Credit Security Freeze
Expanded Credit 'Security Freeze' Law To Protect All Hawaii Residents
In an effort to combat identity theft, a new law (Haw. Rev. Stat. Chapter 489P) was enacted that allows Hawaii residents to place a security freeze with each of the three credit reporting agencies that prohibits each from releasing any information to unauthorized parties without the consumer’s express authorization. This will prevent others from continuing to secure credit in someone else’s name.
Anyone may freeze their credit report. Victims of identity theft may do so for free. Others must pay $5 per request. All requests need to be sent by certified mail to each credit reporting agency. Victims of identity theft must attach a valid copy of a police report, investigative report, or complaint that the consumer has filed with a law enforcement agency (including the Office of Consumer Protection) about unlawful use of his or her personal information by another person.
The three major credit reporting agencies are: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Please visit their websites (see links below) for more information, including what other information is needed to accompany a request for a security freeze. Click here to review sample letters to each of the credit reporting agencies.
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
P.O. Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013
888 397 3742
3. Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
A credit reporting agency must place a security freeze on a consumer’s credit report no later than five (5) business days after receiving a written request from a consumer. The agency must also send a written confirmation of the security freeze within ten (10) business days of placing the security freeze and must provide the consumer with an unique personal identification number or password for the consumer, other than a social security number, to be used by the consumer for providing authorization for the release of the consumer’s credit report for a specific party, parties, or period of time.
A credit reporting agency cannot change any of the following information if a security freeze is in place without first sending a written confirmation of the change to the consumer within thirty (30) days of the change being posted to the consumer’s file:
Date of birth
Social Security Number
Address (written confirmation must be sent to the consumer’s new address and former address)
A consumer can also request to place a temporary lift on the security freeze to allow authorization for the release of the consumer’s credit report for a specific party, parties, or period of time.
A security freeze can also be temporarily lifted when the consumer’s credit was frozen due to a material misrepresentation of fact by the consumer. However, the credit reporting agency must first notify the consumer in writing prior to removing the freeze on the consumer’s credit report.
A credit reporting agency must comply with the request for the temporary lift no later than three (3) business days after receiving the request.
There is no cost for victims of identity theft, but all others may be charged a fee of not more than $5 to place a temporary lift on the security freeze.
REVOKING A SECURITY FREEZE
A security freeze is permanent until the consumer requests that the security freeze be removed. A credit reporting agency must remove a security freeze permanently within three (3) business days of receiving a request for removal at a point of contact designated by the agency using procedures developed by the agency. The consumer must provide clear and proper identification and the unique personal ID number or password provided by the credit reporting agency. There is no cost for victims of identity theft, but all others may be charged a fee of not more than $5 to revoke a security freeze.
FILING A COMPLAINT
A violation of this new law is subject to penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation. To file a complaint with the Office of Consumer Protection, click on the attached link to download a complaint form and instructions: http://www.hawaii.gov/dcca/areas/ocp/consumer_complaint/
You may also contact our Consumer Resource Center and speak with an investigator about filing a complaint. Call the DCCA Consumer Resource Center at 587-DCCA (587-3222), menu option #2. To call the Consumer Resource Center from the neighbor islands, dial 1-800-394-1902. For more options, click on the attached link: http://www.hawaii.gov/dcca/areas/rico/main/contact
FULL TEXT OF HAW. REV. STAT. CHAPTER 489P CONSUMER CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES (Act 138):
FULL TEXT OF ACT 189