Senator Marty proposes ban on fees for freezing credit
Saint Paul, MN – Sen. John Marty announced plans to introduce a legislation banning fees for freezing credit records.
“In the wake of this year’s Equifax security breach, it is time to recognize that while credit bureaus have access to our financial and credit records, we are not their customers and they are not looking out for our interests. Minnesota can join other states who prohibit credit bureaus from charging fees to consumers trying to fight identity theft and protect their credit by freezing their credit information,” said Senator Marty.
Under current Minnesota state law, credit reporting companies can impose a $5 fee to freeze one’s credit records, another fee to temporarily lift a freeze, and another fee to remove the freeze. Each credit reporting company currently has the ability to charge those fees separately to each consumer. These fees are currently prohibited only if the consumer is a victim of identity theft and able to provide the agency with proof of a police report or case number.
Describing the legislation as “fundamental consumer protection,” Marty said, “Consumers deserve the right to protect their identity and their credit information without financial barriers imposed by credit reporting agencies. The Equifax breach shows that these agencies are looking out for their own interests, not the interests of the people whose credit records they acquire. Your personal credit information belongs to you, not the credit bureau. If you want to freeze access to that information, it is wrong for them to charge you a fee to control your personal data.”
When the legislative session begins in February 2018, Senator Marty will introduce the legislation to remove the current $5 credit freeze charge and explicitly prohibit the imposition of any future credit freeze charge.