Sen. Jansen's consumer protection legislation passed by House committee
LANSING - State Sen. Mark Jansen's legislation protecting Michigan residents from the possible theft of their Social Security number was approved unanimously Wednesday by the House Intergovernmental, Urban and Regional Affairs Committee.
Senate Bill 298 would allow a register of deeds to remove or obscure all or at least the first five digits of a Social Security number on a copy provided to another individual.
"This package of bills will help keep our Social Security numbers private and protected - as they should be," Jansen said. "My legislation will help clarify the current law and address a split legal opinion - allowing all registers of deeds to remove all or the first five digits from copies of documents filed in their offices."
Jansen's bill also allows an individual whose SSN is contained in a county's book of records, including computerized recording systems, to request the register of deeds obscure or remove the first five digits of their SSN from copies.
Under the Michigan Social Security Number Privacy Act a register of deeds must obscure or remove the SSN from documents by July 1, unless prohibited by law, regulation, court order or rule. Unfortunately, the law did not amend certain recording statutes.
In seeking legal counsel, the Register of Deeds Association found a split legal decision regarding its role in the removal of SSN from documents filed with its office. If signed into law SBs 298 though 303 would clarify its obligation.
Other bills in the package would allow similar safeguards for real estate titles and documents such as recording of deeds, mortgages and instruments of record.
"Identity theft is a real problem in our high tech world and this common sense legislation will help protect our identities and our finances," Jansen said. "I'm glad to see the bills move forward through the legislative process."
The legislation will now go to the full House for consideration.
Posted: Wednesday, July 18, 2007
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