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12-6-17

Florida may end credit report freeze fee
- making it easier for data breach victims to protect themselves from fraud


Florida Department of Financial Services


Tallahassee - Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis has announced that he wants Florida to end all fees imposed to freeze credit reports, and remove requirements for data breach victims to submit investigatory paperwork to prove they were victimized in order to waive this fee. The recent major data breaches underscore the importance of eliminating the credit report fee. 


“Recent widespread data breaches at major companies have huge implications for our 20 million residents. Every Floridian should have the power to easily protect themselves and their families,” said CFO Jimmy Patronis. “No one should have to jump through hoops to prove their identity was compromised just to get a fee waived.”


This legislative session, CFO Patronis will work with Commissioner Adam Putnam to entirely remove the credit report freeze fee in Florida, under all circumstances. 


“I applaud CFO Patronis for his leadership on this consumer protection initiative, which will eliminate the financial burden of placing a security freeze on credit reports. We must continue to do all we can to help protect consumers from fraud,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.


CFO Patronis stated, “There shouldn’t be a fee, in any case, for credit report freezes. These fees serve one purpose: to generate more money for reporting agencies.”


Florida law currently allows credit report agencies to charge a fee of up to $10 to freeze credit reports, and data breach victims are required to submit paperwork to prove their identity is in jeopardy just to avoid paying the fee. Four states (Indiana, South Carolina, Maine, North Carolina) already do not charge fees to freeze credit.