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Equifax’s Stock Rose More Than 50% In 2019

“There’s still time to file a claim for a share of the $425 million that Equifax agreed to cough up after hosing almost half of the country in its massive data breach a few years ago,” writes a Pennyslvania newspaper columnist, pointing victims to equifaxbreachsettlement.com.

“But unless you can prove you were an identity theft victim who lost money, or had to waste time cleaning up the mess, don’t expect much of a payout. Victims are being hosed again.”

The breach affected an estimated 147 million Americans. Hackers exploited a known but unpatched website vulnerability and gained access to names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers. Facing lawsuits from federal and state consumer protection agencies, Equifax agreed to a settlement. It offered several ways for people to file claims, with a deadline of Jan. 22.

The option that applies to most people is 10 years of free credit monitoring, or a cash payout of up to $125 for those who already have monitoring. But you aren’t going to get anywhere near $125. The settlement called for a pot of only $31 million for those payouts. And based on the number of people who have applied, that’s not enough to cover the maximum payment. You may not even get enough to buy a decent sandwich, according to Ted Frank, director of litigation for Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute, which includes the Center for Class Action Fairness. “That’s down to $6 or $7 now,” Frank told CNBC in December. “Maybe even less than that.”

Frank spoke after the federal judge overseeing the settlement awarded $77.5 million of the $425 million settlement fund to the attorneys who represented consumers against Equifax. His organization had opposed that award as being too much.

Meanwhile, the Motley Fool notes that in 2019 Equifax’s stock rose 50.5% — after dropping 21% in 2018 and remaining “relatively flat” in 2017.
“The credit-reporting company’s stock rose thanks to a series of earnings beats and with the shadow of the big 2017 data breach receding further into the rear view….”


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