Posted by Chuck on July 24, 2019
Deals

Published on July 24th, 2019 | by Chuck

189

Equifax Class Action Settlement, Minimum $125 Per Affected Person (More For Those That Incurred Damages)

Update 1: Claims can now be filed here. Added the link below and updated the post to reflect that it’s now live. Update 2: The FTC site is now officially showing the Equifax site listed below as the site for claim (for those who were worried). Update 3: See our follow up post: FTC Admits You’re Not Getting Anywhere Near $125 From Settlement.

Equifax Class Settlement

Direct Link | File A Claim Here | Check You Eligibility (requires SSN)

In September of 2017, Equifax announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people. The company has agreed to a global settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 50 U.S. states and territories. The settlement includes up to $425 million to help people affected by the data breach.

The settlement seems to offer a minimum of $125 per person, details on that below.

Signup for email updates here. You can read the full settlement document here (hundreds of pages).

How Much?

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:

  • At least four years of free credit monitoring of your credit report at all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and $1,000,000 of identity theft insurance.
  • Up to six more years of free credit monitoring of your Equifax credit report.

If you were a minor in May 2017, you are 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:
    • Losses from unauthorized charges to your accounts
    • The cost of freezing or unfreezing your credit report
    • The cost of credit monitoring
    • Fees you paid to professionals like an accountant or attorney
    • 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.
  • For the cost of Equifax credit monitoring and related services you had between September 7, 2016, and September 7, 2017, capped at 25 percent of the total amount you paid.

Important Dates

Here are the applicable deadlines:

  • File a claim for Out-of-Pocket Losses or Time Spent – January 22, 2020 (for current losses and time); January 22, 2024 (for future losses and time)
  • File a claim for Credit Monitoring Services or Alternative Reimbursement Compensation – January 22, 2020
  • File a claim for Equifax Subscription Product Reimbursement – January 22, 2020
  • Access to Identity Restoration Services – No deadline. Services will be available for at least 7 years
  • Exclude yourself from the settlement – November 19, 2019
  • Object or comment on the settlement – November 19, 2019

Our Verdict

Bear in mind, not everyone is eligible for the settlement; only the 147 million whose data was breached. That’s roughly half of all Americans. Check your eligibility here.

Many of us already have free credit monitoring in place, e.g. from Discover, Credit Karma, etc. So it should/might be possible for us to file a claim for the $125, despite not really having any expenses laid out. If you aren’t subscribed for any credit monitoring services, then technically you aren’t eligible.

You can self-certify the time you spend, up to 10 hours at $25 per hour, for the time you spent dealing with the breach. That’s another $250 on top of the $125 for credit monitoring. Note: this is done under the penalty of perjury. Besides being immoral to lie on such a thing, it’s not worth the risk of perjuring yourself for a few dollars.

[Update: nullstring notes that the terms limit time spent for “Settlement Class Members who spent time on Preventative Measures fairly traceable to the Data Breach.” I’m not sure if things like requesting your credit report or reviewing your Credit Karma are called ‘fairly traceable’. They probably have a history of when you logged in, so it’s ‘traceable’ in that sense, but it might have to be traceable also in that you only did it due to the data breach, e.g. if you only started monitoring your credit since that time out of concern from the breach.]

An oddity here is that the math doesn’t add up: if there’s a pool of $425M and there are 147M people, that leaves around $3 per person, not $125 per person. I guess a lot of people won’t sign up for the settlement, but the $125 figure still doesn’t make sense.

[Update: The FAQ states: If there are more than $31 million claims for Alternative Reimbursement Compensation, all payments for Alternative Reimbursement Compensation will be lowered and distributed on a proportional basis.]



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Sean
Sean

I was noticing that as well. I expect more people than expected will make a claim and we will receive nowhere near $125.

Disgusting to see Equifax skate with minimal consequences.

SideShowBob233
SideShowBob233

On the plus side at least some of the execs who sold their shares before the breach became public got prosecuted. Usually they get off with no consequences.
But overall yes — and why do we get $425 million of the $700 million settlement? Why does the government get money and people affected by it get almost the same amount?

Tim
Tim

Typical greedy government

MoreSun
MoreSun

Let’s not forget the taxes we get to pay to the government on what we do get. If we get anything.

Aditya Shrivastava
Aditya Shrivastava

“we get to pay” 😀

Dubya
Dubya

It’s a “fine”to deter this type of nonsense in the future. The $375M was never “ours”. Realistically the majority of people who were affected ( name on the list) myself included, will be filing a claim for free $125. My name was on the list but I saw zero impact. No one used my data to open accounts or anything. I’m churning Equifax. How you like them apples?

Sean
Sean

Just because you have seen zero impact thus far, does not mean you will not in the future. Your data can be sitting in someone’s hands to commit fraud at anytime now.

Celeste
Celeste

so you recommend the 4 year monitoring and identify theft insurance over the $125 payment? I’m on the fence still.

VK
VK

A majority of illegal account openings would fail when banks notice signs of a fraudulent attempt. You would not be notified that someone attempted to do this. Besides, your information has probably been sold and resold and there’s no guarantee someone won’t engineer a sophisticated social engineering attack with the cocktail of stolen sources.

Celeste
Celeste

so you recommend the 4 year monitoring and identify theft insurance over the $125 payment? I’m on the fence still.

VK
VK

I would always recommend taking the cash. There are plenty of alternative / free monitoring services Now that freeze/unfreeze is free, I always keep all 3 frozen, and unfreeze as needed.

Celeste
Celeste

I think 2020 is the year when we’ll begin to see more people’s SSNs being used fraudulently. Right now it’s sitting there ready to be used. It’s been compiled and distributed across the dark web.

Tim
Tim

Because the government made the laws that made it possible to prosecute Equifax. Without the government, what are you going to do? Complain in Twitter?

SideShowBob233
SideShowBob233

I want execs to go to jail for negligence. That happens even in one case and magically the execs start taking this stuff seriously. I’m in IT so I know it’s not easy but patching servers isn’t magical. Not sure in this specific case but in many cases the hackers get in through servers that have known flaws and are not patched.

MB
MB

Even if you do get credit monitoring from discover it’s still worth it to also get it from Equifax as they cover up to $1million if your identity gets used inappropriately

Dubya
Dubya

That’s not the way it works. They don’t just cut you a check if someone uses your identity. You to have been harmed in some way. You going to lawyer up to prove that? That will be net loss for you. I’m sure they have some scale to equate harm with a dollar figure but you’re more likely to be buying a Bento than a Bentley with your winfall.

max martori
max martori

also I bet loads of people will sign up for the free credit monitoring so we will get the 125$

frogger
frogger

Most people are too lazy to even bother to apply for the $125 or credit monitoring.

YoniPDX
YoniPDX

Sad that these settlements have no teeth and are little more than a cost of doing business for these Corps selling our info EQ/TU/EXP FAANG

WTG
WTG

You actually will be able to get $375 minimum per person. The $125 to decline the credit monitoring and $250 bc they allow you to self-certify the first 10 hours of and work you did dealing with the breach at $25 and hour. So, I assume like most class actions there will be separate sections for these and you can claim under both.

Chucks
Chucks

Great point, many thanks

qmc
qmc

Keep in mind it’s self-certify under the penalty of perjury.

Don’t perjure yourself if you didn’t actually spend time dealing with identity theft.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

Hush it ain’t perj

qmc
qmc

Do you realize you are party to a legal settlement overseen by a court of law? This is not like lying to a bank about your income.

Chucks
Chucks

They will definitely be auditing the 100 million people submitting claims and subjecting each and every one to very serious interrogation. I expect we will see several thousand people of these 100 million go to prison over perjury. /s

qmc
qmc

“I probably won’t get caught” doesn’t mean it’s right, legally or morally ….

Sam
Sam

Can we please remember what type of immoral filth and illegalities we are dealing with when we talk of equifax…125 ain’t gonna cut it equifax…

Sam
Sam

Firstly will the real chuck please stand up! Stop confusing me with your screen name please!
Now to my point you sound sarcastic in the beginning of the post. Then you take on a serious tone. Gosh hope you don’t really believe that they are gonna spend such an astronomical amount of time and effort on that.

Super Leisure Man
Super Leisure Man

You will get a tongue lashing from Judge Rinder

jack
jack

What, you mean like Lenny Dykstra?

ycx
ycx

While you’re 100% right that it’s perjury to state that you have spent time when you have not, pretty much everyone I know spent 10 hours or more calling up the credit bureaus, issuing freezes, being given the runaround because their systems were incapable of handling the load, or because they (for some reason) refused to accept a completely legitimate credit freeze request.

George
George

The post said dealing with the breach, not dealing with identity theft. Guess I gotta go read the fine print…

Joe
Joe

lol

Frank
Frank

Did they say what counts? I spend a good 30 minutes resetting my password every time I want to log into their credit monitoring site (which I got access to and do as a result of the breach)

anthony
anthony

Wait, I could’ve gotten the $125 in addition to the 250 for the 10 hours I claimed? I didn’t see that.

Debit
Debit

Nothing has changed. I am told by bank employees to email them sensitive documents saying email is secure.

People have no sense of computer security and in true american fashion they wield their ignorance with confidence.

Government jobs ask for your social security number at the application stage. I asked the HR isn’t that risky for you guys to have sensitive information, she said just lie.

Idiots everywhere. Many employees should have to take mandatory online data security courses every year and get recertified

AA
AA

This.

It’s not enough to just let the “experts” deal with security; everyone in the company has to be knowledgeable and engaged enough, because everyone interacts with information.

I used to do IT support and training for small businesses. These companies are just made up of ordinary people who bring all of their misconceptions and knowledge gaps about information security and technology. Just because they are in business and look official doesn’t mean they know what they are doing in every aspect.

Just as well (the good news), company staff often seems teachable like any other people. I’ll admit that my clients were largely self-selected as those who valued learning and improvement in the first place. But even as a customer, I’ve been pleasantly surprised when I pointed out security issues or other problems to a bank or company and later saw that they implemented better procedures or systems. My guess is that they don’t get clear and direct feedback often, so when it is given, it might actually get through.

Not that it’ll work all the time, but I try to improve awareness wherever I can. I agree about the mandatory security courses.

frogger
frogger

We have to do that every year. Very annoying.

Frank
Frank

Our country is effectively financially illiterate. We have a pending retirement crisis because people in their 50-70s didn’t bother to save money. The expectation that the general population would have even the most basic semblance of data security when they don’t know what compound interest is is laughable.

Nick
Nick

+100

SideShowBob233
SideShowBob233

Not fair to say “in true american fashion they wield their ignorance with confidence.” It’s not just americans that do this — we’re just the best at wielding our ignorance!

David
David

Equifax makes over 3 billion a year, but the best they can do is $3-$4 per person. Sounds about right.

dedigans
dedigans

I’m not defending Equifax but revenue does not equal profit or how much they “make”

MoreSun
MoreSun

Maybe they put the decimal in the wrong place and it’s supposed to be $1.25/person? Which should come out to about $.25/person after the lawyers get their fees 😉

Dave P
Dave P

I think to make a claim you have to actually be “affected” by the breach – ie, have suffered identify theft issues as a result, or prove you spent money on credit locks, etc, not merely had your information exposed.

Jim
Jim

Wrong – as long as you’re part of the breach you are entitled to compensation.

frogger
frogger

Maybe they expect a lot of people to accept the credit monitoring.

Matthew
Matthew

Because I’m reading this, and because I check my credit report regularly, does that count toward the 10 hours spent dealing with it? I don’t want to break any laws, but I do want them to pay. I’m thinking it’s viable to say I spent 1 hour dealing with this for the $25? It seems reasonable to me, but I’m wondering what the consensus might be.

Frank
Frank

This is what I want to know too. I’ve spent well over 10 hours keeping informed on if I need to do something and signing up for all the free monitoring they’ve given me

Felix
Felix

I would submit the hours. You’re not lying, so if they give you the $250 you’ve done nothing wrong.

Charles Mann
Charles Mann

I think Equifax practices what is commonly referred to as “The New Math”……..

MoreSun
MoreSun
Happy
Happy

Here are my 10 hours dealing with it;

– Learnt what is Equifax, why it (and other credit bureaus) exist in the first place etc = ~1hr
– Learnt what is a data breach, the 2017 incident, and its potential consequences = ~30min
– Read about best ways to deal with data breaches ~2hrs
– Learnt how to know if I am a potential victim = ~30
– Developed a personal strategy to minimize the effect of data breach ~2hrs
– Discussed the potential damage control plan with friends and family ~ 4hrs
– Decided not to take any action ~1min

Felix
Felix

I would legit submit this. It’s true and doesn’t commit perjury.

Frank
Frank

Looks like they got breached again cause “Happy” seems to know exactly what I put

RAM
RAM

Also around 100 weeks has past, I check my transactions in my two dozens of account at least once a week, let’s say it takes me 6 min each time to login and go over it, that’s 600 min or 10 hours
If anything, we’re being under compensated

Norm
Norm

Just checked the site, looks like it’s 20 hours now….

2. Other Cash Payments. You may also be eligible for the following cash payments up to $20,000 for:

the time you spent remedying fraud, identity theft, or other misuse of your personal information caused by the data breach, or purchasing credit monitoring or freezing credit reports, up to 20 total hours at $25 per hour.

Norm
Norm

Oops but only 10 hours to self-certify with no documentation 🙂

Sam
Sam

This is one of those cases where you hope you’re not eligible for the $125

Old mistake
Old mistake

What everyone forgets is that 146 million equals ALL Americans who have a credit report….the other 50 percent dont have a credit report!

nick
nick

how does one found out if affected?

Danno
Danno

It’s in the post, “Check Your Eligibility”. If you’re eligible, it’s because your info was involved.

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