EQUIFAX SETTLEMENT UPDATE
Bailey & Galyen would like to provide our clients with an update on the Equifax breach law suit. We have seen some terms but nothing that is finalized is set in stone to say what everyone in the class is going to obtain via the settlement. There are some parameters that have been proposed, but there are still details as to whom is entitled to those specific awards and if the proposed settlement amount will cover everyone in the class.
The Court still must approve the settlement, then the proposed settlements can be paid. What we do know is this — This proposed settlement was just recently announced within the past week and there are literally millions of people that are part of this class action lawsuit. It all takes time to administrator. The settlement administrator won’t send out any benefits until they’re allowed to do so by the court, which will be no earlier than January 23, 2020. That date could also change subject to many things at the Court’s discretion.
We want to let you know that wehave instituted a recorded information hotline with updates at 817-592-6160 that we will share with our clients. We also plan to update our website and send email newsletters on the latest information as it becomes available. All information will be the same across the telephone number, website and newsletters.
COO & Firm Managing Attorney
AUGUST 2, 2019 UPDATE
You’ve reached the Equifax information hotline, a service provided by Bailey & Galyen Attorneys at Law. Today is July 26th of 2019. The following is an information update.
The credit reporting companies have agreed to pay between $575M and $700M to settle state and federal investigations related to a massive security incident that exposed the personal information of more than 147M Americans two years ago.
The levels of compensation as we know them today are:
There are levels of compensations for ID hacking up to $20,000.
10 years of free credit monitoring or $125 is another type of compensations if you have already purchased credit monitoring because of the Equifax Federal Breach.
Deadline to file a claim is January 22 of 2020. All the claims submitted are still subject to court approval.
If you were affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach you can file a claim for a piece of the settlement and Bailey & Galyen is here to assist our class members and anyone else who wants to be a part of the class.
As more information becomes available including relevant deadlines, we will advise the same via this hotline and our website.
STATEMENT OF CLASS COUNSEL IN THE EQUIFAX DATA BREACH CONSUMER CLASS ACTION
August 3, 2019
This statement by former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes of Marietta, Georgia; Ken Canfield of Atlanta, Georgia; Amy Keller of Chicago, Illinois; and Norma Siegel of Kansas City, Missouri: responds to misinformation circulating regarding the recently announced Equifax data breach settlement.
On July 22, 2019, a federal judge in Atlanta preliminarily approved a class action settlement resolving all consumer claims from the 2017 Equifax data breach settlement. The settlement is historic, requires Equifax to pay much more than in any previous data breach case, and provides relief to all consumers who were harmed. Here is a broad outline of the available relief:
1. Class members may claim up to $20,000 in actual losses from identity theft and costs incurred protecting themselves from future harm. All class members who purchased credit monitoring services as a result of the Equifax data breach case may claim the cost as an actual out of pocket loss.
2. Class members get 10 years of free credit monitoring. Class members who prefer to keep their own monitoring service and meet other conditions are entitled to an alternative cash payment subject to an overall cap of $31 million.
3. Class members have access to free identity restoration services for 7 service for 7 years, whether or not they make a claim.
4. All class members will benefit from requirements that Equifax overhaul its systems and Equifax must spend at least $1 billion over 5 years on cybersecurity measures.
In choosing what benefits are best for them, we urge class members to rely on the official notice approved by the court, not media stories or social media posts. The official notice and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com.
A more detailed response follows:
We reached a settlement with Equifax to resolve all consumer class action lawsuits on March 30, 2019. Equifax’s board approved the settlement the next day. The settlement was later revised at the request of federal and state regulators. Many of its terms were later incorporate into 52 separate consent orders between Equifax, the FTC, CFPB, and State and Territorial Attorney’s General.
On the morning of July 22, before we even present the class action settlement to the court, a deluge of pervasive media coverage began that has caused much confusion and misinformation. Many media reports wrongly suggested all class members are entitle to $125, triggering a flood of $125 claims on the settlement website. Many of those claims are not valid and will be rejected by the settlement administrator.
A valuable component of the class action settlement is ten years of free credit monitoring, which would cost each class member nearly $2,000 if purchased at retail. That monitoring provides services that are tailored to the exact breach that happened there–and, when combined with freezing your credit, is the best way that consumers can protect themselves from fraud or identity theft.
The settlement does not limit the number of class members who can sign up for credit monitoring. Every single class member who chooses credit monitoring will have the entire cost paid by Equifax. If more than 7 million class members sign up, Equifax will have to pay more money into the fund. The ultimate cost to Equifax if all 147 million class members sign up exceeds $2 billion.
The cash payment of up to $125 is meant to provide an “alternative” benefit to class members who prefer the credit monitoring service they already have. For that reason, the only class members eligible for the alternative benefit are those who already have. For that reason, the only class members eligible for the alternative benefit are those who already have monitoring, certify they intend to keep it for at least six months, and name the company that provides the service.
The alternative payments are capped at $31 million to ensure sufficient funds are available to pay for class members’ out of pocket losses. At the end of the claims period, if money is left over after those out of pocket losses are paid, the cap will be lifted and much of the additional money will be distributed to those who claimed the alternative cash payment.
Until the claims deadlines expire, we will not know how much class members who have chosen the alternative cash payment will get. That will depend on the number of claims, how many claims are valid, and whether the cap will be lifted. But, if current trends continue, we expect class members will get substantially less than $125. Eligible class members who have not yet decided between credit monitoring and a cash payment should keep that in mind when they make their choice. Those who have already chosen cash will be given an opportunity to reconsider their choice and file a new or amended claim.
Although class actions still remain the best way for consumers to obtain relief when impacted by a data breach, this settlement demonstrates that stronger laws need to be passed to protect consumers and ensure that they are fully compensated when corporations do not adequately protect their private information.