Georgia's credit freeze law takes effect August 1, 2008
On May 13, 2008 Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law a credit freeze bill that will provide Georgia consumers with the ability to place a freeze on their credit file for only $3, or a total of $9 for each of the three major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The freeze would be free for senior citizens 65 and older and for victims of identity theft. Each temporary lift â€“ commonly called a â€œthawâ€ â€“ to allow access to the consumerâ€™s credit file would also cost $3, and would be available electronically within 15 minutes of request, keeping on-the-spot credit an option for shoppers. The legislation will become effective August 1, 2008.
With the signing of this bill, Georgians have gained a new weapon in the fight against identity theft. When a freeze is in place, credit reporting agencies may not release the consumerâ€™s credit file unless the consumer first removes the freeze by providing his password. Most lenders and creditors rely on access to a consumerâ€™s credit file to determine his credit worthiness. By denying such access, a credit freeze makes it very difficult for an identity thief to open an account in a victimâ€™s name.
It should be noted that the law does give some companies access to reports despite a freeze such as insurance companies, existing creditors and law enforcement agencies.
To place a credit freeze on your file, consumers must contact the credit reporting agencies at the addresses below:
Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
TransUnion Security Freeze
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
The request must include identifying information:
* Full name (and former name if applicable)
* Current Address and former address if it changed in the last 5 years
* Social Security number
* Date of birth
* Photocopy of a driverâ€™s license, state ID card or other government-issued identification
* Proof of current residence, such as a copy of a phone or utility bill
* If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of either the police report; investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft;
* If you are not a victim of identity theft, include payment by check, money order or credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover cards only.) Do not send cash in the mail.