SB 712 Allows consumers to place security freezes on their credit reports and creates requirements for merchandise rebates
Sponsor: Gibbons Co-Sponsor(s)
LR Number: 3257S.06C Fiscal Note: 3257-06
Committee: Commerce, Energy and the Environment
Last Action: 5/16/2008 - S Informal Calendar S Bills for Perfection--SBs 712 & 882-Gibbons and Rupp, with SCS Journal Page:
Title: SCS SBs 712 & 882 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2008

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Current Bill Summary


SCS/SBs 712 & 882 - This act allows a consumer to request that a "security freeze" be placed on his or her credit report, which prohibits credit reporting agencies from releasing the consumer's credit report or credit score without specific authorization from the consumer.

Credit reporting agencies are directed to place a freeze on any consumer's credit report within five days of the receipt of such a request. The reporting agency must notify the consumer in writing within ten days of enacting the security freeze and must provide instructions for removing or temporarily lifting the freeze. No fee may be charged by a credit reporting agency for a consumer's first security freeze request, but a fee up to $10 may be charged for any subsequent freeze request made by the same consumer.

Credit reporting agencies may issue credit reports subject to a freeze in certain circumstances that include: when requested or authorized by the consumer, pursuant to a court order, during times when the freeze has been temporarily lifted by the consumer, when used for prescreening purposes, when requested by a child support enforcement agency, for certain insurance purposes, to anyone with whom the consumer has an existing debtor-creditor relationship, when requested by the State of Missouri to investigate fraud or collect delinquent taxes, when used by a credit monitoring service to which the consumer subscribes, or when otherwise allowable under federal law.

Credit reporting agencies must supply any consumer who believes he or she has been a victim of identity theft with a summary of rights as specified.

Credit reporting agencies that knowingly violate this act shall be liable for actual damages sustained by any affected consumer, the affected consumer's court costs and reasonable attorney fees, and may be subject to other equitable relief assessed by a court.

The act prohibits retailers from advertising the after-rebate price of a good or service unless the retailer will honor the rebate at the time of purchase or unless the advertisement contains certain items as required in the act. Violations shall be considered unlawful merchandising practices, which the Attorney General currently has authority to prosecute. Retailers who sell items for which a rebate is offered, but who do not bear any responsibility for a rebate advertisement that is in violation of the act, shall not be liable for violating the act.

The act limits the type of information that businesses may require consumers to provide in order to receive a rebate. Businesses may request additional information only when there is reason to believe a rebate claim is fraudulent or illegitimate.

A claim form for a mail-in rebate shall be provided to the consumer at the time of merchandise purchase. Claim forms shall include a method of contact that a consumer may use to check on the status of his or her rebate claim.

Consumers shall be given at least 30 days in which to submit a mail-in rebate claim. Businesses shall remit payment for any mail-in rebate claims within 30 days of receiving a rebate claim request submitted in accordance with the rebate offer. When the method of rebate payment is not disclosed on a mail-in rebate advertisement, such payments shall be made in cash, check, or an equivalent method of payment, which does not include a reward card that does not function as a cash equivalent.

The act contains provisions similar to provisions in SB 507 (2007) and SB 737 (2006).

ERIKA JAQUES