You should always submit your claim in a settlement if you’re eligible. The earnest reason is something terrible happened with your information and this is your repayment. The simple reason is free money. The Equifax settlement from the 2017 data breach is worth at least $575,000,000. After penalties, this leaves a sum of $425,000,000 to be split among those affected.
Settlement Claim Success
An Instagram user commented about her experience after the real estate bubble burst. The federal government sent out settlement notices related to banks foreclosing on mortgages without following the proper procedures. The user stated she filled out the form, mailed it off, and forgot about it. She said a check for $600 showed up a year later. The following year she received $10,500. Then, one year after that, she received a check for $1,200, and the foreclosure was removed from her credit report. A foreclosure may typically remain on your credit report for seven years. She gained over $12,000 and a higher credit score in three years.
Another user remarked that she received over $600 from the Bank of America settlement. She received a second check due to unclaimed funds. That sum was then divided amongst those that initially participated, with no additional input necessary. She also noted she received a postcard from Capital One regarding her eligibility in its settlement.
On the same thread, another user noted she received over $1500 from Transunion. She said she’s eligible for the Equifax settlement as well.
Check Your Eligibility
More than likely, you will be notified in writing if you’re eligible. However, you may have moved or accidentally thrown the correspondence away. In most cases, there will be a website set up for individuals to confirm their eligibility, as is the case with the Equifax settlement. Do not fraudulently claim funds from a settlement. There could be civil or criminal charges brought against you.
Ways to Claim
The instructions for submitting a claim will be in the correspondence you receive or on the eligibility website. For the Equifax settlement, you can fill out a form online or send one via mail. There are several options to claim.
You can request:
- six months of credit monitoring, or
- a considerable sum if you meet specific criteria and have documentation.
Also, make sure you submit your claim within the deadline. Requesting too late is the easiest way to get denied. There was a third option for $125 but the option is no longer available.
The Ugly Truth About Settlements
I and everyone else that submitted a claim may receive much less than $125. The fine print of states that only $31,000,000 is for the Alternative Reimbursement Compensation ($125) during the initial claims period. As the number of claimants grows, the amount paid out per person decreases.
As shown by the social media comments, the results of settlement claims will vary. There is an upside either way in this data breach settlement. Equifax is offering six free credit reports a year and free identity restoration for seven years, in addition to your free annual credit report.