I Must Oppose the $10.00 Fee

Calvin Hill (R-Canton) has it wrong. He wants consumers to have to pay credit reporting agencies $10.00 to freeze their credit reports if they are afraid of identity theft.

First, if you look at whose identity usually gets stolen, it’s people of lesser incomes, not the wealthy. That’s just a fact. Thieves go after those less likely to be able to have the resources to stop them.

Second, not one person uses a credit reporting agency by choice. We’re forced to use them. We cannot avoid using them. So why should we have to pay *them* money to protect us when I bet you none of us want to have to use them anyway.

Third, why should we have to shell out money of any amount to a credit reporting agency when we’ve been the victim of a crime? Seriously? Rep. Hill, this in and of itself is completely unfair to consumers.

We did not ask to have our identities stolen and we did not ask use the credit reporting agency. And yet you think it is fair for the victims of what is really a terrible, terrible crime should have to shell out money after the crime to protect themselves?

Yep, just another issue I would expect the Democrats to, justly, exploit in the 2008 elections.

11 comments

  1. Doug Deal says:

    And Republicans wonder why they get accussed of being out of touch?

    But what an idea for revenue enhancement for the government as well as ailing segments of the economy. Maybe all victims of crime can then pay $10.00 to file a police report. People reporting fires could be charged $10.00 for getting the fire trucks to come out. Maybe have people tired of junk mail pay $10.00 to stop junk mail, per company, or $10.00 per company to stop telemarketers.

  2. Rpolitic says:

    I think there needs to companion legislation that makes the credit credit reporting agencies pay $1000 per mistake on a report.

    But Erick I disagree with the premise that only the poor are targets. Anyone is a target I have known many very wealthy folks who have been targeted, some very upper middle class folks and some less fortunate. This is a crime of opportunity and they don’t discriminate

  3. Rep. Rob Teilhet says:

    I agree completely.

    As the first person to introduce a credit freeze bill in Georgia and someone who has unsuccessfully tried for over two years just to get the Banks & Banking Committee to have an up or down vote on the bill, to see it go in this direction is a disappointment.

    I think reasonable people can disagree on whether there ought to be a small fee for those who are proactively protecting themselves but haven’t been victims yet. In fact, my first version of the bill in 2006 had a small fee schedule for non-identity theft victims. But $10 per agency per freeze and lift is way too much, and victims of identity theft shouldn’t be charged at all.

    This bill makes the freeze a profit engine for the credit reporting agencies, rather than a protection for the consumer.

    The credit reporting agencies are already required to provide this service to somewhere around 38 states. The i.t. infrastructure is already in place, and has already been paid for by fees in other states or by the creditors who purchase the reports. The ongoing cost of having the freeze available in Georgia, if there is one, is negligible and should be factored in to the cost of doing business brokering people’s credit information and absorbed by the agencies and creditors who purchase the reports.

    That’s why my most recent version, introduced last year, has no fees. Its your information, and you should be able to limit its distribution if you wish.

    Finally, Rep. Tommy Benton and I tried last year to offer a credit freeze on the floor of the House since the Committee wouldn’t act, but it was defeated in an effort led by, among others, (I bet you already guessed it) Rep. Calvin Hill.

  4. Jason O says:

    Maybe someone who has read more about this can chime in, I am basing this on what I heard on the radio this morning.

    From what I understand, those who are victims of identity theft can freeze their credit for free. I assume this means that the fee is waived, if you have filed a police report. Those who are simply freezing their credit, without yet being a victim of identity theft, must pay the fee.

    I’m not sure if that justifies the fee or not, but it does seem worthy of mentioning in the discussion.

  5. atlantaman says:

    “Maybe all victims of crime can then pay $10.00 to file a police report.”

    It already costs $5 to have an APD police report mailed to you.

  6. atlantaman says:

    I think what might be fair is to allow for a “free” freeze once (similar to being allowed one free credit report), but if you want it unfrozen to apply for a loan etc.. then there should be a minimal fee. You can’t expect the credit reporting agencies to foot the bill for the jokers who would freeze and thaw their credit on a weekly basis.

  7. Doug Deal says:

    atlantaman,

    That is reasonable, but I would make it so that you could change the status once a year for free. This is 2007, and if the credit bureaus cannot automate the system, there is something seriously wrong. It’s not like someone has to go and pull a file, type up a letter and refile it.

  8. shrike071 says:

    Actually, according to NPR, the original posting is misleading. What he is proposing is to have a CAP on the fees already charged by the credit companies, not a new fee of $10. In other states, this fee can be $20, or even $50.

Comments are closed.