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Jesse Jones Reveals Credit Industry Position on Free Credit Freezes for All

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Jesse Jones’ campaign for Free Credit Freezes For All continues.  He’s taken it from the street to the statehouse in Olympia.

“I think it’s fresh in everyone’s minds. The issues we have with credit are happening more and more and more so it makes sense that it happens now,” said Representative Carolyn Eslick (R-Sultan).

Eslick has written House Bill 2277. If passed, it will allow all Washington residents one free credit freeze and thaw per year and three for victims of identity theft.

Democratic senate and house bills on the subject propose unlimited free freezes.

“We kind of nosed around and found out what other representatives and senators were doing and found that a free blanket to everyone all the time didn’t seems fair,” said Eslick.

On Tuesday, there will be a committee hearing on Senator Mark Mullet’s (D-Issaquah) Senate Bill 6018 that provides free credit freezes for all.

I’ve obtained the written testimony for the hearing from the Consumer Data Industry Association or CDIA.  The CDIA represents the three credit agencies, including Equifax.

The CDIA is against free freezes saying:

“Credit bureaus are not the breached entity in most cases and they should not be forced to pay to absorb the costs of a breach caused by someone else. States do not require a burglar alarm company to give away services for thefts in a neighborhood.”

Eric Ellman who represents the CDIA, testified in Olympia last November about credit freezes.

“We don’t believe a consumer’s first response upon receiving a breach notice should be a credit freeze, we feel a fraud alert as provided under federal law is probably the first appropriate step a consumer can take,” said Ellman.

Tell that to Conrad Jablonski from Kirkland, who said fraudsters opened two cell phone accounts in his name while having credit monitoring.

“How was I notified? I was notified ex post facto.  After everything had already happened. Even if you have credit monitoring services, they’re not necessarily done in real time they are done after things happen,” said Jablonski.

In an email, Senator Mullett responded to the CDIA testimony expected at Tuesday’s hearing on SB 6018:

“Consumers whose sensitive financial data has been exposed through no fault of their own should not have to pay to protect their credit rating. Despite the Consumer Data Industry Association’s opposition, I plan to hold a hearing on this bill the first day my committee meets and I look forward to hearing their explanation.”

The Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee meets on Tuesday and I will be there.

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