Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

May 11, 2007

Identity Theft Legislation Advances

by @ 6:26 am. Filed under Current Events

Earlier this week the Massachusetts State Senate passed a bill that provides protection to the victims of identity theft. The Senate bill is nearly identical to one passed by the House last week, so it’s likely that a version acceptable to both houses of the legislature will emerge. Governor Patrick has already indicated his willingness to sign such a law. Perhaps the most significant portion of this bill gives consumers the right to freeze their credit reports so that only creditors who are preapproved by the consumer will be given access to the credit data. This, of course, outrages merchants, credit card companies and other entities who profit from the quick provision of credit. (It will probably also annoy consumers who freeze their credit just to be safe and then find they can’t take advantage of that great deal they find in a particular store because they’re unable to instantly open a new credit account with the merchant). But to make the credit freeze a little tougher to impose, it must be requested in writing by the consumer and there is a $10 fee. The bill also contains requirements that merchants who have disclosed private financial information of consumers must notify the consumer of the breach in a timely manner. The Herald has written a favorable editorial about this soon-to-be law.

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