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Who, Exactly, Do Our Elected Representatives Represent?
Congress may gut credit-report protections like the credit freeze (available to consumers in California and 17 other states), writes Richard Burnett in the Orlando Sentinel. Thank the sleazebags in the credit card industry with their pretend problems, which they're using as an excuse to remove consumer choice:

A new state law that would allow Floridians to block access to their credit histories could be superseded by one of several federal proposals now working their ways through Congress.

Consumer advocates say one of the federal measures in particular would eviscerate the state "security-freeze" law, which was designed to protect credit files from identity theft.

If enacted, the federal bill would also nullify Florida's existing "breach notification" law and similar laws in other states that require companies to notify people when their personal data is stolen or otherwise compromised, critics of the federal measure say.

...The industry wants to limit the opportunity to freeze a credit history to those victimized by ID theft or those who have good reason to suspect their personal financial information has been compromised.

Many consumers may not realize how inconvenient a freeze on access to their credit records can be until they try getting quick approval to finance a purchase, said Anthony Dimarco, vice president of the Florida Bankers Association.

"My biggest concern is if a consumer signs up for a freeze, then goes shopping at a department store and wants to get instant credit approval to buy something," he said. "Suddenly, reality raises its head. You can't unfreeze your credit instantaneously. The person may realize that's not really what they want."

Supporters of a security freeze argue, however, that the peace of mind it brings is worth the inconvenience. The state law includes a formal process that allows a person to temporarily lift a freeze on a credit history within three days.

Posted by aalkon at June 11, 2006 6:52 AM

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All of the credit repositories support using a "PIN" to access a credit report on-demand. Trans Union and Equifax had this in place when initially complying with the California law, and Experian just recently implemented it. I'm sure not every store and mortgage company's software utilizes this, but it's available. I know many Mortgage loan origination programs use this, because I used to work with a credit vendor and tested many of those applications. They might be required to implement the 3-day process in Florida by FL law, but technically people in all states with Credit Freezes available can use the PIN.

Posted by: Jnichols1972 at June 12, 2006 6:11 AM

I know. I froze mine, and it's my choice. I don't want "easy credit" (or, rather, I have no need for it), and if that's what I don't want or need, nobody else should have a say in the matter.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 12, 2006 6:13 AM

Wouldn't it be great if someone could give you a "to do" list when you were ready to start your company that would guarantee your success? Even better, what about a "to don't" list of things to avoid at all costs? Through experience, I've found there are no shortcuts to launching a business--you have to do your homework to understand your customers, competitors, market conditions and risks. But there are some principles I've found to be very effective for growing both my company and my clients' businesses whether they are startups or Fortune 500 corporations, whether they sell consumer products, professional services or technology products. What to do as a start-up?

Posted by: Bozzz74 at September 4, 2006 10:48 AM

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