Senator Bigham: New Consumer Protection Law is Example of Cooperation Between DFL, Republican Lawmakers
St. Paul, Minn. – Senator Karla Bigham (DFL-Cottage Grove) says a new law banning companies from charging fees on consumers who freeze and unfreeze their credit reports is proof that cooperation among DFL and Republican lawmakers occurred during the divisive 2018 legislative session.
Lawmakers passed legislation banning credit freeze fees in response to the 2017 Equifax data breach. The credit reporting agency’s negligence resulted in the theft of private consumer data, like Social Security numbers, from half of all Americans last summer. The three main credit reporting companies charge consumers for freezing their credit, and charge again for lifting or removing the freeze. The financial services industry urged consumers to freeze their credit in the aftermath of Equifax breach to prevent criminals from opening fraudulent accounts in other people’s names.
“Reigning in big financial services corporations with common sense consumer protections is something that elected officials of all political stripes should support,” said Sen. Bigham. “Special interests largely won out over ordinary Minnesotans at the Capitol this year, but banning fees on credit report freezes is an exception where DFL and Republican lawmakers cooperated. I want to see this become the norm at a place that is far too often paralyzed by partisan politics.”