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Canadian Funeral Homes Incorrectly Notifying Credit Bureaus of Client Deaths

Canadian Funeral Homes Incorrectly Notifying Credit Bureaus of Client Deaths

INEX Inc. has been producing an executor tool kit called Closing Affairs for the Canadian funeral industry for over 20 years. One of the steps covered in the kit is the proper way to notify credit bureaus of the death, to protect the estate from identity theft and fraudulent use of the deceased’s credit.

The fact is, credit bureaus do not accept third party notification of death. We were recently contacted by one of the credit bureaus because they have been receiving a high number of death notifications directly from funeral homes. As one of only two firms in Canada approved to supply the credit bureaus with death notifications, we would like to clarify the notification process for the benefit of the industry.

There Are Only Two Ways to Properly Notify the Credit Bureau Of A Death

Executor Notification

The executor or administrator can send a letter requesting that a death notice be placed on the deceased’s credit file. To facilitate this process, INEX’s Closing Affairs website provides executors with auto-populated, pre-addressed letters to each Credit Bureau. The letters include the deceased’s name, address, date of birth, and must be accompanied by a copy of the proof of death along with two pieces of ID for the Executor and proof of their role. Providing the deceased’s Social Insurance Number is optional but advantageous.  Due to the sensitive nature of this information, it is recommended that it be sent by registered mail.  The credit bureau will accept faxed notifications but they frequently have to ask for such notifications to be resent because pages are missing or the quality of the images for proof of identification are not sufficient. Because of these issues, fax is not the credit bureau’s preferred method of receiving notifications and they do not accept notifications by email.

Notification through an approved data supplier

The credit bureaus will accept death notifications provided by licensed deathcare establishments that are transmitted through an approved data provider for the deathcare industry.  To facilitate this, in 2010, INEX became one of only two approved data providers in Canada. The other is Progressive Estate Solutions. No other entities can provide digital notification of death to the credit bureaus in Canada.  Digital notification eliminates the cost of copying documents and of registered mail, which can cost up to $15. per letter. It is also a much faster form of notification as those received by fax or mail can take weeks to be processed while digital notifications are typically posted within days to the decease’s file. Being able to properly provide digital notification of death to the credit bureaus on behalf of your families is a valuable service, but it is one that must be conducted with one of the two approved data providers for the deathcare industry. For that reason, beware of third-party firms that claim to sell this service. If you would like more information on the notification process, please feel free to call us at 1-888-829-8362 or email us at info@inexinc.com

April 21, 2020