Legislation preventing credit freeze charges moves forward

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Posted at 4:42 PM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-10 12:57:40-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) - Legislation to prohibit credit reporting agencies from charging fees to consumers for placing or removing a security freeze on a credit report passed its first committee Wednesday. 

The bill, which was approved by the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee, would eliminate fees of up to $10 that are charged when a data breach victim wants to temporarily freeze a credit report.

 During a news conference at the state capitol in support of the measure, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said the fee is an added hassle for someone who has had their identity stolen.

“It’s the elimination of an additional burden," said Adam Putnam, R- Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "So, you’re victimized once by having your identity stolen, and then you have to pay to clean up the mess that a criminal made in your life.”

Bill supporters say widespread data breaches at major companies continue to happen regularly across the country, and the fees imposed by credit reporting agencies create barriers toward fixing compromised credit reports.

If passed by the full legislature and signed into law, the measure would take effect on July 1st, 2018 and Florida would join Indiana, South Carolina, Maine, and North Carolina in not allowing the fee.