Pou Bill to Protect Consumers From Unnecessary Fees was Signed by Governor
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate Commerce Committee Chair Nellie Pou, which will prohibit consumer reporting agencies from charging certain fees related to security freezes on consumer reports, was signed by the governor yesterday.
“Freezing a consumer’s credit file is an essential security step. Charging people a fee to unlock it, however, is unacceptable and I am glad that it is now illegal,” said Senator Pou (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This is a big win for the consumer, especially in light of the recent security issues at some of the major credit reporting bureaus.”
The bill, S-2786, will amend the New Jersey “Identity Theft Prevention Act” to prohibit a consumer reporting agency from charging a consumer any fee to remove or temporarily lift a security freeze on that consumer’s consumer report.
Current law prohibits consumer reporting agencies from charging fees to place a security freeze on a consumer’s consumer report, but allows a reasonable fee, not to exceed five dollars, to be charged to a consumer who elects to remove or temporarily lift a security freeze on that consumer’s consumer report or if the consumer fails to retain the original personal identification number provided by the consumer reporting agency and must be reissued the same or a new personal identification number. The bill will remove the provisions allowing a fee to be charged in these situations.