The fallout from the huge data breach at Equifax affecting 143 million Americans continues. Senators Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden of the Senate Committee on Finance have sent requests to Equifax for detailed information about the data breach. In addition, the number of class actions filed against Equifax related to the data breach is now up to twenty three.
Class actions are lawsuits brought by a few individuals on behalf of many others similarly situated. It is an effective way for consumers to seek redress from companies and the lawyers are paid on a contingency basis so there are no out of pocket expenses to the people who make up the class of harmed individuals. Once the cases have been certified by the judges hearing the cases as appropriate for class action status a federal panel will be convened to join the cases into a single lawsuit on behalf of all of the victims. At that time there will be, most likely, a negotiated settlement, but if one cannot be reached, a trial will occur. Generally in class actions, class members have the opportunity to either opt in or opt out of the class action, in which case they could bring their own individual lawsuits, although this is rarely productive.
I will keep you informed as to the progress of the class actions so that you will be able to make intelligent decisions as to what to do in your own particular case in this matter.
Meanwhile it is imperative, if you have not already done so that you get copies of your credit reports from each of the three major credit reporting agencies and that you freeze your credit at each of the three major credit reporting agencies.
You can get your free copies of your credit reports by using this link.
Here are links to each of the credit reporting agencies for information about how to put a credit freeze on your credit reports: