Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 6800

January Session, 2015

 

LCO No. 3389

 

*03389_______BA_*

Referred to Committee on BANKING

 

Introduced by:

 

(BA)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING SECURITY FREEZES ON CONSUMER CREDIT REPORTS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 36a-701a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Any consumer may submit a written request, by certified mail or such other secure method as authorized by a credit rating agency, to a credit rating agency to place a security freeze on such consumer's credit report. Such credit rating agency shall place a security freeze on a consumer's credit report not later than five business days after receipt of such request. Not later than ten business days after placing a security freeze on a consumer's credit report, such credit rating agency shall send a written confirmation of such security freeze to such consumer that provides the consumer with a unique personal identification number or password to be used by the consumer when providing authorization for the release of such consumer's report to a third party or for a period of time.

(b) In the event such consumer wishes to authorize the disclosure of such consumer's credit report to a third party, or for a period of time, while such security freeze is in effect, such consumer shall contact such credit rating agency and provide: (1) Proper identification, (2) the unique personal identification number or password described in subsection (a) of this section, and (3) proper information regarding the third party who is to receive the credit report or the time period for which the credit report shall be available. Any credit rating agency that receives a request from a consumer pursuant to this section shall lift such security freeze not later than three business days after receipt of such request.

(c) Except for the temporary lifting of a security freeze as provided in subsection (b) of this section, any security freeze authorized pursuant to the provisions of this section shall remain in effect until such time as such consumer requests such security freeze to be removed. A credit rating agency shall remove such security freeze not later than three business days after receipt of such request provided such consumer provides proper identification to such credit rating agency and the unique personal identification number or password described in subsection (a) of this section at the time of such request for removal of the security freeze.

(d) Any credit rating agency may develop procedures to receive and process such request from a consumer to temporarily lift or remove a security freeze on a credit report pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. Such procedures, at a minimum, shall include, but not be limited to, the ability of a consumer to send such temporary lift or removal request by electronic mail, letter or facsimile.

(e) In the event that a third party requests access to a consumer's credit report that has such a security freeze in place and such third party request is made in connection with an application for credit or any other use and such consumer has not authorized the disclosure of such consumer's credit report to such third party, such third party may deem such credit application as incomplete.

(f) Any credit rating agency may refuse to implement or may remove such security freeze if such agency believes, in good faith, that: (1) The request for a security freeze was made as part of a fraud that the consumer participated in, had knowledge of, or that can be demonstrated by circumstantial evidence, or (2) the consumer credit report was frozen due to a material misrepresentation of fact by the consumer. In the event any such credit rating agency refuses to implement or removes a security freeze pursuant to this subsection, such credit rating agency shall promptly notify such consumer in writing of such refusal not later than five business days after such refusal or, in the case of a removal of a security freeze, prior to removing the freeze on the consumer's credit report.

(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit disclosure of a consumer's credit report to: (1) A person, or the person's subsidiary, affiliate, agent or assignee with which the consumer has or, prior to assignment, had an account, contract or debtor-creditor relationship for the purpose of reviewing the account or collecting the financial obligation owing for the account, contract or debt; (2) a subsidiary, affiliate, agent, assignee or prospective assignee of a person to whom access has been granted under subsection (b) of this section for the purpose of facilitating the extension of credit or other permissible use; (3) any person acting pursuant to a court order, warrant or subpoena; (4) any person for the purpose of using such credit information to prescreen as provided by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act; (5) any person for the sole purpose of providing a credit file monitoring subscription service to which the consumer has subscribed; (6) a credit rating agency for the sole purpose of providing a consumer with a copy of his or her credit report upon the consumer's request; or (7) a federal, state or local governmental entity, including a law enforcement agency, or court, or their agents or assignees pursuant to their statutory or regulatory duties. For purposes of this subsection, "reviewing the account" includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring, credit line increases and account upgrades and enhancements.

(h) The following persons shall not be required to place a security freeze on a consumer's credit report, provided such persons shall be subject to any security freeze placed on a credit report by another credit rating agency: (1) A check services or fraud prevention services company that reports on incidents of fraud or issues authorizations for the purpose of approving or processing negotiable instruments, electronic fund transfers or similar methods of payment; (2) a deposit account information service company that issues reports regarding account closures due to fraud, substantial overdrafts, automated teller machine abuse, or similar information regarding a consumer to inquiring banks or other financial institutions for use only in reviewing a consumer request for a deposit account at the inquiring bank or financial institution; or (3) a credit rating agency that: (A) Acts only to resell credit information by assembling and merging information contained in a database of one or more credit reporting agencies; and (B) does not maintain a permanent database of credit information from which new credit reports are produced.

(i) [A] (1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, a credit rating agency may charge a fee of not more than ten dollars to a consumer for each security freeze, removal of such freeze or temporary lift of such freeze for a period of time, and a fee of not more than twelve dollars for a temporary lift of such freeze for a specific party.

(2) A credit rating agency shall not charge the fees authorized by subdivision (1) of this subsection to: (A) A victim of identity theft who has submitted a copy of a police report prepared pursuant to section 54-1n; (B) the spouse of any victim of identity theft; (C) a person sixty-two years of age or older; (D) a person under eighteen years of age; (E) a person for whom a guardian or conservator has been appointed by a court; and (F) a victim of domestic violence, as defined in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 17b-112a, who has provided evidence of such domestic violence as specified in subsection (b) of section 17b-112a. No credit rating agency shall charge a fee to a consumer for a replacement personal identification number when such replacement is the first one requested by the consumer.

(j) An insurer, as defined in section 38a-1, may deny an application for insurance if an applicant has placed a security freeze on such applicant's credit report and fails to authorize the disclosure of such applicant's credit report to such insurer pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

36a-701a

Statement of Purpose:

To prohibit consumer credit reporting agencies from charging certain protected persons fees related to security freezes.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]