Your Equifax Settlement Options Just Changed
The response to the cash offer in the Equifax data breach settlement has been so overwhelming, that you can't get it any longer. You'll likely get more credit monitoring instead.
The only person I know who wasn't affected by the Equifax data breach in 2017 was my mom. She doesn't shop online much and shares a credit card with my dad, and remains hidden enough that data breaches don't usually affect her. Just about everyone else had to hassle with the breach and now seems to be looking for a part of the multi-million dollar Equifax Breach Settlement announced in July.
Because of the overwhelming response to the initial cash offer of $125, the Federal Trade Commission says on its website that it's being replaced with a different option. The FTC says, "Millions of people have visited this site in just the first week. Because the total amount available for these alternative payments is $31 million, each person who takes the money option is going to get a very small amount. Nowhere near the $125 they could have gotten if there hadn’t been such an enormous number of claims filed."
Okay, so what are our options now? More credit monitoring. But it's for a really long time, so the total cash value of that will be well over $125. They're offering us free credit monitoring for up to ten years.
We can still file a claim for cash if we can prove losses from unauthorized charges to our accounts, and that we spent time dealing with the breach. We can be compensated $25 per hour up to 20 hours, according to the FTC. The idea of gathering data and filling out forms sounds tax-season painful, but it could pay off for us if we do the work.
The deadline to file a claim is January 22, 2020, and the earliest the funds could be distributed is January 23, 2020. The court has to approve the settlement before the funds can be dispersed. It's worth a shot.