Equifax Data Breach Settlement: The Time to File a Claim Is Now

147 million people were affected by the Equifax data breach in 2017, and now they can start the claiming process.
Fabienne Lang

The 147 million consumers who were affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach, wherein people's data was exposed and stolen, can now make their claim to recover money that was spent or lost during the breach. 

It was announced on Monday that Equifax will be paying up to $700 million in order to compensate those that were affected. 


The breach resulted in hackers stealing millions of Social Security numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, driver's license information, and other personal data that was stored in Equifax's database. 

Equifax is a credit-reporting company, where millions of people's data is stored, usually safely. 

How to make a claim

Unfortunately, it's not as simple as it may seem, but it is manageable. 

Proving you were part of the breach is the first, and trickiest, step. 

Gathering all relevant documentation relating to the hack comes next. 

Finally, you submit your claim for compensation. The final date for all submissions is set for 22 January, 2020.

Jill Schlesinger, CBS News business analyst, claimed that "It's basically very difficult to understand whether or not that breach - let's assume you were breached - whether it was used for nefarious reasons."

It will end up being hard for people to prove they were, in fact, financially affected by the data breach.

The settlement in numbers

The exact amount that Equifax will pay is not yet clear, but the initial proposed settlement is $300 million as compensation for those who bought their credit-monitoring services. 

The company will also pay $175 million to states and districts, as well as $100 million for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in civil penalties. 

It's been agreed upon that if $300 million is not sufficient as compensation, then Equifax has agreed to add another $175 million to the mix - making the grand total possible settlement to be $700 million.  

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This would be the largest ever-won settlement for a data breach according to Washington D.C. Attorney General, Karl A. Racine.

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