Equifax to Pay Up to $700 Million to Victims of Data Breach; Here’s How to File Your Claim

By John Milazzo
Associate, Taylor Porter

In 2017, Equifax suffered a massive data breach which exposed the personal information of nearly 150 million people. This week, the company agreed to pay up to $700 million to settle claims of affected individuals and probes by federal and state consumer protection agencies.

If you have ever applied for a loan or credit card, it is very likely that your information was compromised and you’re entitled to compensation.

Individuals affected by the breach may be eligible for the following benefits:

  • $125 or free credit monitoring for up to 10 years;
  • $25 per hour up to a maximum of 20 hours for time spent taking preventative measures or dealing with identity theft or fraud. The settlement agreement states that 10 hours can be self-certified, requiring no documentation;
  • Reimbursement of up to $20,000 for documented losses traceable to the breach, such as out of pocket losses due to identity theft or fraud, costs of freezing or unfreezing a credit account, and purchasing credit monitoring services; and
  • Identity restoration services to help claimants who were victimized by identity theft.

Affected individuals may begin submitting claims today. Filing a claim is easy and may be done online. Visit this link to find out if you were impacted by the breach and eligible to make a claim. If so, you can file your claim online or print out the claim form and mail it in. Payment of claims will likely take several months, as the settlement agreement still needs to be approved by the court. The deadline to file a claim is Jan. 22, 2020.

The Equifax data breach was one of the largest in U.S. history, with hackers gaining access to the names, social security numbers, dates of birth, credit card numbers, and driver’s license numbers of about 56% of Americans. In addition to making your claim, those who were impacted should also closely examine your credit reports and statements from your credit cards and other financial accounts to identify any fraudulent activity. This is also a great time to change your passwords to any online accounts that have access to your personal information and especially those that are tied to your credit cards and financial accounts.

About John Milazzo: John Milazzo is an associate with Taylor Porter, where he practices in commercial litigation and transactions. He advises clients in data security and breach response strategies, represents commercial banks in loan workouts, litigation, and foreclosures and various other types of clients in business and contract disputes and securities litigation. John also drafts real estate documents, loan and security documents, UCC documents and governance agreements.