Earlier this week, the US credit reporting agency Equifax, with the Federal Trade Commission, settled on the massive data breakthrough in 2017 that exposed hundreds of millions of Americans social security numbers and other sensitive data. Now, finally, you can file a $ 700 million settlement settlement claim containing a $ 380,000 Consumption Recovery Fund as part of the class action lawsuit.
This morning, the FTC released the claim site, where you can both check whether you were affected by the company's breach and complete the relatively simple form that allows you to specify which requirements you feel are justified. Fortunately, it is not run by Equifax, but by the Settlement Administrator JND, which handles these sprawling class searches and bankruptcy companies for companies that can eventually involve millions of people filing claims. You can find the website here.
You get a simple message that "personal information was affected by this incident" if you were really affected. From there you can return to the main page and submit a claim. The claim process is incredibly simple, and you can do it online, or you can print the form to fill it out and submit it. You can also request that JND send you a form and download a form on behalf of a minor.
The form asks for simple biographical information, such as where you live and when you were born. From there, you can request a $ 125 check or a prepaid card, or free credit surveillance with three agencies. In order to claim the money, you must already have credit monitoring and must have them for another six months after submitting the claim.
If you'd rather have money over the free credit monitoring offered, you can simply sign up for a free service like Credit Karma today, offering free daily credit monitoring from the TransUnion partner. A number of credit cards, and Intuut's budget planning service Mint, also offer some versions of credit monitoring for free. In addition, there are paid services such as Identity Guard and MyFICO that do the same, with a few more robust identity theft and other embedded services.
The Equifax breach claiming process to ask you to have time spent on the break up to $ 25 per hour for a total of 20 hours. Chances are most affected Americans have not spent time, mostly because a majority of people probably do not even realize they were hit.
Having said that, you can file a claim of up to $ 500 if you spent time combating identity theft issues or dealing with credit fraud due to the breach. You need to provide a great deal of documentation for this section, so unless it's something you've legitimately spent a lot of time on and having the records to prove it, just click on next and move on.
The last step asks if you have actually been a victim of identity fraud or theft because of the breach and suffered financially because of it without a refund. Again, this will require some pretty serious documentation. After this step, or if you just skip it by clicking on the next one, you can enter the check or prepaid card for your claim and then verify all your information.
You will end up with a claim number that you should save on your computer as a PDF. The form asks for your email, but when I just filled it out earlier this morning, I didn't receive an email, so it's best to make sure you have a copy of the page stored offline if you are asked to prove of your requirement in the future.
Regarding the deadlines here, you have until January 22, 2020 to file a claim, while November 19, 2019 is the deadline for opting out in case you pursue your own lawsuit against Equifax. The final hearing for the case is set for December 19th later this year, as the settlement is expected to be approved. So even though you may not see any of this money for quite some time, you have quite a few months to make sure you can sign up and tell friends and family to do the same.