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Bertino-Tarrant empowers consumers to make sound financial decisions

05172018CM0341RPLAINFIELD - Credit reporting agencies will no longer be able to charge Illinois residents who want to freeze their report reports due to system hacking or stolen information, thanks to a measure supported by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

House Bill 4095, which will allow consumers to protect themselves in a cost-effective and timely manner, was signed into law on Friday.

“As a society, we rely on online systems to do everyday tasks. At times citizens are at the mercy of these credit reporting agencies,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Dealing with the aftermath of massive security breaches is time-consuming and devastating. Will County residents who were unwitting victims of the 2017 Equifax security breach dealt with frustrating and often expensive processes to secure their information. This is simply unacceptable.”

The Equifax security breach that happened in September of 2017 compromised information such as names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver's license numbers. This breach is very concerning as such sensitive information can be used for identity theft.

“This new law will streamline the process and eliminate costly fees to put the needs of consumers ahead of corporations,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “My goal is to empower residents to make sound financial decisions in a quick and cost-effective manner.”  

House Bill 4095 will no longer allow consumer reporting agencies to impose a charge on consumers for placing a freeze, removing a freeze, or temporarily lifting a freeze on their credit reports.

Previously, consumer reporting agencies were allowed to charge up to $10 each time a consumer wished to take these proactive actions.

This new law will not only eliminate fees, but would also allow Illinois residents to initiate or remove a freeze by telephone and through electronic methods.

House Bill 4095 goes into effect immediately.

Sen. Bertino-Tarrant

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49th Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Associated Representatives: Mark Batinick; Natalie A. Manley

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Education (Chairperson); Labor; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Transportation.

Biography: Lifelong educator; former Will County superintendent and secretary of Will County Regional Board of School Trustees; B.A., Illinois State University; MS, University of St. Francis; EdD., Loyola.