EQUIFAX OF LIFE
How many of you have felt personally victimized by Equifax? The credit-reporting agency’s security breach revealed information of 143 million customers in the U.S., with over 200,000 credit card numbers leaked, and identifying information of another 182,000. Several Canadian and U.K. customers were affected as well, but this number has not been disclosed.
If you were one of the millions whose personal information was exposed in the breach, you have plenty of options to fight back. Lifehacker kindly compiled a handy list of suggestions if you’re in the mood to sue.
SETTLE IT ON THE COURT
Small-claims claims court is the best place to start if you want to personally sue Equifax, but if you’re not familiar with legal processes, the paper work can seem discouraging.
Luckily, there’s a chatbot to help you out, because of course there is.
Startup Do Not Pay’s chatbot usually spends its time fighting parking tickets. Now the site’s homepage happily offers to “automatically sue Equifax for up to $25,000.”
However, this amount depends on your state, defaults to $10,000, and the service is currently limited to New York and California. While the bot can’t sue Equifax for you, it can help you fill out the paperwork required for a lawsuit. You’re still responsible for showing up in court and proving your damages, though.
GET PAID KIND OF
You’re also required to pay to file a case in small-claims court. But hey, another startup has come to your rescue. Legalist is offering to cover the cost of filing by mailing checks to anyone who signs up with them.
They’ll also provide a pre-filled legal complaint you can send to the court, but require a 30 percent cut if you win.
Legalist is hoping that if enough people file small claims cases, Equifax won’t be able to properly represent itself since they would have to send out employees to each courtroom where a case was filed. However, Equifax may have the option to consolidate the small claims cases into a larger state or federal court.
CLASS IS IN SESSION
You can also join a class-action suit, or hope to get absorbed into one. When class-action cases are certified by the court, everyone affected by the case is automatically included and notified. Whoever files the case that becomes certified is the Lead Plaintiff, and represents everybody involved.
To get certified, the Lead Plaintiff and their attorney must prove they have a solid legal claim against Equifax that includes a large group of people similarly affected, and that there’s a plan to fairly represent everyone involved. Right now, there are at least 23 different class-action suits filed against Equifax in the United States.
These cases could also be consolidated and still include everyone affected. If there’s a settlement, you probably won’t have to take any action as an individual to get part of it. So you can add to the mix by starting your own case, or hope enough other people have already done so that you’ll end up part of a class-action suit.
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