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Missouri helps pass legislation for ID theft victims
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (5/22/08)--Missouri credit unions are seeing more consumers--both members and non-members--targeted by identity theft scams. To assist consumers fight identity theft, Missouri credit unions were instrumental in helping to pass legislation to assist victims. Missouri House Bill 1384 changes the laws regarding identity protection and gives identity theft victims the right to have an incident report filed by their law enforcement agency and to receive a copy of the report. Currently, not all Missouri law enforcement agencies file reports. The Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) worked on the bill--which passed in the House--early in the legislative session with its sponsor, State Rep. Stanley Cox (R-118). However, H.B. 1384 stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee when the committee chairman questioned the need for the bill. Credit unions played an important role in getting the bill passed by contacting law enforcement agencies and providing proof that not all police departments were filing reports, MCUA said. Because of information provided by MCUA, the chairman passed the bill out of committee. The bill was combined with a credit freeze bill sponsored by State Senate President Pro Tem Mike Gibbons (R-15). The bill passed on the final day of the legislative session, May 16. The identity theft bill will take effect Aug. 28. “This is the most significant consumer protection legislation passed this year by the Missouri General Assembly,” Cox said. “I acknowledge the invaluable contribution of Sen. Mike Gibbons and the Missouri Credit Union Association in this effort. It will significantly reduce the injury caused by identity theft, which is a threat to all consumers.” “Since the House Consumer Protection Committee was eliminated several years ago, there has been no specific committee with a focus on consumer interests,” said Peggy Nalls, MCUA senior vice president, public and legislative affairs. "We were happy to serve as the consumer watchdog on this issue and help support passage of the bill.”
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