Published on July 31st, 2019 | by Chuck73
Equifax: FTC Admits You’re Not Getting Anywhere Near $125 From Settlement
So we all knew this was coming, but now the FTC makes it official: you’re not getting anywhere near $125 from the Equifax class settlement. FTC has clarified that there’s a limited pot of money for that part of the settlement, and based on the large number of claims, each person will only get a small amount.
…the pot of money that pays for that part of the settlement is $31 million. A large number of claims for cash instead of credit monitoring means only one thing: each person who takes the money option will wind up only getting a small amount of money. Nowhere near the $125 they could have gotten if there hadn’t been such an enormous number of claims filed.
The $125 figure is based on 248,000 people requesting cash payment. Should one million people request cash, the number will be more like $30. Should ten million people request cash, the number will be more like $3. Etc.
The FTC blogpost posits that the credit monitoring option is much more valuable. They’ll even be sending out an email with the option to change over from the cash payment to the credit monitoring option instead.
Frankly, the free credit monitoring is worth a lot more – the market value would be hundreds of dollars a year. And this monitoring service is probably stronger and more helpful than any you may have already, because it monitors your credit report at all three nationwide credit reporting agencies, and it comes with up to $1 million in identity theft insurance and individualized identity restoration services.
For those who have already submitted claims for this cash payment, look for an email from the settlement administrator. They’ll be asking you for the name of the credit monitoring service you already have. Or, if you want to change your mind, you’ll have a chance to switch to the free credit monitoring. You can also email the settlement administrator, JND, at info@EquifaxBreachSettlement.
Truthfully, the monitoring might be more valuable. We don’t know how much the settlement will give each person, so it’s hard to gauge. They claim that their credit monitoring is “probably stronger and more helpful than any you may have already,” though I’m personally doubtful of that claim. The $1M in identity insurance is interesting – I believe some other companies have that as well, but I guess this would be an additional $1M of insurance should it come to that.
In the end, if it’s just $1-$5, I’d probably opt for the credit monitoring and insurance. If it’s more like $30, I’d maybe go for the cash. I like the transparency they’re coming out with, would be cool if they could add some sort of counter so we could know how many people opted for the cash settlement at the moment.
Another interesting tidbit found in the above text is that they’ll be asking for the name of the credit monitoring service you already have. I don’t know if that means they’ll try excluding free monitoring services (there’s no mention of that) or if they’re just trying to make sure people are being truthful that they do have some service.
One final note: this entire discussion revolves on the $125 or credit monitoring which anyone affected is eligible for. Separately, you can file a claim to be reimbursed for your time or expenses. Those come from a separate fund, and might not have limits or not have the same limits. More details in the original post.