Equifax Settlement: More Hoops To Jump Through

Filed Under: Advice

This Equifax data breach settlement keeps getting sillier…

We Were Promised $125 For Equifax Data Breach

In September 2017 Equifax had a massive data breach that exposed the personal information of about 147 million Americans, and several weeks ago a settlement was finally reached with the Federal Trade Commission.

If you’re one of the people who was impacted by this (nearly half of Americans were) you’re entitled to either free credit monitoring or some cash as part of the settlement.

What’s odd is that at first the FTC said that the choice was either 10 years of free credit monitoring or $125. As I covered in the post, that didn’t really make much sense.

Usually in settlements like this there’s some amount of money distributed among those who were impacted, but given that we’re talking about a finite sum of money, I couldn’t figure out how they arrived at the amount of $125. Presumably the payout would be based on how many people take part in requesting compensation.

So we later found out that no one is actually getting $125, and Senator Warren even sent a letter to the Inspector General of the FTC asking for answers about how this all came to be.

The Saga Continues If You Want Your Money

At first everyone thought they were getting $125. Then we were told that we’re not getting anywhere close to $125. Well, now action is required if you actually want to receive any money at all (which may only be a few dollars).

If you want to receive some portion of the cash settlement you need to amend your claim and provide the name of your credit monitoring service that you had in place when you filed your claim.

Here’s what the email says, in part:

According to our records, you filed a claim for alternative compensation of up to $125 in connection with the Equifax data breach settlement and certified on the claim form that you had some form of credit monitoring or protection in place and will continue to have the credit monitoring in place for a minimum of six months from the date of your claim filing.

You must either verify or amend your claim by October 15, 2019.

If you do not, your claim for alternative compensation will be denied.

To verify your claim for alternative compensation, you must provide the name of your credit monitoring service that you had in place when you filed your claim.

– OR –

You can amend your claim to request free credit monitoring instead of alternative compensation.

The easiest way to verify or amend your claim is by visiting the official Settlement Website here.

Please note that if you do not take action by October 15, 2019, your claim for alternative compensation will be denied.

Bottom Line

If you want to claim some portion of the settlement you’ll have to confirm the service you use for credit monitoring. I guess this is one way to reduce the number of people participating in the settlement…

Comments
  1. Right above the sentence that starts with “According…” there is an headline saying “Your Claim Number: xxx”.
    This is the same both for me (gmail) and my wife (yahoo – don’t get me started!).

  2. Do the services that Chase (or American Express or Citi) provide count? Credit Journey, I believe is the name of the program by Chase.

  3. I got the same message. It’s almost as if they think you are lying and don’t want to pay you anything, hoping you just drop out.

    You have to wonder why the required data was not requested in the original application form.

  4. I have Experian’s free credit monitoring service enabled. So I put that in. Not lying, and it adequately meets my needs.

  5. Claim number is at the top of the new email sent saying to state the name of your credit monitoring service, did it yesterday. Honestly I think this step is to start to shake out some people to make the claim amount a bit larger. Doubt more than 50% of the original folks are going to do this step 🙂

  6. Obviously, this is their effort to decrease the number of people receiving cash, in the hopes settlements will be larger than the postage required to mail the checks. If this isn’t good enough to cull the heard, you will next be required to upload a short video of you jumping on one foot while clapping.

  7. @Colin, I put down Chase Credit Journey as the monitoring service – not sure if it counts but seemed adequate.

  8. …and they are still advertising $125? I would think by now, everyone has been part of one breach or another and are at least eligible for credit monitoring…. so just give us our $1.39, pay off the lawyers, and stay in business collecting our data and making money off it.

  9. IS THIS EVEN LEGAL. DISCRIMINATING HOW I MONITOR THINGS THAT EQUIFAX F***ED UP. NOWHERE DID IT REQUIRE I NEED ANY MONITORING.

    I’ll be using my ESA goldfish to monitor my credits. Get ready to here from my lawyers if I’m denied.

  10. This is absolute nonsense, but unfortunately we don’t have any kind of reasonable regulations in place to prevent this kind of nonsense.

  11. Um… So… To which email is everyone referring? I searched my email system-wide, and the only Equifax hits I see are to the monthly updates I get from their own credit monitoring service, which I receive through AAA. I can’t locate a claim number, either. Did I just delete something I shouldn’t have, or what?

  12. I put in CreditWise by Capital One. Comes free with their cards. They email me all the time.

    The email doesn’t say what does or doesn’t qualify as a credit monitoring service, which I interpret to mean anything would.

    We’ll see if they come back with some further requirement.

  13. Every news site and blog that hyped this settlement should now be hyping the objection process for anyone who hasn’t already submitted a claim… It’s pretty clear the settlement falls far short of what the parties claimed it would provide because they expected the standard minuscule claim rate for class settlements.

  14. This is a bad settlement. Your choice is to opt out and pursue your own remedy or opt in and take one of the poor choices.

    I suspect that the court (and pressure from the government and the press) has made them come out with these additional requirements. Who knows why, but the plaintiffs’ attorneys and the defendants thought that everyone would take the credit monitoring. It’s allegedly more valuable. For me, it’s also redundant as I get it as a no additional cost service elsewhere (sometimes provided free because of prior breaches). Plus, Equifax gets to develop the scale of its credit monitoring service and increase its future pricing power by this settlement. It likely costs them very little to provide monitoring to additional people. There’s something fundamentally wrong about this.

    Either way, the attorneys are going to get paid nearly $80 million.

    Equifax and the attorneys are winners. The consumer is the loser.

  15. As usual no point in even filing. IMHO all class action suits are rip offs with the only people getting paid the attorneys. There is even a racket in the legal profession chasing these. They don’t care about what the class receives (and will even negotiate away any cash settling for changes in future business processes) as long as “attorneys fees” are adequately covered. Just a scam and can’t believe people wast their time. For me wasn’t worth $125 and I was smart enough to know the actual amount would be a fraction of that.

  16. I don’t see how this can be legal in any way but apparently our government is on board. First, they say you will get this amount, then say well it will be less, now they say prove you have a monitoring service. How is that their business? We have no obligation to have a monitoring service and they should not be able to require us to have one. They have all of our private information. We have no choice in the matter – we can’t opt-out of them having our information. They should keep it secure – they failed – but hey, let’s make consumers jump through hoops to get a $1 check regardless of the fact that we said it would be $125.

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