OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6403 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING SECURITY FREEZES ON CHILDREN'S CREDIT REPORTS.

SUMMARY:

This bill allows a minor's parent or legal guardian to place a security freeze on the minor's credit report. Under the bill, a “minor” is someone under age 18 when a security freeze request is submitted.

Under the bill, the freeze prohibits a credit rating agency from releasing the minor's credit report and information derived from it, if the agency has information about the child. If the agency does not have any information about the child, it must create, but not release, a record that compiles the information the agency created that identifies the child. The agency cannot use the record to consider the child's credit worthiness, standing, or capacity; character; reputation; personal characteristics; or mode of living. The bill prohibits the agency from releasing the child's credit report, information derived from it, or records created for the child.

To initiate a security freeze, the bill requires the parent or guardian to provide the credit rating agency with:

1. a written request by certified mail or other secure method authorized by the rating agency and

2. proper identification and sufficient proof of authority to act for the minor, such as a court order, an original copy of the minor's birth certificate, or a written notarized statement signed by the parent or guardian that expressly describes his or her authority to act and is acknowledged according to law by a judge, family support magistrate, court clerk or deputy clerk with a seal, town clerk, notary public, justice of the peace, or Connecticut-licensed attorney.

The bill requires the agency to freeze the minor's credit report within five business days of receiving a request. The parent or legal guardian can request the freeze's removal by submitting (1) a written request to the agency in the same way as current law allows for freezes of an adult's credit report and (2) proper identification and sufficient proof of authority to act for the child. The agency must remove a freeze within 15 business days of a request.

*House Amendment “A” (1) defines a minor for purposes of the bill; (2) requires that a statement showing proof of authority to act for a minor be acknowledged; (3) only allows an original copy, and not a certified copy, of a birth certificate to serve as proof of authority to act for a minor; and (4) adds provisions on the effects of a freeze, the record an agency must create, what an agency cannot do with information about a child, removing a freeze, and the timeline for agencies to respond to requests.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015

BACKGROUND

Security Freezes

The law allows a consumer to request that a credit rating agency place a security freeze on his or her credit report. A freeze prohibits the agency from releasing information in the credit report without the consumer's express authorization. The agency provides the consumer with a personal identification number that the consumer can use to authorize (1) release of his or her report for a period of time or a specific purpose or (2) termination of the freeze.

Credit rating agencies may charge up to $10 for a freeze, removal of one, or temporarily lifting one. They may charge up to $12 to temporarily lift a freeze for a specific party.

Related Bill

sHB 6800, as amended by House Amendment “A,” among other things, prohibits credit rating agencies from charging security freeze fees to certain people such as identity theft victims and people under age 18.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Banking Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

17

Nay

0

(03/05/2015)