Credit Reporting Agency

A credit bureau, also known as a Credit Reporting Agency, is a company that collects and maintains information about person's credit history and financial activities.

These agencies gather data from various sources, such as Creditors, lenders, and public records, and compile it into a person's Credit Report.

In the United States, there are three main credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

After a death, when the deceased's Estate is being Administered, it's important for an Executor or Administrator to contact each credit bureau, notify them of the death, and request a credit report.

The notification will help prevent against fraud and identify theft, and the credit report will give an overview of the deceased's Debts and Liabilities which will help an Executor or Administrator pay Creditors.

After a death, it's important to work with a credit bureau for several reasons:

Verification of Debts: When a deceased person's estate is being Settled, all of their outstanding debts must be cataloged and verified and credit bureaus can help confirm the existence of any debts, and identify its creditors. The bureaus provide a comprehensive view of the deceased person's credit history, including outstanding loans, credit card balances, and other financial obligations.

Notification of Creditors: It's legally required to send a Notice to Creditors to inform them of the death during the Estate Settlement process. Credit bureaus can help identify these creditors by providing information about their accounts and debts.

Handling Debts: Credit reports provide details about the terms and conditions of outstanding debts, including interest rates and payment schedules. This information is valuable for the estate administrator when negotiating with creditors and determining how to settle or pay off the debts.

Preventing Identity Theft: Access to credit reports can help prevent identity theft and unauthorized use of the deceased's credit accounts. By promptly notifying credit bureaus of the death, they will add a deceased indicator to the credit file; this can help protect against fraudulent activity or unauthorized attempts to use the deceased's credit.

Resolution of Credit Issues: In some cases, errors or inaccuracies may appear on a deceased person's credit report. Resolving such issues with credit bureaus is important to ensure that their credit record is accurate and that any disputes are addressed appropriately.

Finalizing Financial Affairs: Accessing credit reports can be a critical step in closing and finalizing the financial affairs of the deceased. It helps ensure that all outstanding debts are identified and addressed before distributing Assets to Surviving Family, Heirs, and Beneficiaries.