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Home / Tips and Tricks / You have 3 days to file your Equifax privacy infringement lawsuit – Here's how

You have 3 days to file your Equifax privacy infringement lawsuit – Here's how



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Jan. 20 is your deadline for submitting your claim to the FTC.


James Martin / CNET

You have until Monday to assert your claim if you are one of the 147 million people whose data was disclosed in 2017 Equifax privacy violation . The Federal Trade Commission said you had until January 20 to claim a refund for funds that you spent or lost as a result of the massive database hack.

Equifax has agreed to pay at least $ 575 million and up to $ 700 million to compensate victims of hackers who stole personal information from Equifax servers. Settlement payments can cover the cost of recovering the company's security breach with free credit reports – including recovering your identity theft and freezing and revoking accounts – and covering unauthorized charges on your account. You can also file an application to cover the cost of identity theft protection after the Equifax violation.

Before you begin, you can verify that you and your information have been disclosed as part of the security breach. When your information is disclosed, collect receipts and other documents related to the hack that show losses and expenses. And finally, submit your claim for damages. (The FTC said that due to the overwhelming public response to the settlement the amount of cash you receive for cover monitoring could be much, much less than $ 125. And provide Make sure you are a legitimate FTC settlement site: The FTC indicated that fake settlement sites appear .)

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The violation resulted in hackers stealing credit card and driver's license information, social security numbers, addresses, birth dates, and other personal information stored on Equifax servers. As part of its investigation, the FTC claimed that the Free Credit Bureau had failed to take reasonable steps to secure its network.

Even if you were not involved in the violation and are not entitled to file a claim, you can get free credit reports for seven years as part of the settlement.

Taking part in the Equifax comparison is not easy. The exact amount that Equifax pays out is indefinite. The proposed settlement will begin with a $ 300 million fund to compensate the affected consumers who purchased credit monitoring services. Equifax also pays $ 175 million to states and districts – and $ 100 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (BFS) in civil penalties.

If the initial $ 300 million infusion does not adequately compensate consumers, Equifax has agreed to invest an additional $ 125 million in the fund, according to the FTC, for a possible total payout of $ 700 million. If you are eligible, your portion of the billing may include free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services. You may also be eligible for cash to cover the costs of the breach (e.g. attorney fees and credit monitoring ), free identity theft recovery, and free credit reports for 10 years.

How to take part in billing.

Find out if the breach affected you.

If you want to verify that your information has been disclosed, the FTC and the official clearing house have an online tool that you can use. Use this option to check if you were involved in the Equifax violation.

You must enter your last name and the last six digits of your social security number to determine if your information was part of the hack.

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To begin, enter your last name and six social numbers.


Screenshot from Clifford Colby / CNET

Preparing and Filing Your Claim

On the Equifax Data Breach Settlement website, you can file a claim to recover money that you lost or spent as a result of the extensive hack. How to prepare for and submit a claim.

  • To assert your claim, you must collect all the documents and supporting documents you have in connection with the breach, for example, to indicate the expenditure that you should have incurred following an identity theft. Money lost due to the breach.
  • To track the comparison, the FTC recommends signing up to receive email updates.
  • You can also check for updates on the FTC's Equifax Data Breach Settlement page and on the official Data Breach Settlement page.
  • And the FTC has a number you can call – (833) 759-2982 – to get updates.
  • You can file an online lawsuit on the official billing page.
  • You can also follow the instructions at Select as part of the application process what benefits you can use and check what documents you need to submit to support your application. Supporting documents include information about unauthorized fees, the cost of freezing your account, fees paid to professionals to help with theft, and other related costs.
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To start the claim process, please enter the following information: Screenshot [1965byCol00]. CNET

What Settlement Payments Can Cover

The proposed agreement provides for $ 20,000 per person to cover expenses you incurred to remedy the violation. Here are the costs and expenses that you may be able to reimburse.

  • Expenses related to unauthorized debiting of your accounts
  • Costs for freezing a credit report and monitoring credit
  • Fees for accountants, lawyers and other specialists
  • Costs for postage, kilometers, notary and other services [19659029] Credit Monitoring Fees, up to $ 125. (Don't expect to get this much, though.)
  • Cost of monitoring Equifax credit and other services for one year prior to the violation.

From 2020, Equifax will also provide additional services to all US consumers – whether part of the comparison or not – with six additional free credit reports a year for seven years on their website.

When do I have to file a lawsuit?

The FTC has indicated that you must file your lawsuit online by January 22 or with a postmark dated January 22. The FTC announces that on January 23, you will receive the benefits you qualify for.

The FTC announced that if there is still money in the fund after all of the initial payments, an "extended claim period" will open in which you can make claims for loss out of pocket or for time after the first Payment is due Eligibility period The FTC has indicated that you must assert claims by January 22, 2024, and these will be settled based on availability.

Originally published in 2019 and updated regularly.


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