Do you have a question about consumer credit? You may find an immediate answer by using the search engine. If you can't find what you're looking for, please fill out the form, being as specific as possible.
Please note: The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team will include it in a future column.
The information contained in this column if for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding your particular situation.
Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Column responses reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived responses may not reflect current Experian policy.
Topics addressed on February 29, 2012:
Reporting death of a relative
How do we notify you of the death of a relative, and how do we obtain a credit report for this relative so we can file probate papers?
You can obtain a copy of the deceased’s credit report by mailing a request in writing along with a copy of the death certificate. Unless you are the surviving spouse, you will also need to send proof that you are authorized to act on behalf of the individual, such as a copy of a legal document with a court seal indicating you are the executor of the estate.
Experian typically receives notice that a person is deceased from that person’s lenders. Once lenders are notified, they submit the information to Experian along with their account updates. Experian also periodically receives notice from the Social Security Administration of individuals who have been reported to it as deceased.
Once we receive notification that an individual is deceased, we will add an indicator to their file that creditors and others requesting the report will see. This helps prevent any fraudulent activity using the deceased’s identity.
Accounts with the deceased indicator will be deleted after one year. At some point, all of the accounts will be deleted and the credit report will no longer exist.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team