TRENTON – The Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee today approved a measure, sponsored by Senator Nia H. Gill, to make it illegal for creditors to deny credit to a person solely because that individual was a victim of identity theft.
Violators would face penalties of $5,000 for every proven incident of credit denial to a victim of ID-theft, according to the bill, S-1643.
“The scourge of identity theft shouldn’t be allowed to inflict further damage to victims by subjecting them to bad credit ratings,” said Senator Gill, Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee. “Loans for mortgages or cars or home appliances shouldn’t be delayed or denied just because applicants were victims of identity theft.”
The Gill measure was approved unanimously by the Assembly panel and was forwarded to the Assembly where it awaits a final legislative vote.
The Senate Commerce Committee last year developed legislation which required local law enforcement agencies to issue police reports on complaints of identity theft. This new law should provide the basis of proof that consumers were victimized by identity theft, Senator Gill said.
The Gill measure passed in the Senate by a 39-0 in June.
Any creditor who violates the provisions of the bill would face a penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation which would be collected by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, according to the bill.