You may obtain a security freeze on your consumer credit file at no charge to protect your privacy and ensure that credit is not granted in your name without your knowledge. You have a right to place a “security freeze” on your consumer credit file pursuant to North Dakota law. The security freeze will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing any information in your consumer credit file without your express authorization or approval. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. When you place a security freeze on your credit file, within five business days you will be provided a personal identification number or password to use if you choose to remove the freeze on your credit file or to temporarily authorize the release of your credit report or credit score for a specific party, parties, or period of time after the freeze is in place. To provide that authorization, you must contact the consumer reporting agency and provide all of the following:
- The unique personal identification number or password provided by the consumer reporting agency.
- Proper identification to verify your identity.
- The proper information regarding the third party or parties who are to receive the credit report or the period of time for which the report shall be available to users of the credit report.
A consumer reporting agency that receives a request from a consumer to lift temporarily a freeze shall comply with the request no later than three business days after receiving the request.
A consumer reporting agency may charge you up to five dollars each time you freeze or temporarily lift the freeze, except a consumer reporting agency may not charge any amount to a victim of identity theft who has submitted a copy of a valid investigative report or complaint to a law enforcement agency about the unlawful use of the victim’s information by another person.
A security freeze does not apply to circumstances where you have an existing account relationship and a copy of your report is requested by your existing creditor or its agents or affiliates for certain types of account review, collection, fraud control, or similar activities.
If you are actively seeking a new credit, loan, utility, or telephone account, you should understand that the procedures involved in lifting a security freeze may slow your own applications for credit. You should plan ahead and lift a freeze – either completely if you are shopping around, or specifically for a certain creditor – with enough advance notice before you apply for new credit for the lifting to take effect.
You have a right to bring a civil action against someone who violates your rights under the credit reporting laws. The action can be brought against a consumer reporting agency or a user of your credit report.