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When Your Credit Gets Frozen in Georgia

Article by Robert Webb

If you live in Georgia be prepared to have your identity stolen. It’s a fact. Georgia has the unenviable status of ranking in the top ten states for identity theft crimes.

Now this isn’t a reputation anyone would be proud of, is it? You have to give Georgia a great deal of credit though (pardon the pun) in that they took immediate action to forestall the rising incidents of identity theft. In August of 2008, they brought in a new law that lets people ask for a credit freeze to prevent ID theft and fraud, or to stop those specific crimes.

You might be wondering how that would work, and it’s actually very simple. Roughly 15% or more cases of ID theft usually take place when new accounts are opened. The Federal Trade Commission is advising people who open the accounts and the credit institutions where they are opened to rigorously monitor them.

This service is not expensive, as when this Bill was introduced into the House, the law stated that credit reporting agencies couldn’t gouge people for this service. The price was set at .00 as compared to some other states that go as high as .00. It’s bad enough to have your identity stolen and your money ripped off; adding a .00 price tag to stop the nonsense is like adding insult to injury.

While it took the Bill about two years to get from an “idea” to a reality, many Georgia residents are grateful to have it in place. There are at least 40 other states that have a similar law on their books, but Georgia’s leads the pack with some reforms that are different. Different doesn’t mean easy though, and credit freezes are definitely not a snap to get done.

The easy part is writing the letter that asks for the freeze on your account. What you need to include in that letter will take some well-spent time to accomplish. You need to send your package by certified mail and have the following items in the letter: your name, address, Social Security number, birth date, copies of a driver’s license or military ID, and copies of a bank, insurance statement or utility bill. This is precisely what they want, and no, you cannot substitute other items.

Just remember, there are three major credit reporting agencies in Georgia, and you must send your information to all three. The three are TransUnion, Experian and Equifax whose information is found online for your state. By the way, if you are over the age of 65 or a victim of ID theft and offer a copy of your police report, the credit freeze is free.

If you’re worried about unfreezing your account, don’t be; it’s relatively easy and can be done in two ways. You may apply online for a temporary thaw or a total removal of the freeze. The temporary thaw would let customers apply for credit immediately. In the alternative, they could ask to have the freeze completely removed, which would take roughly 15 minutes to be put into effect. You’d be given a PIN for use on the phone or online. Georgia was the first state to offer this service for customers.

About the Author

Robert Webb is an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with Webb & D’Orazio, a law firm specializing in Atlanta personal injury, malpractice, criminal defense, and business law. Learn more at Webbdorazio.com.

Van Morrison classic and one of my favorites covered by the Federal Clan Kings: Lenny Federal, Dennis Johnson, Jim Brock, Rusty Barkley and Michael Federal.. and of course, the solid green dancers… Please pardon the dark video. We all look alot better because of it..

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