The breach resulted in hackers stealing Social Security numbers, addresses, credit card and driver’s license information, birthdates and other personal data stored on Equifax’s servers. As part of its investigation, the FTC alleged that the free credit bureau failed to take reasonable steps to secure its network.
Equifax breach: Find out if you can claim part of the…
Even if you weren’t part of the breach and don’t qualify to file a claim, you can get free credit reports for seven years as part of the settlement.
Taking part in the Equifax settlement isn’t completely straightforward. The exact amount that Equifax will pay out is undetermined. The proposed settlement will start with a $300 million fund to compensate affected consumers who bought credit-monitoring services. Equifax will also pay $175 million to state and districts — and $100 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in civil penalties.
If the initial $300 million infusion doesn’t adequately compensate consumers, according to the FTC, Equifax has agreed to kick in $125 million more to the fund, for a total possible settlement payout of $700 million. If you’re a claimant, your share of the settlement could include free credit-monitoring and identity-theft protection services. You might also be eligible for cash payments to cover expenses resulting from the breach — such as legal fees and credit monitoring — and for free help recovering from identity theft and free credit reports for 10 years.
To support your claim, you’ll need to gather any documents and receipts you have related to the breach to show expenses you had to recover from identity theft, for example, and money lost because of the breach.
You can also follow the instructions on the site to mail your claim or have a claim form mailed to you.
As part of the claim process, you’ll select which benefits you are eligible for and review which documents you need to submit to support your claim. Supporting documents include statements showing unauthorized charges, costs of freezing your account, fees paid to professionals to help with the theft, and other associated expenses.
What the settlement payments can cover
The proposed agreement caps payouts at $20,000 per person to help cover what you spent to recover from the breach. Here are costs and expenses you may be able to recover.
Expenses related to unauthorized charges to your accounts
Costs of freezing a credit report and credit monitoring
Fees paid to accountants, attorneys and other professionals
Expenses for postage, mileage, notary and other services