Senator Boucher Calls For Fast Action On Consumer Requests For Credit Report Freezes

February 17, 2009

Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) today testified before the General Assembly’s Banks Committee in favor of her proposal to require credit agencies to act quickly on consumer requests to put security freezes on their credit reports.

Under Senator Boucher’s proposed legislation, SB 701, An Act Concerning Consumer Freezes on Credit Reports, credit rating agencies would be required to place a security freeze on a consumer’s credit report within three days of a request, and issue a personal identification number to the consumer no later than five days after placing the security freeze.

“Right now, identity theft victims who attempt to place a freeze on their reports have to wait up to fifteen business days for the transaction to take place. It takes five days for the credit bureau to honor the freeze, and another ten days for the credit bureau to confirm the freeze and issue a new personal identification card. This excessive delay is a burden for victims given that the greatest damage inflicted by the perpetrators of identity theft occurs within the first couple of weeks of the crime,” said Senator Boucher, noting that the problem was brought to her attention by a constituent.

Senator Boucher said that some other states already require credit rating agencies to respond more quickly to consumer requests for security freezes. In addition, Senator Boucher said she would like to see the General Assembly pass legislation reducing or capping the fees charged consumers who want to temporarily lift security freezes.

Under current Connecticut general statutes, if an individual wishes to temporality lift the freeze, they are subject to fees and further delay.

“I recommend that your committee support reducing these fees or capping them in a reasonable manner to prevent excessive transaction costs. The General Assembly should lessen the burden and anguish victims of identity theft endure by adjusting the process to freeze their credit report,” said Senator Boucher.