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Updates to Credit Reporting Laws

June 4, 2018

Individuals who have been the victim of identity theft can request a security freeze or fraud alert to protect against unauthorized use of their information.  (For a detailed discussion regarding the difference between security freezes and fraud alerts please see our previous blog post from October 18, 2017.) 


Recently Congress amended certain provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). If you have been the victim of identity theft please contact our firm and we will provide a free consultation to let you know if a security freeze or fraud alert is a good idea. 


Among the recent changes to consumer protections laws include Section 301 of Public Law No. 115-174 which amends the FCRA, effective September 21, 2018, to establish a new federal right for consumers to implement a security freeze of their credit file. The legislation also preempts state security freeze laws and extends initial fraud alerts from 90 days to one year.


The legislation adds new 15 U.S.C. § 1681c-1(i), which establishes standards for the creation, temporary lifting or “thaw,” and permanent removal of security freezes from the nationwide consumer reporting agencies as defined in section 1681a(p). The freezes are free of charge. They are essentially limited to parties seeking the consumer’s information for credit purposes.

New section 1681c-1(i) also governs notices and disclosures concerning security freezes. Finally, the legislation adds new section 1681c-1(j), which sets standards where a representative of a minor or incapacitated individual seeks to freeze the individual’s consumer report.


Information provided courtesy of National Consumer Law Center.

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