In September of 2017, Equifax announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people. The company has agreed to a global settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 50 U.S. states and territories. The settlement includes up to $425 million to help people affected by the data breach.
The initial deadline to file a claim in the Equifax settlement was January 22, 2020.
After January 22, 2020, you can still file a claim for expenses you incur between January 23, 2020, and January 22, 2024, as a result of identity theft or fraud related to the breach, such as:
- Losses from unauthorized charges to your accounts
- Fees you paid to professionals, like accountants or attorneys, to help you recover from identity theft
- Other expenses you incurred while recovering from identity theft, like notary fees, document shipping fees, postage, mileage, and phone charges.
You also can file a claim for the time you spent recovering from identity theft or fraud between January 23, 2020, and January 22, 2024. You can be compensated up to $25 per hour up to 20 hours. There are limited funds available so your claim may be reduced.
Even if you do not file a claim, you can get:
Free Help Recovering from Identity Theft
For at least seven years, you can get free identity restoration services. If you discover misuse of your personal information, call the settlement administrator at 1-833-759-2982. You will be given instructions for how to access free identity restoration services.
Free Credit Reports for All U.S. Consumers
All U.S. consumers can now get 6 free credit reports per year through 2026 by visiting the Equifax website or by calling 1-866-349-5191. That’s in addition to the one free Equifax report (plus your Experian and TransUnion reports) you can get at AnnualCreditReport.com.
The settlement administrator will not send out any benefits until they have reviewed and validated claims and are allowed to do so by the court.
For free credit monitoring, you will get an activation code with instructions by email.
For cash payments, you will get either a check or debit card depending on which option you chose when you filed your claim. It will be sent to the mailing address that you provided.
Equifax is one of three national credit bureaus. These companies collect information about your credit history, such as how many credit cards you have, how much money you owe, and how you pay your bills. Each company creates a credit report about you, and then sells this report to businesses who are deciding whether to give you credit. You cannot opt out of this data collection. However, you can review your credit report for free and freeze your credit.
Use this look-up tool to see if you were affected by the breach.
For more information, visit www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com or call 1-833-759-2982.