Some Equifax settlement checks have been rejected as a consequence of an “error” on the signature financial institution
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Some consumers who tried to submit an Equifax settlement check over the past few days got a surprise: it bounced.
The checks, the result of a court settlement over the credit bureau’s 2017 data breach, were made payable to an account at Signature Bank. The bank was taken over by regulators on Sunday after account holders – spooked by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last week – began withdrawing en masse.
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However, the checks returned unpaid are not related to the bank’s failure, said Jennifer Keough, CEO of JND Legal Administration, which handles the Equifax settlement.
“What happened here, due to a clerical error by Signature Bank, certain checks that should have been cashed were rejected by other banks,” Keough said.
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Fewer than 5,000 consumers were affected, Keough said. Around 18 million consumers were part of the class action lawsuit that led to the settlement, she said.
Consumers receive payments after a data breach
After Equifax’s 2017 data breach, which compromised the personal information of more than 147 million consumers — including names, dates of birth and social security numbers — the company became the target of multiple lawsuits and reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in 2019 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and all US states and territories.
As a result, consumers affected by the breach had the option to sign up for either up to $125 or free credit monitoring with all three of the largest credit bureaus: EquifaxExperian and TransUnion.
After the implementation was delayed due to legal challenges, the settlement was finally approved by the court in early 2022.
The cash payments – which can be well under $125, e.g. B. $5 or $21 – began in mid-December as either a check, payment to a PayPal account, or prepaid card via email from the billing administrator, depending on the consumer elected to receive it.
Here’s what to do if your billing check has bounced
If you’re one of those whose check has bounced, you’ll be contacted by the administrator, Keough said.
“We will notify those people and reissue their check,” she said.
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Additionally, if your bank charged you for the incident, you should contact the administrator. You can do this by email (info@EquifaxBreachSettlement.com) or by phone (1-833-759-2982).
“If they give us proof of that [the charge]the money will be sent to them,” Keough said.