May. 18, 2016

HARRISBURG – The House approved legislation with unanimous support sponsored by Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) to protect Commonwealth citizens by eliminating the automatic expiration of security freezes on consumer credit reports.

“Identity theft often continues to plague its victims for years following the initial occurrence,” Barrar said. “With passage of this bill, people who are recovering from identity theft – as well as those who wish to avoid it – would have more power to protect themselves.”

When a consumer freezes his or her credit report, it becomes more difficult for a criminal to commit identity theft and open accounts on behalf of the consumer. Without being able to view the consumer’s credit report, most creditors will not approve a new account or extend the credit.

House Bill 1184 amends the Credit Reporting Agency Act by removing provisions that permit a consumer’s credit report security freeze to expire after seven years. Under the bill, the freeze would remain in effect until the credit reporting agency receives a request from the consumer to have the freeze removed.

Credit freezes do not prevent consumers from getting their free annual credit report from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and Transunion. The reports can monitored for inaccurate information, which can be an indication of identity theft.

The bill now advances to the Senate for consideration.

Representative Stephen E. Barrar
160th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
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