As part of the Equifax settlement, you can get a $125 check. It took me less than 3 minutes to fill everything out. Seems like it is well worth everyone’s time to see if they were impacted by the data breach.
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I was just about to post
I’m debating whether to put in time spent/wasted. Under 10 hours is no docs just explanation?
Explanation of Time Spent
Placing credit freezes. It was hard and time consuming to enroll in all 3 bureaus. Monitoring the reports.
Hours and Minutes
10 hours 0 minutes
I put in the couple hours I spent every quarter reviewing my credit reports for any nefarious activity. 5 quarter’s worth = 10 hours.
The settlement administrator should themselves be sued for false advertising. The main page says “request $125 cash” but in reality, as explained in the FAQ, it’s UP TO $125. It’ll only be $125 if roughly 2% of the affected 150M people submit a claim. I’m guessing that payment might be closer to $10 at the end. Plus actual expenses.
Also, emphasis mine:
If you spent time (i) dealing with fraud, identity theft, or other alleged misuse of your personal information that is fairly traceable to the Data Breach, or (ii) taking preventative measures (time placing or removing security freezes on your credit report, or purchasing credit monitoring or identity protection) that are fairly traceable to the Data Breach, then you may make a claim for reimbursement for $25 per hour for up to 20 hours.
Simply monitoring your credit may not qualify under these terms, especially if you’ve had such services prior to the breach disclosure. IANAL and I wish EQ bankruptcy, but I see a thin ethical line here. I did request the less common credit reports (Innovis, Chex, EWS) in Dec-Jan because of this and it took a few hours of research, phone calls, and reviewing, so I think that should qualify.
I think I disagree slightly that regular monitoring would not qualify. Personally, before the EQ breach, I had not been connected to a breach in which my SSN was compromised. From this point forward, I am definitely monitoring my credit much more closely than I did before because of that fact. I imagine many people are in the same situation and the need and time required to keep on-going monitoring is in my opinion totally traceable to the EQ breach.
I also did place credit freeze and changed my modus operandi for credit because of it (unfreeze before application for new CC, refreeze after). So I’d feel justified in claiming at least a few more hours (especially considering this hassle is only gonna continue for as long as my SSN is used for credit and ID authentication purposes).
Although I don’t know that it’ll matter much if payments are eventually capped well short of the amounts stated.
One question for me: Who is going to check the validity of those no docs 10 hours claims? If there is any chance that it is EQ and it costs them more pain, expenses and hassle, I’ll work extra hard to make sure they do.
Hard to say how many people will make claims for this one. Claims rates are often 1-10% according to what I find on the matter * But then usually class actions are for a $10 coupon or $20 or simlarly low amounts. And most class actions are narrower in impact and with this one being so big it will have more publicity.
There are also some % of people who will value the offered 10 years of credit monitoring more than the $125.
I’d hazard a guess that 20-50% of people will submit claims on this one.
Being justifiably paranoid, I was a little bit hesitant to follow a link found in some random Internet site that asked me for the last six digits of my SSN. Why? Because for people over a certain age, that’s really all you need to derive the full SSN in as few as one guess. So to make sure I was actually using the correct site, I went first to the site I know to be Equifax, and followed the link they present in the banner at the top of the page. Which is, as original poster above says,
I went ahead and went for the $125, understanding I might only get some of that.
I did the same thing, except the ftc.gov website.
I’m sure they’re required to “notify the class” about the settlement. But what do they gain from baiting more people into filing claims, if the pot of money is fixed regardless? Are they paid per claim processed, rather than a percentage of the total value?
In other words, if more than 0.17% of consumers make claims for the $125, checks are going to be reduced. Or if 17% of people make a claim, they’re standing to receive $1.25 each… But that’s only if they do not claim more expenses for time and effort spent to secure their credit (freezes, monitoring, etc). If you spent time (freezing/unfreezing, checking reports, etc…) each claim could be up to $250 extra per consumer, meaning (worth up to 3x $125). So your chance to get more than $1 out of this payment is extremely small if you just go for $125.
Makes you wonder if credit monitoring offer is not worth the $1 or less you’re forgoing. Although since the monitoring would be from EFX itself, maybe it’s worth less than $0.
Either farcical pretense of a remedy certainly makes me reconsider opting out altogether to preserve my right to sue them if a breach occurs.
FTC said: “At least four years of free monitoring of your credit report at all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion)”. But generally I think it’s worth $0 because there are many was to get it for free.
You mean to sue them for losses if your identity is stolen as a result of the breach that already occurred? First I think it would be impossible to prove the relationship. You’d need the thief’s confession with the details of how they obtained your information, and that it was obtained from the breach. And second, it’s difficult to have losses since you’re not liable for unauthorized transactions.
If ID thieves were proven to have used my SSN which so far had not been leaked from another breach, I may have a case. But yes proving it came from the EFX breach would be difficult but that could be a factor in the settlement between them and me.
But beside fraudulent transactions, there are other ways to have losses. Someone can file your taxes and try to collect your refund check. If someone opens credit card accounts in my name, there could be an opportunity cost for me. I may run afoul of the Chase/Citi anti-churning rules, be denied credit until my credit is fixed, waste my time fixing it, etc… Small costs but still probably higher than their symbolic $1 settlement.
For this one, even though it’s 4-years of 3-bureaus monitoring, my point is Equifax will be the ones doing the monitoring so considering their security track record, I’m not sure whether I’d be protecting myself or actually putting myself more at the mercy of future breaches from those incompetents. Hence the questionably negative value of the coverage.
You can fight the IRS to get your refund, there should still be no loss to you. IANAL, but opportunity cost (of fixing your credit or being denied credit) is going to be very difficult or impossible to establish. Damages usually must be actual, not hypothetical. Perhaps if you were in the middle of a huge purchase (like a house) and it was delayed, canceled, or had additional costs attached, then those costs could be covered, but you wouldn’t gain anything from it. Your own time spent is usually not valued. This settlement is the first and only I can think of that actually promises to reimburse individuals for their own time.
I thought it was Experian doing the monitoring, at least at the beginning.
I’m not sure how they’re paid, but there are many benefits to getting more people to respond.
Probably one of the worst situations for a claim administrator (and by extension, the parties) is for a court to reject a final settlement due to inadequate notice. One factor in determining whether notice was adequate is the number of claims received compared to the approximate total class size.
My bad. You are correct. The 4 years of credit monitoring is indeed by Experian.
I guess they had enough sense to offer to pay for credit monitoring through another bureau to not look like they were also pushing people to their own products.
That made me wonder what was the process for determining that $31M was adequate to pay $125 to claimants. I mean, the analysis is that it’s enough money to at best cover a response rate of 0.17%. Don’t they factor in some expected number of responses in determining what compensation to offer in the settlement?
For Experian vs Equifax, I imagine the only real cost to equifax for providing their own services would be the opportunity cost of not having people buy it from them. Since I can’t imagine there’s much of a marginal cost with that service. As important, or perhaps even more important, as the need to provide individuals with the free services is to punish equifax. Therefore, I would bet the plaintiffs pushed for equifax to have to pay for the credit monitoring services.
As for the amount, the settlement is for a total amount. My knowledge in this area is all theoretical, and about the philosophy of class actions as opposed to actual process. However, my thoughts are that, when the class size is so large, and the damages are more squishy, the settlement amount is really just based on the overall number. Less attention is being paid to the amount per potential class member.
So, my guess is, at the negotiating table, the lawyers weren’t arguing over 125pp vs 115pp etc. They were arguing over 1.5b vs 1.6b. So I think your gripe is more with the notice than with the settlement itself.
On top of that, I think you’re failing to account for the number of people that will take the credit monitoring option in your percentages. Admittedly, it still seems low, but I think it’s worth mentioning. It’s my understanding based solely off press releases that equifax is paying more than 125pp to experian. The more people that equifax can push toward requesting the cash, the better it is for them, so you can do your own analysis on the incentives each party has to word things a certain way.
That probably makes my decision easier if it’s true.