Sen. Testin, Rep. Ott: Offer Wisconsinites relief from credit bureau fees

Contact:

Senator Patrick Testin (608) 266-3123
Representative Jim Ott (608) 266-0486
Senator Fred Risser (608) 266-1627
Representative Patrick Snyder (608) 266-0654

Sen. Risser, Rep. Snyder co-author bi-partisan proposal

Madison, WI – In the wake of the Equifax credit breach that may have exposed over 140 million Americans to credit fraud, a bi-partisan group of legislators has come together to offer Wisconsinites relief from credit bureau fees. Senator Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) and Representative Jim Ott (R-Mequon) have joined with Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) and Representative Patrick Snyder (R-Schofield) to introduce a proposal that would prohibit credit bureaus from charging a fee to freeze or unfreeze accounts.

“In recent weeks, hardworking consumers have been scrambling to place security freezes on their credit reports,” said Senator Risser. “Unfortunately, Wisconsin currently allows credit reporting agencies to charge a fee to our residents to freeze their reports, and another fee to unfreeze them. This would eliminate those fees.”

If successful, Wisconsin would join Maine, Indiana, and South Carolina as the only states to prohibit these fees across the board.

“The idea for this bill came from a person I represent in Junction City who is fed up – and I feel the same way,” said Senator Testin. “This bill addresses a real need that people are experiencing right now.”

In addition to eliminating burdensome fees, the authors feel this bill is empowers people to be fiscally responsible.

“Everybody should be able to easily control access to their credit reports,” said Representative Jim Ott. “There are three main credit bureaus, and too often people have to pay three times to freeze their reports and three times to unfreeze them. That’s a burden that discourages people from taking responsibility for their finances.

“The interim CEO of Equifax, Rego Barros, recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal that ‘Our longer-term plan is to give consumers the power to protect and control access to their personal credit data.’ This bill would accomplish that,” added Representative Snyder.

Legislators have the opportunity to co-sponsor the proposal until October 9th.

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