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Credit Security

  • 05172018CM0341RPLAINFIELD - Credit reporting agencies will no longer be able to charge Illinois residents who want to freeze their report reports due to system hacking or stolen information, thanks to a measure supported by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

    House Bill 4095, which will allow consumers to protect themselves in a cost-effective and timely manner, was signed into law on Friday.

    “As a society, we rely on online systems to do everyday tasks. At times citizens are at the mercy of these credit reporting agencies,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Dealing with the aftermath of massive security breaches is time-consuming and devastating. Will County residents who were unwitting victims of the 2017 Equifax security breach dealt with frustrating and often expensive processes to secure their information. This is simply unacceptable.”

    The Equifax security breach that happened in September of 2017 compromised information such as names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver's license numbers. This breach is very concerning as such sensitive information can be used for identity theft.

  • Sen. Bill CunninghamSPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents will no longer have to pay a fee to protect their identity when freezing their credit thanks to legislation that was signed into law today.

    House Bill 4095 is an initiative of Attorney General Lisa Madigan and State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat representing Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs.

    The new law will bar credit reporting agencies from charging consumers a fee to place or lift a freeze on their credit report, and gives consumers the ability to do so electronically or over the phone instead of by certified mail.

  • Sen. Michael E. HastingsTINLEY PARK – Credit reporting agencies will no longer allow consumer reporting agencies to impose a charge on a consumer for placing a freeze, removing a freeze, or temporarily lifting a freeze on their credit reports, thanks to a new law championed by State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park).

    Hastings pushed for safeguards after Equifax announced that a security breach compromised the personal information of 143 million U.S. residents, including more than 5.4 million Illinois residents.

    Equifax originally disclosed the breach in September of 2017, but since then, there have been multiple disclosures from the company that show more vital information was stolen than the company originally revealed. Just last month, Equifax informed the public that a small number of passport images and information were stolen as part of the security breach, despite previously denying such a thing occurred.  

  • link 081715SPRINGFIELD – Disabled veterans will see property tax relief and active military personnel gain added ID and credit security under two newly signed laws sponsored by state Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan).

    “Our service men and women put their lives on the line to protect us. I’m honored to be able play a part in providing them some financial relief and security,” Link said. The proposals he sponsored – SB 107 and HB 3425 – were signed Sunday by the governor.

    SB 107

    This new law take effect immediately and provides property tax relief for veterans who have accessibility improvements, such as wheelchair ramps, made to their homes. Accessibility projects can cost thousands of dollars and increase the value of homes, meaning disabled veterans are hit with higher property tax bills just for making their homes more livable.

    Senator Link sponsored the proposal after a disabled veteran living in his district partially remodeled her kitchen to make room for her walker, only to have her assessed evaluation increase. After numerous appeals, she won her case to have the evaluation lowered. She then pursued a change to state law to make sure accessibility projects don’t affect property taxes.

    Senator Link was able to deliver for her. Thanks to his legislation such improvements will not increase the assessed valuation of the property for a period of seven years after the improvements are completed.

    In addition, many disabled veterans will qualify for additional property tax relief. For instance, a veteran with a service-related disability of 30 percent to 50 percent qualifies for a $2,500 property tax exemption. Previously this veteran would not qualify for any exemption.

    A veteran with a service-connected disability of 50-70 percent qualifies for a $5,000 exemption, up from the previous $2,500.

    And a veteran with a service-connected disability of 70 percent or more is exempt from taxation. Previously this veteran would qualify for a $5,000 exemption.

    “These soldiers personally sacrificed so much for our country and freedoms. It’s time we recognized that and do what we can to give back,” said Link.

    SB 107 takes effect immediately.

    HB 3425

    Military personnel are often the target of identity thieves and credit scams. In fact, a Federal Trade Commission report found they are victimized twice as often as the general public.

    In response, Senator Link was the chief Senate sponsor of HB 3425, which offers free credit freezes for active military personnel and veterans.

    Previously, consumer reporting agencies could charge consumers up to $10 each time they request a credit freeze. Credit security freezes prevent new creditors from accessing a person’s credit report. This prevents identity thieves from opening a new account in a veteran’s name.

    The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, eliminates the charge for military personnel and veterans.

  • 04262018CM0104RVILLA PARK – On Sept. 7, 2017, Equifax announced that a security breach compromised the personal information of 143 million U.S. residents, including more than 5.4 million Illinois residents.

    There will now be protections against the consequences of such breaches thanks to a measure championed by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), which will allow consumers to protect themselves in a cost-effective and timely manner.

    “This new law will ensure people are not penalized for making responsible financial decisions,” Cullerton said. “Every day Illinois residents use online services that require them to share personal information. This makes all of us susceptible to security breaches similar to the 2017 Equifax breach. When misfortune strikes, it’s vital that the State of Illinois ensure DuPage County residents have the tools available to protect themselves.”