Federal Trade Commission Releases Details of Settlement Agreement with Equifax for 2017 Data Breach

Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shared details of the $425 million settlement it reached with Equifax for its 2017 data breach exposing personal information of more than 147 million Americans.

Affected by the Breach

If you were affected, you 

  • are eligible for $125 or free credit monitoring which includes 
    • at least four years monitoring all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion)
    • $1 million of identity theft insurance
    • up to six more years of free credit monitoring of your Equifax credit report
    • 18 years of free credit monitoring (if you were under 18 in May 2017)
  • can request free identity restoration services for at least seven years
  • can recover up to $20,000 to cover expenses that resulted from the breach including losses from
    • any unauthorized charges to your accounts
    • the cost of freezing/unfreezing your credit report
    • any fees you paid to professionals to help sort this issue out
    • the cost of credit monitoring tools
    • any other expenses (notary fees, shipping costs, postage, mileage and phone charge)
  • will be able to request compensation ($25 per hour, up to 20 hours) for time spent dealing with the breach (keep anything that documents these expenses).

The process to file claims has not yet begun, but you can sign up for email updates from the FTC.

Not Affected by the Breach

Even if your information wasn’t affected by the breach, Equifax will be required to provide up to seven free credit reports per year to all U.S. consumers. This will start in 2020 and last for seven years.

Don’t Know If You Were Affected by the Breach

If you’re unsure of whether or not you were affected by the breach, you can check the claims website (once it is live) as there will be a tool that allows you to see if you were affected.