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What The Scumbags In Congress Have Been Up To This Month
No good, what else? By passing H.R. 3997, they effectively gut California's laws that allow citizens like me to freeze their credit and be notified when there's a security breach. In the words of Senator Deborah Bowen:

“Congress has taken the first step down the path to strip Californians of their right to place a freeze on their credit report in the name of creating a national standard. The freeze is the most important tool people have to protect themselves from becoming an identity theft victim,” said Senator Bowen, who is the author of several of California’s identity theft prevention laws, including SB 168, which created the first credit report freeze law in the nation in 2001. “Privacy is the number one concern of most Americans. I don’t see how making life easier for would-be identity thieves, as Congress seems intent on doing, and setting the identity theft prevention efforts back five years does anything to help people protect their privacy.”

...“Preventing people from freezing access to their credit reports unless they’re an identity theft victim is a little like saying people can’t buy flood insurance until their house is six feet underwater,” continued Bowen. “The whole purpose of the freeze is to let people take a pro-active, preventative step to ensure they don’t get ripped off. Why Congress wants to tell people, ‘Hey, there’s this great thing that will help you from becoming an identity theft victim, but you can only use it if your identity has been stolen and the thief has racked up thousands of dollars worth of bills in your name’ is beyond me.”

...“Clearly some of the identity theft prevention laws we’ve put on the books are starting to have an effect, which means now certainly isn’t the time to start weakening the protections we’ve set up for Californians as many folks in Congress are looking to do,” concluded Bowen. “The security freeze lets you lock down your credit history so criminals can’t assume your name, get approved for loans and credit cards based on your good credit rating, and then send the collection agencies chasing after you. The freeze lets you maintain control over something you probably never thought you’d be in danger of losing – your good name.”

This week, Senator Bowen is circulating a letter among her colleagues in the Legislature that will be sent to the members of the California congressional delegation, urging them to pass strong identity theft prevention laws that don’t preempt or weaken California’s laws.

How about we urge the rest of the creepazoids in Washington to remember they're on the taxpayer payroll so they might take a moment to vote in our behalf -- instead of doing their part to bend us over so the credit industry can stick it to us more easily? Here's another article on this -- and the suggestion that you contact your Congressturd and yell to have this law thrown in the trash bin.

Posted by aalkon at April 1, 2006 10:46 AM

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What is the motive that Congress has for this law? Why would they want to do this?

Posted by: Patrick at April 1, 2006 6:57 PM

if people could freeze their credit then theifs couldnt run up debt, and the crei agencies and collections agencies couldnt extort money from people who will pay them off just to left alone

the motive of congress? money from the credit lobby for their election campaign

Posted by: john at April 3, 2006 12:34 AM

The reason why congress is doing this? This is my theory.
Many companies that want to pester you with credit card, mortgage, and other credit-related offers. These companies want to see your credit. The inquiry is a special kind that doesn't show up on your credit report (some call that a "promotional inquiry"), so you don't even know it happened. If your credit report is frozen, they can't scan your credit report to see if they want to send you junk mail.

Posted by: JNichols at April 3, 2006 7:50 AM

The next best thing is to use a "Fraud Alert" that is currently available thru all three bureaus. I work in mortgage risk management and it is policy to verify these every time they appear on a borrower's credit report. They are meant to protect the borrower, and stop identity theft. I agree that the freeze will be much more effective and hope it is implemented.
In the mean time, the best protection out there is the Fraud Alert.
I believe the motive to impede the freeze comes from credit grantors (mortgage included) that could stand to lose millions if they were not able to review credit reports at will and offer appropriate candidates credit cards. Appropriate candidates usually are people with a lower than average FICO and not stellar creidt. This way, the CC companies can justify charging a higher rate to offset the "risk" of granting credit to a less than perfect borrower.
The people with the really good scores (700+) are the ones with lots of open credit but do not carry balances. They don't take on more credit debt because they don't need anything they can't pay cash for.


Posted by: Jill at April 3, 2006 1:23 PM

Even ChoicePoint has some issues with HR 3997! We have an interview with a ChoicePoint insider about consumer privacy and identity theft online today -

Posted by: Emily at April 4, 2006 10:57 AM

Even ChoicePoint has some issues with HR 3997! We have an interview with a ChoicePoint insider about consumer privacy and identity theft online today -

Posted by: Emily at April 4, 2006 10:58 AM

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