In September of 2017, Equifax had one of the largest data breaches, with 56% of Americans – 150 million people – being affected.  On July 22 of this year, Equifax reached a settlement.  The settlement requires eligible customers to file a claim.  If you do nothing, you will receive nothing. All claims must be filed by January 22, 2020.

To find out if you are eligible, click here: https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/refunds/equifax-data-breach-settlement

If you are eligible, there are four types of relief that you can claim.  Understand that the onus is on you to prove these points:

Credit monitoring:

You can file for ten years of free credit monitoring.   This includes at least four years of credit-monitoring services through Experian and up to an additional six years of monitoring with Equifax. If you already have credit monitoring in place, you can request a $125 cash payment.

Time loss:

Consumers can submit claims for any time they had to spend dealing with a data breach — $25 per hour, up to 20 hours, according to the FTC. The claims form notes that if you claim 10 hours or less of compensation, you’ll need to write out the actions you took and an estimate of the time you spent on each task. If you claim over 10 hours, you need to submit supporting documents “showing fraud, identity theft, or other misuses of your personal information.”1

Monetary loss:

You will be able to claim up to $20,000 for any losses or fraud that you suffered or any out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred, such as paying to freeze and unfreeze your credit reports.  However, remember that most credit services provided free freezing/unfreezing of reports immediately after the breach. Your claim requires receipts to prove what you have spent.

Partial reimbursement for Equifax credit monitoring:

If you paid for Equifax credit monitoring or identity theft protection subscription for the year prior to the breach – from September 7, 2016, to September 7, 2017, you can be reimbursed for up to 25% of your subscription payment.

You can file your claim by printing it and sending it in or using the online form found here:  https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/.  Additional information is also included. You have several months, so take the time to think through what you want to include in your claim and find the supporting documentation.

We have found the on-line form simple to complete, but if you need any assistance or have questions, please let us know.

1 CNBC:  https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/25/how-to-claim-your-compensation-from-the-equifax-data-breach-settlement.html

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