How to find out if Equifax owes you money

Photo: Associated Press

If you were influenced by Equifax's huge data breach in 2017, you can finally request compensation. The Federal Trade Commission has announced a settlement with the credit bureau that includes $ 425 million for the 147 million people who had compromised their data.

You may remember that when this colossal mess was postponed in 2017, Equifax set up free credit surveillance for people who learned that their information was included in the breach. But the site to find out if you were one of the many, many affected was buggy, sometimes with the wrong status info. And some people didn't want to rely on Equifax to monitor their identity and credit after losing control of their data.

Now you can find out the website for the breakage settlement if you are entitled to part of the $ 425 million.

What you can get from the Equifax default settlement

You can file a claim now to receive any combination of the following when the settlement is approved by a judge.

1. Free credit monitoring for all three credit bureaus for four years through Experian or six-year Equifax monitoring provided by Equifax. If you already have credit monitoring for at least the next six months, you can file a $ 125 cash claim.

2. Cash up to $ 20,000 for the time you spent dealing with the breach. You can claim up to 20 hours spent dealing with fraud or freeze credit for $ 25 per hour. You may also claim a non-pocket loss due to the breach and up to 25% of the cost of the Equifax Credit or Identity Monitoring Services you purchased the year before the breach was announced.

3. Free Identity Recovery Services for at least seven years.

Let's go over the $ 20,000 again

If you're wondering how 20 times $ 25 equals $ 20,000, that's not it. That's because the number being tied up will mostly apply to the losses reported by the claiming party. These losses may include professional fees required to handle theft, fraud or falsified tax identification, in addition to administration costs such as mileage and documentary disclosure.

Claiming a significant amount through this settlement will take some work. You can claim up to 10 hours spent dealing with the break by giving a description of the actions you took and the time you spent. If you require more than 10 hours, you must prove that you have experienced fraud, identity theft or other misuse of your data and that must be "quite traceable" to the breach.

If you had to rebuild your financial security after the break, you probably have papers to prove it. But if you thought you could finally put the paper rock behind you, I'm sorry it wasn't over.

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How To Find Out If You Can Submit A Claim

To find out if you can file a claim as part of this settlement, go to the Equifax Breakage Settlement site and scroll down to the green button that says "Find out about the information your was affected. " You must provide the last name and the last six digits of your social security number.

It won't tell you anything but whether your personal information was included in the breach or not. Here's how it looks:

Then you can click through to submit a claim. (A printable, mail-in version is also available for those who have completely given up on the Internet.) The deadline for doing so is January 22, 2020. The final approval settlement for the settlement will take place in December 2019, so no funds will be given before that date.

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