Equifax – Are you Eligible to File a Claim?

You’ve likely seen stories about the Equifax data breach and recent settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over the past few weeks. In a world where it can be difficult to sort through headlines or know which website to trust, the Allegiant Private Advisors team felt compelled to provide our clients an accurate update and explanation about the steps to take if you were impacted by the data breach. Please contact your Wealth Advisor if you have any questions regarding this process as the Allegiant team is always available to help guide you through cyber security concerns. We also encourage you to pass along this step-by-step tutorial to your friends and family. 

The massive Equifax data breach affected about 147 million Americans back in late 2017. In July of 2019, Equifax settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, agreeing to pay a potential settlement of $700 million, which includes up to $425 million for individual compensation. An individual could receive $125 for credit monitoring reimbursement, and $25 per hour up to 20 hours for money and time spent or lost protecting oneself from fraud (the first 10 hours can be self-reported). Individuals can file claims up to $20,000, depending on their situation. Assuming the case hearing is approved, claims would be paid starting in 2020. 

The action steps below will guide you through the appropriate website to determine if you were impacted by the data breach and qualify for reimbursement should you choose to pursue filing a claim. 

1.) Determine if you were affected by the data breach: 

https://eligibility.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/en/eligibility

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2.) If you were impacted, you have the option of filing a claim.

https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/file-a-claim

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3.) You can select either:

a. Free credit monitoring
         i. Service provided for at least 4 years

b. Cash Payment
         i. $125 payment

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4.) Cash Payment for Money Spent or Lost

a. If you lost or spent money trying to prevent or recover from fraud or identity theft then you can receive reimbursement up to $20,000.

b. The first 10 hours can be self-reported (and Equifax will reimburse you $25 per hour up to 20 hours). The next 10 permissible hours must be documented.

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Key Dates: 

- November 19th, 2019 – Deadline to opt out in the event you’re pursuing your own legal case against Equifax

- December 19th, 2019 – Final case hearing (and it is expected for the case to be approved)

- January 22nd, 2020 – Deadline to file your claim

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