Equifax Data Breach Settlement
Attorney General Chris Carr announced on July 22, 2019, that a coalition of 50 attorneys general, including 48 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, reached a settlement with Equifax as the result of an investigation into the 2017 data breach. Georgia played a leading role in this investigation which found that Equifax’s failure to maintain a reasonable security system enabled hackers to penetrate its systems, exposing the data of 56 percent of American adults—the largest-ever breach of consumer data. The attorneys general secured a settlement with Equifax that includes a Consumer Restitution Fund of up to $425 million, a $175 million payment to the states and injunctive relief, which also includes a significant financial commitment. This is the largest data breach enforcement action in history.
Where can I go to learn more about filing a claim?
Consumers should go to www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com or call 1-833-759-2982 for further information on the relief available and how to file claims.
Do I Still Get Free Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection Services?
- Up to 10 years of free credit monitoring OR up to $125 if you decide not to enroll because you already have credit monitoring. (Your payment may be less, depending on the number and amount of claims filed.)
- The free credit monitoring includes:
- At least four years of free credit monitoring of your credit report at all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and $1,000,000 of identity theft insurance.
- Up to six more years of free credit monitoring of your Equifax credit report.
- If you were a minor in May 2017, you are eligible for a total of 18 years of free credit monitoring.
Do I qualify for Cash Payments?
You may be eligible to receive cash payments for expenses you paid as a result of the breach, like:
- Losses from unauthorized charges to your accounts
- The cost of freezing or unfreezing your credit report
- The cost of credit monitoring
- Fees you paid to professionals like an accountant or attorney
- Other expenses like notary fees, document shipping fees and postage, mileage, and phone charges
- For the time you spent dealing with the breach, you can be compensated $25 per hour up to 20 hours. (Your payment may be less, depending on the number and amount of claims filed.)
- For the cost of Equifax credit monitoring and related services you had between September 7, 2016, and September 7, 2017, capped at 25 percent of the total amount you paid. These are capped at $20,000 per person.
Free Help Recovering from Identity Theft
- For at least seven years, you can get free identity restoration services.
Free Credit Reports for All U.S. Consumers
- Starting in 2020, all U.S. consumers can get 6 additional free credit reports per year for 7 years from the Equifax website.
What can I do now?
- Save any documents you have related to your efforts to avoid or recover from identity theft after the 2017 Equifax data breach.
- Visit www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com or call 1-833-759-2982 for more detailed information.
- Bookmark and check this page for updates.
When will the claims process start?
You can file a claim today. Go to the claims site for more information, or call the telephone number.
When will I get my benefits?
The settlement administrator will not send out any benefits until the court gives final approval to the settlement. The current hearing date on final approval of the settlement is set for December 19, 2019.
How will I get my benefits?
For free credit monitoring, you will get an activation code with instructions. You can choose to receive this code by email or postal mail when you file your claim.
For cash payments, you can choose to get a check or debit card when you file your claim. It will be sent to your mailing address.
I’m not sure I was affected by the data breach. How can I find out?
The claims site has a tool to let you check. The tool is up and running today.
How does this relate to the FTC/CFPB/Class Action lawsuits?
The program to pay restitution to consumers will be conducted in connection with settlements that have been reached in the multi-district class actions filed against Equifax, as well as settlements that were reached with the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.