Dodd-Frank Changes for Identity Theft

Revisions to key components of the Dodd-Frank act have passed both the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives and have been signed by the President. The revisions include changes to certain credit freeze policies and to the length of a fraud alert posting. The Dodd-Frank Act was originally passed to address banking industry excesses after the financial collapse of 2008.

One change affects credit freezes

A credit freeze is a process that enables you to restrict access to your credit reports that can help prevent criminals from using your personal information to open new accounts. Currently, the act of placing and removing credit freezes at a credit bureau can involve fees depending on the state in which you live.  The revised Dodd-Frank act would allow all individuals to place and remove freezes on their credit files at no fee.  Note, the freezes would only apply to checks made by creditors during applications for new credit.

Fraud alert changes too

In addition, the new legislation addresses fraud alerts.  An individual may contact the credit bureau to place an initial fraud alert if they have concerns that their identity may have been compromised.  This process is free and the initial alert currently stays on the credit report for at least 90 days.  The revised legislation extends the 90 days to a year.  The presence of a fraud alert on your credit report requires businesses to verify your identity before it issues credit.

These are relatively minor, but important changes to be aware of as you take steps to protect your identity.

Interested in learning more about Identity Theft, check out the Identity Theft section on our blog and get in the know.

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Tom Quinn

Tom Quinn is the Vice President of Business Development for myFICO and has over 25 years of experience working with consumers, regulators, and lenders regarding credit related questions and initiatives.