States and feds battle over freezing credit information

A fight has broken out over the Financial Data Protection Act, a bill currently being rewritten by the House of Representatives. (A similar bill, S1408, is working its way through the Senate.)

While the wording has not been set for the bill, also known as HR3997, lobbyists for the credit agencies are pushing for a law that limits the ability to lock credit reports to victims of identity theft. Moreover, the reports could be unlocked with five days’ advance notice, according to the NY Times.

This would supercede various state laws that have different requirements for locking and unlocking credit information. States with more stringent laws than the one being considered by the feds are objecting to having their consumers’ rights diluted.

Locking a credit file means that no one can access it, which makes it difficult for anyone who is trying to get credit using your name and or credit card. Of course it makes it difficult for you to get credit, too, but when the danger has passed, you can then unlock your file.

The question is how quickly you can lock and unlock your file and how much you have to pay if you do. This is what states and the feds are arguing over.

Related Articles: How to get your credit reports from credit agencies

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