Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
November 17, 2004
Contact: Brandon Dudley, (713) 236-0306

Senator Ellis Files Legislation to Protect Texas Consumers Against ID Theft

(Austin)// -- Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) filed Senate Bill 99 and Senate Bill 100 today to provide protection for Texas consumers against ID theft. Senate Bills 99 and 100 improve and expand upon identity theft legislation Senator Ellis passed in the 78th legislative session. Senate Bill 473, passed in 2003, is one of the most progressive pieces of ID theft legislation in the country. That bill allows consumers to freeze their credit when there is evidence of identity theft by filing a police report stating that they were victim of identity left.

Senate Bill 100 improves upon this consumer protection and allows consumers to freeze their credit without a police report. Filing a police report on this sort of crime can be difficult because of complex jurisdictional issues. This new legislation allows consumers to stop identity theft more efficiently and immediately by doing away with that requirement.

"We need to make it as easy as possible for hardworking Texans to protect themselves from financial predators," Senator Ellis stated. "This legislation will give victims the right to play a more pro-active and effective role in stopping those people that have taken their identity."

Senate Bill 99 prevents credit granting entities or agencies from denying applicants credit based on the fact that they have been victims of ID theft in the past. "We can't allow credit agencies to discriminate against innocent Texans for circumstances beyond their control," said Ellis. Similar legislation has been pursued by the state of California to ensure that consumers who have been victims of identity theft are not punished for their misfortune by being denied credit cards, mortgages, car loans and other necessary forms of lending.