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Lawmakers try again with ID theft bill

A second legislative push is underway to give Arizona residents a tool to combat identity theft by allowing them to freeze their credit report

According to a statement released by the office of Sen. Amanda Aguirre, D-24, the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – allow residents of states without a security-freeze requirement in law, such as Arizona, to request a security freeze for a $10 fee. Victims of identity theft usually are allowed to freeze their consumer reports without paying a fee.

S1185 etches those standards in statute, lowers the fee to $5 dollars, and requires the bureaus to remove a freeze within 15 minutes of receipt of a request if it is received over the Internet or phone during regular business hours.

This time around, the bill is backed by Bob Robson, a key House member who had concerns about last session’s unsuccessful bill.

The bill, the product of negotiation among stakeholders, also has the support of senior Republican and Democratic members in both chambers, including House Minority Leader Phil Lopes and Senate Majority Thayer Verschoor.

“It can take years for people to rebuild credit once their identity is stolen. Credit freezes help prevent this kind of theft from happening,” said Aguirre, of Yuma.

Last year, a similar measure stalled in the House.

Rep. Bob Robson, chairman of the House Rules committee, was concerned last year that the Legislature might be “overreaching” in trying to combat identity theft, and in the process could be stifling people’s ability to gain access to their own reports.

“This session, we are bringing forth a better bill to help address this situation,” Robson, R-20, said in a statement.

 

 

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