Ackerman legislation would stop consumer report agencies from charging fees for security freeze services
STATE HOUSE — Rep. Mia Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) has introduced legislation (2018-H 7604) that would prevent consumer report agencies from charging fees to those who choose to put a security freeze on their credit reports
A consumer report security freeze limits a consumer reporting agency from releasing a credit report or any information from the report without authorization from the consumer.
“If somebody suspects they have been victimized by identity theft, a consumer report security freeze can help the person track whether an identity thief is using information to set up bogus accounts,” explained Representative Ackerman, who submitted the legislation on behalf of the attorney general’s office. “There’s no need to punish consumers who are choosing a path of credit security and financial responsibility. I think this is good pro-consumer legislation.”
A freeze also requires authorization to change information — such as the consumer's name, date of birth, Social Security number and address — in a consumer report. A security freeze lasts until the consumer removes it. A person can “thaw” or temporarily remove the freeze to open a new credit account or a new loan. To do this, a consumer must give the consumer reporting agency a special personal identifying number (PIN), which is required to verify the consumer's identity.
The legislation, which is cosponsored by House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick), Rep. Arthur Handy (D-Dist. 18, Cranston) and Rep. Brian C. Newberry (R-Dist. 48, North Smithfield, Burrillville), has been referred to the House Corporations Committee. Similar legislation (2018-S 2562) has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence).
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903