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How to Stop Creditors From Calling on a Deceased Person

Your loved one has died, and creditors start calling on outstanding debts. It’s not fun but dealing with this is easy.

I typically advise people to get as many certified copies of the death certificate as they need for outstanding creditors.

When my parents died and creditors called, the process was simple:

  1. Advise the creditor the person has died.
  2. The creditor might confirm this on the SSA Death Master File if Social Security was notified. SSA says, “We receive death reports from many sources, including family members, funeral homes, financial institutions, postal authorities, States, and other Federal agencies.”
  3. Larger creditors automatically monitor the SSA Death Master File and look for customers who have passed.
  4. The creditor may ask for an original copy of the certified death certificate. Mail them one of the originals you have as they instruct.
  5. Some creditors accepted a high-resolution scan of the death certificate instead of requiring an original one.

For additional details, you might want to read Widow or Widower: How to Handle the Bills After the Death of a Loved One.

That post has some additional helpful tips as well.

Please note my answer has nothing to do with probate, processing a will, or trust. That’s a different matter.

I can report that the creditors were a snap in all the stuff I’ve had to deal with after the death of a loved one.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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