Today I received this email in my inbox and followed the links to complete the claim form.
While I breezed through the form with a clear understanding of who Equifax is, what they do, what my rights as a consumer are, and how to best complete the claims form, I realized that my 23 years in the financial services sector, primarily in management, gave me considerable advantage most do not possess. The obligation to share my “wisdom” was the impetus for starting this website 7 years ago. Here we go.
1) Check your overwhelmed inbox for this important email.
2) Read the email to the bottom before acting.
3) Take a minimum of 30 minutes to complete the form, sans distractions.
4) When you follow the link to the form: Consider carefully the credit monitoring service vs. cash settlement option. Some may believe the cash is a better option but please consider whether you have an existing service through ____________ and whether it is a comparable service to what Equifax is offering.
Settlement Benefit: Credit Monitoring Services: The settlement provides a way to help protect yourself from unauthorized use of your personal information. Settlement Class Members may submit a claim to enroll in at least four (4) years of three-bureau credit monitoring services, provided by Experian, at no cost. These services include the following features:
- Three-bureau credit monitoring providing notice of changes to your credit report at all three national credit bureaus;
- Up to $1 million dollars in insurance coverage costs related to identity theft or fraud;
- Real-time notification of credit inquiries and other notifications;
- On-demand online access to a free copy of one-bureau credit report, updated on a monthly basis;
- CyberAgent® Dark Web Monitoring that monitors internet activity for the trading or selling of your personal information;
- Customer support provided by Experian; and
- Many other features described here.
If you make a valid claim and enroll in Credit Monitoring Services, you can also elect to enroll in up to six (6) years of one-bureau credit monitoring services provided by Equifax that would begin after the three-bureau Credit Monitoring Services expire. This one-bureau credit monitoring service will include automated online alerts for key changes to your Equifax credit report, on-demand online access to your Equifax credit report updated on a monthly basis, and, if you request, internet monitoring that includes searching suspicious websites for your Social Security number. You must opt-in for these one-bureau services when you submit your claim for Credit Monitoring Services, and you will be sent instructions for how to enroll in the one-bureau monitoring before your three-bureau Credit Monitoring Services expire. The cost of this service will be paid separately by Equifax, not out of the Consumer Restitution Fund.
5) After the Credit monitoring decision, the next screen asks you to document time and or money lost the result of this Equifax data breach. September 2017 is when this breach occurred. You may not have realized that Equifax made an executive (liability protective) proactive decision (in our your best interest) to freeze your credit bureau. This was a precaution due to the likelihood your specific bureau data was in the compromised group. Your realization likely occurred the result of reading your nondescript envelope snail mail (not probable) or being told this by a loan officer that you needed to unfreeze your credit in order for their company to provide a decision yeah or nay. If the aforementioned occurred and you thus had no money loss, this could be a time loss, if you know how much time was taken from you. The most common type of time loss Equifax is asking about is the time loss resulting from Identity Theft after this security breech. The time you took to repair the integrity of your credit file. Time on the phone with credit bureaus, disputing the existence of accounts not opened by you, time spent on the phone with credit issuers.
IMPORTANT THAT YOU VISIT THE EQUIFAX CLAIMS website to check if your information was impacted by this breach. Link below in Court Approved Legal Notice.
The time loss also comes to the result of any time you took to check your existing financial account(s) at time of Equifax security breach awareness (Sometime around September of 2017). Think carefully before documenting your time especially if the time exceeded 10 hours (requires additional documentation). Time loss is commonly the time it took to clear up your breached credit file and or any other stolen accounts opened in your name. Time here should be documented. The form has an upload button that will allow you to upload documentation for over 10 hours of time lost, and or identity stolen result of breach.
6) Exhale and repeat steps 1-5. LOL
Equifax Data Breach Settlement – You may be eligible for cash, free credit monitoring, and more.
COURT APPROVED LEGAL NOTICE
If Your Personal Information Was Impacted in the 2017 Equifax Data Breach, You May Be Eligible for Benefits from a Class Action Settlement
Un aviso de este acuerdo también está disponible en www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.
In September of 2017, Equifax announced it experienced a data breach, which impacted the personal information of approximately 147 million people. Equifax has reached a proposed settlement to resolve class-action lawsuits brought by consumers alleging Equifax failed to adequately protect their personal information. Equifax denies any wrongdoing, and no judgment or finding of wrongdoing has been made.
If your personal information was impacted in the Equifax data breach, you may be eligible for benefits from the settlement after it becomes final. Under the proposed settlement, Equifax will: (1) pay $380.5 million into a fund to pay benefits to consumers, court-approved fees and costs of class counsel and service awards to the named class representatives, and other expenses; (2) implement and maintain certain data security enhancements; (3) if necessary, pay up to $125 million more to reimburse consumers for out-of-pocket losses resulting from the data breach; and (4) provide certain other relief.
Are You Eligible: You are a class member and eligible for settlement benefits if you are a U.S. consumer whose personal information was impacted by the Equifax data breach. If you are unsure of whether you are a class member, visit www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.
Benefits: If you are a class member, you are eligible for one or more of the following benefits:
|Important Information Regarding the Proportional Reduction of Benefits. If you request or have requested a cash benefit, the amount you receive may be significantly reduced depending on how many valid claims are ultimately submitted by other class members for this relief. Based on the number of potentially-valid claims that have been submitted to date, payments for time spent and alternative compensation of up to $125 likely will be substantially lowered and will be distributed on a proportional basis if the settlement becomes final. Depending on the number of additional valid claims that are filed, the amount you receive for these benefits may be a small percentage of your initial claim.|
How to Get Benefits:
To get free credit monitoring or cash payments, or both, you must submit a claim:
You must submit a claim by January 22, 2020. Certain claims may require supporting documents. If you have already filed a claim, there is no need to do so again.
If there is still money in the fund after payment of valid claims submitted during the initial claims period that ends on January 22, 2020, there will be an extended claims period lasting for four years. In the extended claims period, you may make certain claims for out-of-pocket losses incurred in the future, including time and money spent trying to address identity theft or fraud related to the data breach.
You don’t need to file a claim to get free identity restoration services.
None of these benefits will be distributed or available until the settlement is finally approved by the Court. If you make a claim for cash compensation, the amount of money you receive may be significantly less than the claim you submit depending on the number and amount of claims that are submitted.
Understanding Your Options:
If you want the Court to exclude you from the settlement class, you must write to the Settlement Administrator by November 19, 2019. List the name of this proceeding (In re: Equifax Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, Case No. 1:17-md-2800-TWT), your full name, your current address, and the words “Request for Exclusion” at the top of the document. You must sign this request and mail it to Equifax Data Breach Class Action Settlement Administrator, Attn: Exclusion, c/o JND Legal Administration, P.O. Box 91318, Seattle, WA 98111.
To object to the settlement, you must file an objection with the Court by November 19, 2019. For detailed instructions about the process of objecting, visit www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.
You must file a claim if you want to receive free credit monitoring or cash benefits under this settlement. If you do nothing, you won’t receive a cash payment or credit monitoring services, won’t be able to sue Equifax for the claims being resolved in the settlement, and will be legally bound by all orders of the Court.
The Court will hold a hearing on December 19, 2019, to consider any objections, and decide whether to approve the settlement, award attorneys’ fees, and expenses and grant service awards to the named class representatives. You may enter an appearance through an attorney, but do not have to. The Court has appointed lawyers to represent you and the class, but you can hire another lawyer at your own expense.
This is only a summary of the settlement. For more information, visit www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.
This is a Court authorized notice, not a lawyer advertisement.