Dec
21
2011

What to do if you are mistakenly reported as deceased

Dear Experian,

I am listed as deceased on my credit history. How can I change that?

- CAG

 

Dear CAG,

There are two ways your credit report can indicate you may be deceased. The first applies only to individual accounts; the second to your entire credit history. The first step in removing both is to request a copy of your personal credit report. It will include contact information, including a mailing address.

One or more of your creditors may have reported an account or accounts on your credit report as being associated with a deceased individual. This can happen when someone else who may have been associated with the account, such as a spouse or co-signer, passes away.

In this case, you will need to send Experian a notarized letter affirming your identity. The letter needs to include your full name, current mailing address, Social Security number, date of birth, and a statement that you are not deceased. Mail the request to Experian, P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013. Experian will update your credit report and notify the data furnisher. You also may contact any data furnishers that are reporting that you are deceased directly and provide them with the notarized letter.

When a lender is reporting an account as being associated with a deceased individual, the statement only applies to that account. It does not apply to the entire credit report.

A second possibility is that the Social Security number that you provided when you contacted Experian has been reported by the Social Security Administration as deceased. A “deceased indicator” reported by the Social Security Administration applies to the entire credit report.

You will need to contact your local Social Security office directly to correct the information.

To remove this notice, Experian will need a letter from the Social Security Administration stating that they have corrected their records. Enclose one copy of a government issued identification card, such as a driver’s license, state or military ID card, and one copy of a utility bill, bank or insurance statement to further verify your identity.

Make sure that each copy is legible (enlarge if necessary), displays your name and current mailing address, and the date of issue (statement dates must be recent). Send copies of any documents you wish to provide to us and always retain your original documents.

Experian will remove the deceased indictor from your credit history once the documentation has been received.

We know this requires you to deal with a situation that was not your fault. But, once Experian has received notice that a person is deceased, we must be very vigilant in protecting that person’s information from those willing to take advantage of the situation to commit fraud and abuse that person’s good name and good credit.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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