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Equifax Breach Settlement: Basic Settlement Options

Written By: Lynda Tull, Associate Advisor

 

Were you one of the 147 million people affected by the Equifax data breach that happened in September 2017? If so, you may be eligible for some form of compensation.
On Monday, July 22nd, the Federal Trade Commission ruled that Equifax will have to pay up to $700 million in compensation and penalties. There are a few different options as to what type of compensation you may be entitled to, or you can opt-out of the settlement all together *1. Below are the key takeaways you need to know about the settlement. This information is current as of the date of the writing and can be found on the settlement website.

Decisions to be made, settlement options:

Free Credit Monitoring or up to $125 Cash payment.

Free credit monitoring

  • You may submit a claim to enroll in at least four (4) years of monitoring services for all three credit bureaus. This will be at no cost to you.
  • You may also opt-in for up to an additional six (6) years of credit monitoring for Equifax alone. The one-bureau monitoring service would not start until after the expiration of the three-bureau service. You will be sent instructions on how to enroll in the one-bureau monitoring before the expiration of the other.
  • The deadline to submit a claim for credit monitoring services is January 22, 2020.

Up to $125 cash payment (alternative reimbursement compensation)

  • This option is for the people who already pay for credit monitoring services, and do not claim the free credit monitoring service (option one above). To qualify for this option, you have to have a paid monitoring service at the time of the claim and certify that you will keep the service for a minimum of 6 months.
  • Depending on the number of claims filed, this payment may be substantially less than $125.2
  • With this option, you may also file a claim for time spent or out-of-pocket losses, see subsequent article for more information.
  • The deadline to submit a claim for alternative reimbursement compensation is January 22, 2020.

Identity Restoration Services

  • All Class members will receive access to this service after the settlement becomes final, even if you never make a claim.
  • The service will be provided by Experian for a period of seven (7) years.
  • Services include
  • Access to a U.S. based call center providing services related to this
  • Assignment to a specialist to assist you
  • Assistance with a step-by-step process

Submitting Your Claim:

  • Before you submit a claim you’ll need to verify that you are eligible for participation in the settlement due to your personal information being impacted. You can do that by using the look-up tool on the settlement’s website or by calling the settlement administrator at 1-833-759-2982.
  • For the look-up tool, you’ll need to enter your last name and the last six (6) digits of your social security number. If you have gone by more than one last name, for example a married and maiden name, you’ll want to check current and previously used names. When you file a claim, you’ll need to use the last name that was impacted.

Mark your calendar, important dates:

November 19, 2019– deadline to exclude yourself, opt-out of the settlement or object to the settlement.

  • Opt-out of the settlement (or exclude yourself) – you’ll need to notify the settlement administrator that you wish to opt-out of the settlement. This is the only option that allows you to retain your rights to separately sue Equifax for claims related to the Data Breach. If you opt-out, you may not make a claim for compensation.
  • Object to the settlement- you can write a letter to the court explaining why you think the settlement shouldn’t be approved. If you do this, you’ll still be a settlement class member and will be eligible for compensation if the settlement is approved. With this, you give up your right to sue on certain claims as laid out in the settlement agreement.

December 19, 2019– Final approval hearing

  • No claims will be distributed or available until after the Court approves the settlement.

January 22, 2020– Initial Claims Period Deadline

  • This is the deadline for free credit monitoring, alternative cash payment, and any out-of-pocket losses or time spent before this date.

January 22, 2024– Extended Claims Period Deadline

  • This is the deadline for you to submit a claim in order to receive compensation for losses that occurred after January 22, 2020.
    There still has to be a final hearing before any payments or benefits will be put into place. That final hearing is set to take place on December 19, 2019 with compensations being sent out January 23, 2020 at the earliest. For more detailed information visit the settlement’s website or the FTC’s website.

 

There still has to be a final hearing before any payments or benefits will be put into place. That final hearing is set to take place on December 19, 2019 with compensations being sent out January 23, 2020 at the earliest. For more detailed information visit the settlement’s website or the FTC’s website.

 

If you have any questions feel free to contact Lynda Tull at (607) 936-3785 or at TullL@jgua.com

 

 

1 These compensation(s) are also available for children who were minors at the time of the breach, known as “impacted minors”. If the impacted minor is over the age of 18 at the date of the claim, only the child or an authorized representative can submit the claim on the child’s behalf. If the impacted minor is under the age of 18, the parents or legal guardians must submit the claim form on behalf of the child.
2 At the writing of this article, the settlement website still has this as an option. However, according to the FTC’s website, you can still choose this option but you will be disappointed in the amount you’ll receive, as there has been an overwhelming number of claims within the first week.
By |2019-08-15T10:26:33-05:00August 15th, 2019|The Blog @JGUA|