Bill Rapp here with the Heartfelt and Hot in Houston Blog, and this is our newest segment: Equifax $125 settlement Claim!

Equifax will pay at least $575 million in a settlement stemming from one of the biggest data security failures ever. USA TODAY

* There are levels of compensation for ID hacking, up to $20,000

* 10 years free credit monitoring or $125 is another type of compensation

* Deadline to file a claim is Jan. 22, 2020

If you were affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach, you can now file a claim for a piece of the settlement. Equifax $125 settlement Claim!

The credit-reporting company has agreed to pay between $575 million and $700 million to settle state and federal investigations related to a massive security incident that exposed the personal information of more than 147 million Americans two years ago. Equifax $125 settlement Claim!

The settlement, which was announced Monday and is considered the largest ever for a data breach, has preliminary court approval. The official settlement website, www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com, has been posted and is accepting claims. Equifax $125 settlement Claim!

To confirm you're eligible to file a claim, enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number on the site or call the Settlement Administrator at 1-833-759-2982. Largest-ever data breach settlement: What does the $700M Equifax settlement mean for you?

Equifax settlement 2019: How to protect yourself beyond a credit freeze

To prevent criminals from opening bank, utility and phone accounts in your name, you need more than a credit freeze. Here's what to do. Equifax $125 settlement Claim!

Filing a claim

There are two ways to file a claim. You can file online at www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com or by mail. If by mail, you can download and print the claim form, fill it out and mail it with any supporting documentation. 

You also can request a claim form be mailed to you by calling 1-833-759-2982 or emailing them at info@EquifaxBreachSettlement.com. The deadline to file a claim is Jan. 22, 2020. If you want to be excluded from the settlement, you need to send a written request postmarked no later than Nov. 19. Equifax $125 settlement Claim!

What you can get

Depending on how you were affected by the breach, you could be eligible for several types of compensation. Equifax will pay at least $380.5 million into a Consumer Restitution Fund. You can get up to 10 years of free credit monitoring of your three credit reports at Experian, TransUnion and Equifax by an independent third-party service that will be determined by the court. Or, you can receive $125 if you already have a credit monitoring service and won't enroll in the free one. Equifax $125 settlement Claim!

If you spent time or money dealing with an ID theft issue that occurred after the hack and involved personal data that was exposed by the breach, you can get compensated up to $20,000 per person.  You can be reimbursed for the following:

* Losses from unauthorized charges on your accounts

* Cost of freezing or unfreezing your credit report

* Cost of credit monitoring

* Fees you paid to professionals like an accountant or attorney

* Other expenses like notary fees, document shipping fees and postage, mileage and phone charges

In some cases, documentation may be requested to show proof of "fraud, identity theft, or other alleged misuse of your personal information fairly traceable to the data breach,” the settlement website notes. Equifax $125 settlement Claim!

How long will this take?

According to the settlement website's frequently asked questions, it's expected to take several months or more before credit monitoring services will begin and payments will be made. This will start "after the Court enters a final judgment and the settlement becomes final." Equifax $125 settlement Claim!

That is all for today folks from the Heartfelt & Hot In Houston Blog, make it a great day!

The inspiration for today’s edition came from this original article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/07/25/equifax-settlement-how-file-claim-125-credit-reporting/1822919001/

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