Dodd’s Identity Theft Resolution Act Signed into Law
SACRAMENTO –A new law signed by Governor Jerry Brown will provide a quicker resolution process for victims of identity theft and fraud. The bill, also known as the Identity Theft Resolution Act, was authored by Assemblymember Bill Dodd (D-Napa) after becoming a victim of identity theft himself last year. This new law will dramatically reduce the time it takes for victims of identity theft to clear their name, end harassing phone calls, and remove negative credit reporting. The bill received broad based support from Attorney General Kamala Harris, consumer advocates, and unanimously passed the legislature.
“Millions of Californians have suffered identity theft, myself included. It’s an issue that transcends partisan politics, and I want to thank Governor Brown and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting this important bill,” said Assemblymember Dodd. “Victims of identity theft deserve a transparent and speedy resolution process, and I will continue to fight for consumer protections."
Identity theft occurs when perpetrators illegally use a person’s confidential information to make fraudulent purchases or apply for consumer loans in the victim’s name. The California Attorney General reports that 1.5 million Californians fall victim of identity theft every year. Nationwide, identity theft has increased more than five-fold during the past 15 years according to the Federal Trade Commission, who estimate it can take an average of 6 months and 200 hours of work to recover from the crime. Under Dodd’s legislation, the timeframe for recovery will be reduced to a matter of weeks.
“Identity theft is a crime that can haunt a victim for years. Too often, they must navigate a complex system to clean up their damaged credit and it can take years to recover from the loss,” said Attorney General Kamala D. Harris. “I am proud to support this sensible legislation that will protect victims of identity theft and fraud and help them clear their name more quickly.”
“Assemblymember Dodd is one of many Napa County residents who have unfortunately fallen victim of identity theft. Local law enforcement is committed to protecting residents from this crime, but new criminal techniques are making it more and more difficult to prevent,” said Napa County Sheriff John Robertson. “Assemblymember Dodd’s Identity Theft Resolution Act is common sense approach that will help millions of people in California fix the financial damage that results from identity theft.”
Dodd’s bill dramatically reduces the time frame for debt collection companies to investigate identity theft disputes, and further requires that the results of that investigation be given to the consumer in a timely manner. Debt collection companies will now be required to provide faster updates to the credit reporting agencies to delete the negative credit reporting, which can raise interest rates or block victims from accessing home loans. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2017.
Assemblymember Bill Dodd represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Yolo, Sonoma, Lake, Solano, and Colusa Counties. You can learn more about Assemblymember Dodd and the district at www.asm.ca.gov/dodd.