Equifax Data Breach Settlement

As you likely know, the consumer credit reporting agency Equifax experienced a data breach in 2017 that exposed the personal information of 147 million people.(1) Just last month, Equifax reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 50 U.S. states and territories.(1) If your data was compromised as a result of this breach, you have several options available to you, which we have listed below. (Sources for this communication are listed below.) 

Recommended next steps:

(1) Use the following tool to see if your information was exposed:
https://eligibility.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/en/eligibility

(2) If your information was impacted, you are a class member, and are eligible to file a claim. The deadline for filing a claim is January 22, 2020. 
https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/file-a-claim3

(3) When filing a claim, you have several options (note that we generally recommend you consider choosing the first one, the free credit monitoring service):

  • Free Credit Monitoring Service

    • You can receive free, three-bureau credit monitoring at all three national credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Experian will provide this service for at least 4 years. You can also enroll in free, single-bureau credit monitoring of your Equifax credit file, provided by Equifax, for up to 6 years after the Experian service ends.

    • You can also receive $1,000,000 of identity theft insurance, among other benefits. 

    • The market value of these products is hundreds of dollars per year.

  • Up to $125 cash payment 

    • This option is only available if you already have credit monitoring and will have it for at least 6 months from today. During the claim process you must name the credit monitoring service you are utilizing. 

    • The actual cash payment you may receive could be significantly less than $125 depending on the number of claims filed.  It is being widely reported that the public response to the $125 cash settlement has been overwhelming.  Given that the total amount available for these payments is $31 million, it is likely that the actual amount paid per person will be significantly less than $125.

  • Cash payment for time spent on recovering from or avoiding fraud or identity theft because of the data breach.

    • You can be compensated up to $25 per hour for up to 20 hours. Your payment may be less, depending on the number of claims filed.

    • If you claim 10 hours or less, you must describe the actions you took in response to the data breach and the time each action took.

    • If you claim more than 10 hours total, you must describe the actions you took in response to the data breach and include supporting documents showing fraud, identity theft, or other misuse of your personal information.

  • Cash payment for money lost or spent on preventing or recovering from fraud or identity theft caused by the Equifax data breach.

    • You can receive reimbursement for up to $20,000 total.

    • It is important for you to send documents that show what happened and how much you lost or spent, so that you can be repaid

Please reach out with any questions you might have regarding the settlement, or the process to file a claim.

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(1) Sources for information in this communication:  

https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/refunds/equifax-data-breach-settlement
https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/  

 
 

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