PRESS RELEASE: VERMONT HOUSE APPROVES CONSUMER PROTECTION LEGISLATION
For Immediate Release
Contact: Katherine Levasseur
Office of the Speaker of the House
The House today unanimously approved H.593, the consumer protection bill. This legislation addresses automatic contract renewals, retainage for construction materials, credit protection for vulnerable persons and use of credit information for personal insurance.
House Speaker Mitzi Johnson supported the legislation, stating that “one important feature of this bill is the provision that ensures that Vermonters who invest in consumer contracts are not subject to automatic renewals unless they explicitly opt in to the provision. This protects Vermonters from companies that automatically renew contracts and charge consumers for services year after year, such as magazine subscriptions, gym memberships, and media streaming services. Sellers will be required to provide a notice of renewal 30-60 days before the auto renewal or termination date.”
“Protecting personal credit information is invaluable in a time when credit scores are used for everything from apartment rental applications to obtaining student loans,” Representative Michael Marcotte, Vice Chair of the Commerce and Economic Development committee said. “This legislation ensures that no vulnerable Vermonter’s personal information may be used without their consent. Those most vulnerable to identity theft, especially minors and those who are incapacitated, are protected with a provision allowing a guardian to freeze their credit record. This is an important step forward to prevent anyone seeking to take advantage from using their credit information fraudulently. Protecting Vermonters’ personal credit information is a top priority for the House and we will continue our work on this and other issues that keep Vermonters protected and our economy strong.”
House Commerce and Economic Development Committee Chair, Representative Bill Botzow added, “as well as protecting vulnerable Vermonters, this bill is an important step forward that ensures Vermont insurers are considering more than just a credit score when determining personal insurance rates. Insurance is a must, and Vermonters deserve the opportunity to have their information fairly represented. That is why this bill also puts in place a process for consumers to explain any negative factors on the credit report that may have been caused by extraordinary life circumstances. Our committee is committed to working on issues that provide opportunity and ensure fairness. This bill is the right step forward to protect Vermonters and ensure they have fair access to critical financial protections, like insurance.”