Beginning on July 1, 2006, you will have the option of requesting any consumer reporting agency (credit bureau) to place a security freeze on your credit report. You will be able to place a security freeze on your credit reports by making a request in writing by certified mail to each consumer reporting agency you want to place a security freeze on your file. Once a security freeze is in place, the consumer reporting agency will not be able to release your credit report, or any information contained in that report, without your prior express authorization. See Colorado Consumer Credit Report Act.
A consumer reporting agency must place a security freeze on your credit report within 5 business days after receiving your written request and must send you written confirmation of the security freeze within ten business days. They must provide you with a unique personal identification number or password for you to use in providing later authorization for the release of information from your credit report.
To view information on requesting a security freeze from the three largest consumer reporting agencies, visit the following web sites:
If you want potential creditors to be able to access information on your credit report, you must request that the freeze be temporarily lifted and provide the following information:
- Proper identification;
- The unique personal identification number and password provided by the consumer reporting agency; and
- The proper information regarding the third party who is to receive the credit report or the time period that the report shall be available.
The consumer reporting agency must remove a security freeze within three business days of receiving a request for removal from you. Remember, your failure to timely or correctly request a temporary or permanent removal of a security freeze on your account may result in the loss or denial of credit.
A credit reporting agency cannot charge for the initial placement of a security freeze. However, it may charge up to $10 for the temporary or permanent removal of a security freeze and for the reinstitution of a security freeze after it has been permanently removed. That charge may not exceed $12 if you are requesting to temporarily lift a security freeze to allow a specific party to access your credit information.
Note: A security freeze placed on a consumer’s credit report will not block access to that report, or to the information contained in that report, from any of the following:
- Any person that owns a financial obligation owing by the consumer for the purposes of reviewing the account or collecting that financial obligation;
- An assignee or prospective assignee of a financial obligation owing by the consumer;
- A subsidiary, affiliate, agent, assignee or a prospective assignee of a person to whom access to a consumer’s credit report has been granted for the purpose of facilitating the extension of credit or other permissible use;
- A state or local agency, law enforcement, trial court, private collection agency, or person acting pursuant to a court order, warrant, or subpoena authorizing the use of the credit report;
- A child support enforcement agency enforcing a child support obligation;
- The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing acting to investigate fraud;
- The Colorado Department of Human Service acting to investigate fraud;
- The Colorado Department of Revenue acting to investigate or collect delinquent taxes or unpaid court orders;
- The use of credit information for the purpose of prescreening as provided by the “Fair Credit Reporting Act,” 15 U.S.C. 1681;
- Any person or entity administering a credit file monitoring subscription service to which the consumer has subscribed;
- Any person or entity for the purpose of providing a consumer with a copy of his or her credit report upon the consumer’s request;
- Any person or entity for use in setting or adjusting a rate, adjusting a claim, or underwriting for insurance purposes;
- A pension plan acting to determine the consumer’s eligibility for plan benefits or payments authorized by law to investigate fraud;
- A person conducting a pre-sentence investigation in a criminal matter or a probation officer using this information for supervision of an offender;
- A collections investigator engaged in the collecting of fees, fines, or restitution in a court proceeding;
- A licensed hospital with which the consumer has or had a contract, or a debtor-creditor relationship for the purpose of reviewing the account or collecting the financial obligation owing on the account; or
- A law enforcement agency acting to investigate a crime or conducting a criminal background check.