House Bill 953 passed unanimously out of its first committee today
At a joint press conference today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis and Agriculture Commissioner Adam H. Putnam along with Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) and Rep. Shawn Harrison (R-Tampa) urged lawmakers to eliminate the credit report freeze fee during the 2018 Legislative Session. Senate Bill 1302, sponsored by Sen. Brandes, and House Bill 953, sponsored by Rep. Harrison, aim to make it easier for Floridians to protect themselves from fraud. HB 953 passed unanimously out of its first committee, House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee, today.
“Florida has the second highest number of identity theft complaints per capita with Miami, Naples, Tallahassee, and Orlando in the top 10 metro areas for these complaints,” said CFO Jimmy Patronis. “We know data breaches will continue to happen to no fault of consumers. No one should have to jump through hoops to protect themselves from fraud.”
“We should do all we can to make protecting consumers’ financial information even easier. Protecting consumers from fraud continues to be a top priority of mine,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.
“Whether a data breach victim or a consumer wanting to protect themselves from fraud, Floridians should be able to easily freeze their credit without having to pay to do so,” said Sen. Jeff Brandes. “It’s the right thing to do.”
“We’ve seen time and time again the implications data breaches have for Floridians,” said Rep. Shawn Harrison. “There should not be a burden placed on the consumer’s shoulders just to protect their credit.”
Florida law currently allows credit report agencies to charge a fee of up to $10 to freeze credit reports, and data breach victims are required to submit paperwork to prove their identity is in jeopardy to avoid paying the fee. Four states (Indiana, South Carolina, Maine, North Carolina) do not charge fees to freeze credit.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis will hold a press conference with Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg), and Rep. Shawn Harrison (R-Tampa) to urge lawmakers to support Senate Bill 1302 and House Bill 953, which eliminate the credit report freeze fee, on Wednesday, January 10, at 11 a.m.
WHO: CFO Jimmy Patronis and Commissioner Adam H. Putnam
Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg)
Rep. Shawn Harrison (R-Tampa)
WHAT: Press Conference on Eliminating the Credit Report Freeze Fee
WHEN: Wednesday, January 10, 2018
WHERE: The Florida Capitol
Fourth Floor Rotunda
Make it Easier for Data Breach Victims to Protect Themselves from Fraud
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced today that he wants Florida to end all fees imposed to freeze credit reports, and remove requirements for data breach victims to submit investigatory paperwork to prove they were victimized in order to waive this fee. The recent major data breaches underscore the importance of eliminating the credit report fee.
“Recent widespread data breaches at major companies have huge implications for our 20 million residents. Every Floridian should have the power to easily protect themselves and their families,” said CFO Jimmy Patronis. “No one should have to jump through hoops to prove their identity was compromised just to get a fee waived.”
This legislative session, CFO Patronis will work with Commissioner Adam Putnam to entirely remove the credit report freeze fee in Florida, under all circumstances.
“I applaud CFO Patronis for his leadership on this consumer protection initiative, which will eliminate the financial burden of placing a security freeze on credit reports. We must continue to do all we can to help protect consumers from fraud,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.
CFO Patronis stated, “There shouldn’t be a fee, in any case, for credit report freezes. These fees serve one purpose: to generate more money for reporting agencies.”
Florida law currently allows credit report agencies to charge a fee of up to $10 to freeze credit reports, and data breach victims are required to submit paperwork to prove their identity is in jeopardy just to avoid paying the fee. Four states (Indiana, South Carolina, Maine, North Carolina) already do not charge fees to freeze credit.