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Florida Bill of Rights: Freezing your Credit Report, Pros and Cons.

Information Regarding State Laws Florida Residents
FLORIDA BILL OF RIGHTS

As of July 1, 2006 you have a right to place a “security freeze” on your consumer report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing any information in your consumer report without your express authorization. A security freeze must be requested in writing by certified mail to a consumer reporting agency. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. You should be aware that using a security freeze to control access to the personal and financial information in your consumer report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, insurance, government services or payments, rental housing, employment, investment, license, cellular telephone, utilities, digital signature, Internet credit card transaction or other services, including an extension of credit at point of sale. When you place a security freeze on your consumer report, you will be provided a personal identification number or password to use if you choose to remove the freeze on your consumer report or authorize the release of your consumer report for a designated period of time after the security freeze is in place. To provide that authorization, you must contact the consumer reporting agency and provide all of the following:

1. The personal identification number or password.
2. Proper identification to verify your identity.
3. Information specifying the period of time for which the report shall be made available. 4. Payment of a fee authorized by this section of the Florida Statutes.

A consumer reporting agency must authorize the release of your consumer report no later than 3 business days after receiving the above information.

A security freeze does not apply to a person or entity, or its affiliates, or collection agencies acting on behalf of the Page 16 of 17

person or entity, with which you have an existing account, that requests information in your consumer report for the purposes of reviewing or collecting the account. Reviewing the account includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring, credit line increases, and account upgrades and enhancements.

You have the right to bring a civil action against anyone, including a consumer reporting agency, who fails to comply with the provisions of Sec. 501.005, Florida Statutes, which governs the placing of a consumer report security freeze on your consumer report.

FLORIDA BILL OF RIGHTS for PROTECTED CONSUMERS

If you are the parent or legal guardian of a minor younger than 16 years of age or a guardian or advocate of an incapacitated, disabled, or protected person under chapter 39, chapter 393, chapter 744, or chapter 914, Florida Statutes, you have the right to place a security freeze on the consumer report of the person you are legally authorized to care for. If no consumer report exists, you have the right to request that a record be created and a security freeze be placed on the record. A record with a security freeze is intended to prevent the opening of credit accounts until the security freeze is removed.

YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT USING A SECURITY FREEZE TO CONTROL ACCESS TO THE PERSONAL AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION IN A CONSUMER REPORT OR RECORD MAY DELAY, INTERFERE WITH, OR PROHIBIT THE TIMELY APPROVAL OF ANY SUBSEQUENT REQUEST OR APPLICATION REGARDING A NEW LOAN, CREDIT, MORTGAGE, INSURANCE, GOVERNMENT SERVICES OR PAYMENTS, RENTAL HOUSING, EMPLOYMENT, INVESTMENT, LICENSE, CELLULAR PHONE, UTILITIES, DIGITAL SIGNATURE, INTERNET CREDIT CARD TRANSACTION, OR OTHER SERVICES, INCLUDING AN EXTENSION OF CREDIT AT POINT OF SALE.

To remove the security freeze on the protected consumer’s record or report, you must contact the consumer reporting agency and provide all of the following:

1. Proof of identification as required by the consumer reporting agency.
2. Proof of authority over the protected consumer as required by the consumer reporting agency. 3. The unique personal identifier provided by the consumer reporting agency.
4. Payment of a fee.

A consumer reporting agency must, within 30 days after receiving the above information, authorize the removal of the security freeze.

A security freeze does not apply to a person or entity, or its affiliates, or a collection agency acting on behalf of the person or entity, with which the protected consumer has an existing account, which requests information in the protected consumer’s consumer report or record for the purposes of reviewing or collecting the account. Reviewing the account includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring, credit line increases, and account upgrades and enhancements.

You have the right to bring a civil action as authorized by section 501.0051, Florida Statutes, which governs the security of protected consumer information.

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