The 2017 Equifax data breach exposed the confidential credit files of more than 145 million Americans. Information accessed by the hackers included first and last name, date of birth, Social Security numbers, and in some cases even driver's license numbers. Equifax has reached a settlement with the federal government through a class action lawsuit, but the devil is truly in the details on the deal.
Why You Should Say No To The Equifax Settlement Offer
1. You Are Not Going To Receive $125
The $125 amount was an early estimate based on the anticipated number of claims. At this point, the FTC is publicly stating that people will not receive anywhere near this amount. The amount of money available for financial claims is just $31 million dollars. If even just 10 percent of those affected apply for a share of this money, it would mean a payout of only $2 per person!
2. Why 10 Years Of Free Credit Monitoring Is Equally A Bad Deal
An alternative to receiving a pro rata share of the settlement money is 10 years of free credit monitoring. You have to be kidding, right? I am expected to trust the company that exposed my data in the first place to provide credit monitoring services? Another question on this is why just 10 years? Once your information has been exposed it will be a potential problem for the rest of your life. This is like settling a malpractice claim by allowing the same surgeon to have a do-over on the surgery they botched.
3. You Can Sue In Small Claims Court For Thousands
Going to court can be intimidating, but small claims court is designed for people to represent themselves, much like TV's popular 'Judge Judy.' People are opting out of the Equifax settlement and instead taking them to court for thousands of dollars. Here is a great article to review on just how easy it is to sue Equifax - I Won $8,000 From Equifax In Small Claims Court.
5. Confirm You Were Affected
To be eligible for the settlement (or to sue) you must first establish that you were, in fact, affected by the data breach.
Click Here To Check If You Are Eligible (note: At the time of publishing this article, this link is going to a dead page - but we have confirmed that this is the correct link).
5. How To Opt Out
In order to opt out of the settlement and pursue your own lawsuit, write a letter to the settlement administrator. The deadline is November 19, 2019.
Equifax Data Breach Class Action Settlement Administrator
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 91318
Seattle, WA 98111-9418
This statement must contain the following information:
- The name of this proceeding (In re: Equifax Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, Case No. 1:17-md-2800-TWT, or similar identifying words such as “Equifax Data Breach Lawsuit”);
- Your full name;
- Your current address;
- The words “Request for Exclusion” at the top of the document or a statement that you do not wish to participate in the settlement; and
- Your signature.
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Helping you make the most of God’s money!