PA 15-62—HB 6403

Banking Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING SECURITY FREEZES ON CHILDREN'S CREDIT REPORTS

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

Under the act, 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 minor. If the agency does not have information about the minor, it must create, but not release, a record that compiles information identifying him or her. The agency cannot use the record to consider the minor's character; reputation; personal characteristics; mode of living; or credit worthiness, standing, or capacity. The act prohibits the agency from releasing the minor's credit report, information derived from it, or records created for the minor.

To initiate a security freeze, the act 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 act 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 the law allows for removing freezes of an adult's credit report and (2) proper identification and sufficient proof of authority to act for the minor. The agency must remove a freeze within 15 business days of a request.

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.

Related Act

PA 15-53, 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.

OLR Tracking: CR: JSB: PF: cmg