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Equifax breach: How to claim your share of the $ 700M settlement



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James Martin / CNET

If you were one of the 147 million people whose data was exposed to the large Equifax data breach in 201

7, you will soon be able to file your claim. The Federal Trade Commission announced Monday that Equifax has agreed to pay at least $ 575 million and up to $ 700 million to compensate victims of hackers who stole data from Equifax customers. Settlement payments can cover what you have used to recover from the breach of the free credit report company – including recovering from your identity theft – and unauthorized charges on your account.

Taking part of the settlement is not all right. First, the proposed agreement must receive legal approval. Only then can you submit a claim. We provide tools and links below that will help you understand your next steps and what can be covered. However, if you want to get started now, you can collect the documents you have that are related to the breach.

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

The exact amount that Equifax will pay out is not determined. The proposed settlement will start with a $ 300 million fund to offset affected consumers who purchased 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 original $ 300 million infusion does not adequately compensate consumers, Equifax said the FTC agreed to add up to $ 125 million more to the fund for a total $ 700 million settlement. If you are a claimant, your part of the settlement may include free credit monitoring services and protection against identity theft. You may also be eligible for cash payments to cover expenses as a result of the breach – such as a lawyer's fee and credit monitoring – free help to recover from identity theft and free credit reports for 10 years.


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Equifax will pay up to $ 700 million over the historical data breach



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How to participate in the settlement.

Prepare Your Claim

Once the court approves the settlement, you will be able to make a claim to get back the money you lost as a result of the extensive hack. How to prepare to submit a claim.

Find out if you were affected by the breach

To check if your data was postponed, the FTC, once approved, will have a site with a tool you can use to check if you were part of breakup. You can sign up for an FTC email update to learn when the site and the tool are live.

What covers settlement payments

The proposed agreement provides payments of $ 20,000 per person to cover what you used to recover from the breach. Here are the costs and expenses you may be able to recover.

  • Expenses associated with unauthorized fees on your accounts
  • Costs of freezing of credit report and credit monitoring
  • Fees paid to accountants, lawyers and other professionals
  • Costs of postage, mileage, notary and other services
  • Costs by Equifax credit monitoring and other services for one year before the breach.

In addition, from 2020, Equifax will provide all US consumers – either part of the settlement or not – with six additional free credit reports per year for seven years, from the site.

This is the information we know right now, with many details still to come. We hope that the FTC and Equifax share much more when the claim window opens. We update this story when they do. In the meantime, it's what to do if you're not sure if you were hit by the Equifax break.


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