the following addresses.
Equifax, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374; Experian, 701 Experian Pkwy., Allen, TX 75013; and TransUnion, 2 Baldwin Pl., P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022.
5. Call each credit bureau within two weeks to follow-up and ensure the letters is being processed.
Keep in mind that if you are not a close family member, the credit reporting agency is unlikely to discuss the case with you.
The numbers to call are as follows: Equifax, (888) 766-0008; Experian, (888) 397 3742; and TransUnion, (800) 888-4213.
6. Write similar letters to and call all creditors who send bills or leave telephone messages concerning past due money.
This will stop collection activity in virtually all cases, as most debts are not collectable from a deceased person’s estate.
Consider sending similar letters to ChexSystems and Telecheck in case someone tries to write checks or open checking accounts in the deceased person’s name. You can write ChexSystems, Attn: Consumer Relations, 7805 Hudson Rd., Suite 100, Woodbury, MN 55125. TeleCheck is usually only reachable by telephone at (800) 710-9898.
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