Credit Report Freezes
I commend the Commission for requesting comments regarding credit report freezes.Also for listing topics for comments. Identity theft has increased significantly and so are the remedies to either prevent or react by consumers. I will attempt to communicate my thoughts and suggestions while keeping in mind there will be a volume of commentaries responding and all will be relative to establishing remedies that consumers may access and untilize. The one recommendation I would put on the top of the list is changing the existing federal and especially state law penalties once convicted. The majority of the 39 states allow those found guilty, to receive a mis-demeaner penality which also reduces incarceration time. Adding to the inconsistency in state law penalities is the collection or lack thereof of monetary awards issued as part of the sentencing by the court. Institutions who loose non public consumer information should also be held more accountable. The availability of credit freezes lack easy consumer access and in most cases consumers must complete forms and send by certified mail. Thereafter, and assuming the consumer resolves the matter, the requirements to remove the freeze remain an administrative nightmare along with out of pocket expenses, It may be more consumer friendly to establish one place to report and without cost. I believe consumers need more education and more access to understanding preventive measures, steps to take in the event they become victims of identity theft and especially understanding exactly what a credit freeze means and its purpose. It should be noted that consumers can become victims as well from entities offering prevention measures of identity theft and the vulnerability of excessive fees/costs which fail to provide what the advertisement suggests.