§2480h. Security freeze by credit reporting agency; time in effect

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/09/063/02480h
Published: 2015

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The Vermont Statutes Online



Title

09

:
Commerce and Trade






Chapter

063

:
CONSUMER PROTECTION






Subchapter

003
:
FAIR CREDIT REPORTING










 

§

2480h. Security freeze by credit reporting agency; time in effect

(a) Any Vermont

consumer may place a security freeze on his or her credit report. A credit

reporting agency shall not charge a fee to victims of identity theft but may

charge a fee of up to $10.00 to all other Vermont consumers for placing and

$5.00 for removing, removing for a specific party or parties, or removing for a

specific period of time after the freeze is in place a security freeze on a

credit report. A consumer who has been the victim of identity theft may place a

security freeze on his or her credit report by making a request in writing by

certified mail to a credit reporting agency with a valid copy of a police

report, investigative report, or complaint the consumer has filed with a law

enforcement agency about unlawful use of his or her personal information by

another person. All other Vermont consumers may place a security freeze on his

or her credit report by making a request in writing by certified mail to a

credit reporting agency. A security freeze shall prohibit, subject to the

exceptions in subsection (l) of this section, the credit reporting agency from

releasing the consumer's credit report or any information from it without the

express authorization of the consumer. When a security freeze is in place,

information from a consumer's credit report shall not be released to a third

party without prior express authorization from the consumer. This subsection

does not prevent a credit reporting agency from advising a third party that a

security freeze is in effect with respect to the consumer's credit report.

(b) A credit

reporting agency shall place a security freeze on a consumer's credit report no

later than five business days after receiving a written request from the consumer.

(c) The credit

reporting agency shall send a written confirmation of the security freeze to

the consumer within 10 business days and shall provide the consumer with a

unique personal identification number or password, other than the customer's

Social Security number, to be used by the consumer when providing authorization

for the release of his or her credit for a specific party, parties, or period

of time.

(d) If the

consumer wishes to allow his or her credit report to be accessed for a specific

party, parties, or period of time while a freeze is in place, he or she shall

contact the credit reporting agency, request that the freeze be temporarily

lifted, and provide the following:

(1) Proper

identification.

(2) The unique

personal identification number or password provided by the credit reporting

agency pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(3) The proper

information regarding the third party, parties, or time period for which the

report shall be available to users of the credit report.

(e) A credit

reporting agency may develop procedures involving the use of telephone, fax,

the Internet, or other electronic media to receive and process a request from a

consumer to temporarily lift a freeze on a credit report pursuant to subsection

(d) of this section in an expedited manner.

(f) A credit

reporting agency that receives a request from a consumer to lift temporarily a

freeze on a credit report pursuant to subsection (d) of this section shall

comply with the request no later than three business days after receiving the

request.

(g) A credit

reporting agency shall remove or temporarily lift a freeze placed on a

consumer's credit report only in the following cases:

(1) Upon

consumer request, pursuant to subsection (d) or (j) of this section.

(2) If the consumer's

credit report was frozen due to a material misrepresentation of fact by the

consumer. If a credit reporting agency intends to remove a freeze upon a

consumer's credit report pursuant to this subdivision, the credit reporting

agency shall notify the consumer in writing prior to removing the freeze on the

consumer's credit report.

(h) If a third

party requests access to a credit report on which a security freeze is in

effect and this request is in connection with an application for credit or any

other use and the consumer does not allow his or her credit report to be

accessed for that specific party or period of time, the third party may treat

the application as incomplete.

(i) If a

consumer requests a security freeze pursuant to this section, the credit

reporting agency shall disclose to the consumer the process of placing and

temporarily lifting a security freeze and the process for allowing access to

information from the consumer's credit report for a specific party, parties, or

period of time while the security freeze is in place.

(j) A security

freeze shall remain in place until the consumer requests that the security

freeze be removed. A credit reporting agency shall remove a security freeze

within three business days of receiving a request for removal from the consumer

who provides both of the following:

(1) Proper

identification.

(2) The unique

personal identification number or password provided by the credit reporting

agency pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(k) A credit

reporting agency shall require proper identification of the person making a

request to place or remove a security freeze.

(l) The

provisions of this section, including the security freeze, do not apply to the

use of a consumer report by the following:

(1) A person, or

the person's subsidiary, affiliate, agent, or assignee with which the consumer

has or, prior to assignment, had an account, contract, or debtor-creditor

relationship for the purposes of reviewing the account or collecting the

financial obligation owing for the account, contract, or debt, or extending

credit to a consumer with a prior or existing account, contract, or

debtor-creditor relationship, subject to the requirements of section 2480e of

this title. For purposes of this subdivision, "reviewing the account"

includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring, credit line

increases, and account upgrades and enhancements.

(2) A

subsidiary, affiliate, agent, assignee, or prospective assignee of a person to

whom access has been granted under subsection (d) of this section for purposes

of facilitating the extension of credit or other permissible use.

(3) Any person

acting pursuant to a court order, warrant, or subpoena.

(4) The Office

of Child Support when investigating a child support case pursuant to Title IV-D

of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. et seq.) and 33 V.S.A. 4102.

(5) The Economic

Services Division of the Department for Children and Families or the Department

of Vermont Health Access or its agents or assignee acting to investigate welfare

or Medicaid fraud.

(6) The

Department of Taxes, municipal taxing authorities, or the Department of Motor

Vehicles or any of their agents or assignees, acting to investigate or collect

delinquent taxes or assessments, including interest and penalties, unpaid court

orders, or to fulfill any of their other statutory or charter responsibilities.

(7) A person's

use of credit information for the purposes of prescreening as provided by the

federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

(8) Any person

for the sole purpose of providing a credit file monitoring subscription service

to which the consumer has subscribed.

(9) A credit

reporting agency for the sole purpose of providing a consumer with a copy of

his or her credit report upon the consumer's request.

(10) Any property

and casualty insurance company for use in setting or adjusting a rate or

underwriting for property and casualty insurance purposes. (Added 2003, No. 155

(Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. July 1, 2005; amended 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 15;

2005, No. 211 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 3, 4; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § I.15.)
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