Can you benefit from the $575 million settlement?
Let’s find out!
September 2017, the announcement by Equifax that a data breach occurred exposing the personal information of 147 million people caused much anxiety in the financial industry and consumers in general. Subsequently, the company agreed to a global settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), The Consumer Financial Protection bureau (CFPB) and 50 U.S states and territories. It includes approximately $425 million to assist people affected by the breach.
How do you know your personal information was exposed? Go to the look-up tool to check https://eligibility.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/en/eligibility and you can file a claim.
Some benefits from the settlement
Free Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection Services:
Up to 10 years of free credit monitoring or $125 if you decide not to enroll because you already have credit monitoring. The free credit monitoring includes (a) At least four years of free monitoring of your credit report at all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and $1,000,000 of identity theft insurance (b) Up to six more years of free monitoring of your Equifax credit report. Also, if you were a minor in May 2017, you’re eligible for a total of 18 years of free credit monitoring.
Cash Payments (capped at $20,000 per person)
For expenses you paid as a result of the breach, like: (a) losses from unauthorized charges to your accounts (b) the cost of freezing or unfreezing your credit report (c) the cost of credit monitoring (d) fees you paid to professionals like an accountant or attorney (e) other expenses like notary fees, document shipping fees and postage, mileage and phone charges.
For the time you spent dealing with the breach, you can be compensated $25 per hour up to 20 hours.
Even if you do not file a claim, you can get:
Free Help Recovering from Identity Theft
For at least seven years, you can get free identity restoration services. And if you discover misuse of your personal information, call the settlement administrator at 1-833-759-2982. You will be given instructions for how to access free identity restoration services.
Free Credit Reports for All U.S. Consumers
Starting in 2020, all U.S. consumers can get six free credit reports per year for seven years from the Equifax website in addition to the one free Equifax report (plus your Experian and Trans Union reports) you usually get at annualcreditreport.com.
Please sign up for e-mail updates to get a reminder in early 2020.
THE CLAIMS PROCESS HAS STARTED. YOU MUST FILE BY JANUARY 22, 2020
Answers to some important questions:
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: WWW.EQUIFAXBREACHSETTLEMENT.COM OR CALL 1-833-759-2982.
BEWARE OF FAKE SETTLEMENT WEBSITES
To be sure you’re going to the right place, start at the (Federal Trade Commission’s) FTC’s page: ftc.gov/Equifax (https://www.ftc.gov/Equifax).
DO NOT PAY TO FILE A CLAIM FOR THESE BENEFITS. ANYONE CALLING TO TRY TO CHARGE FOR FILING A CLAIM IS A SCAMMER!!!
You can also sign up to get FTC email updates about the settlement: (https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USFTC/subscriber/new?topic id=USFTC 109)
If you were affected by the breach, you may also receive an e-mail notification after the court approves the settlement. Ftc.gov/Equifax (https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/refunds/equifax-data-breach-settlment)
EASIEST WAY TO SUBMIT A CLAIM IS ONLINE AT WWW.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com OR COMPLETE AND MAIL THE CLAIM FORM TO THEIS MAILING ADDRESS:
EQUIFAX DATA BREACH SETTLEMENT
C/O JND LEGAL ADMINISTRATION
P.O. BOX 91318
SEATTLE, WA 98111-9418
Denise Garrett is a financial counselor at the LDCENY and has more than 25 years experience in financial counseling and retail banking.