As you may know, Equifax was hacked, resulting in private information from 143 million people being leaked. They are facing a gigantic class action suit, which may take years to resolve, and result in only a few dollars for impacted parties. What is the average consumer to do, other than this class action suit where the lion’s share of monies received will go to corporate lawyers?
How can this help me with Equifax?
An innovative legal-assistance chatbot known as DoNotPay, known for disputing parking tickets and filing for maternity leave, now can automatically sue Equifax on your behalf, for amounts of up to $25,000.
Note that for now, it only works for California and New York residents (so I qualify) for lawsuits of $15,000. This currently represents nearly 20% of the US population, and more than likely a larger percentage of those affected. It will add more states and increase limits shortly. By bypassing lawyers, DoNotPay chatbot will make customer more successful and “with enough success, bankrupt Equifax” according to its creator, Joshua Browder.
EDIT: I’ve been testing it out, and since the article posted, it has cut NY to $5,000, and CA to $10,000. This was not publicized, and perhaps those numbers will change later. I think it was changed to fit in small claims court, which is $10,000 or under in CA. I just love this line from the chatbot “I am looking forward to helping you fight corporate incompetence” (emphasis mine).
How can I join?
For now, you can use the DoNotPay chatbot at this link – which recommends other users check back in roughly 12 hours for other states that can file Equifax lawsuits.
For everyone else, you should take steps to protect your data by freezing your credit, setting up fraud alerts, and closely monitoring your credit reports (at the government site, www.annualcreditreport.com). Other sites like Mint can also help you track to ensure no one is opening up new lines of credit or debt in your name.
This is an exciting time of automation – self-driving cars, consumption, etc. – and automatic lawsuits sounds fantastic in this case. Especially when a class action lawsuit against Equifax will pay pennies on the dollar of potential damages. This harkens back to the Ticketmaster/LiveNation class-action lawsuit years ago, where they paid out only a couple measly dollars for instance of damage, which were exceptionally hard to redeem. Additionally, I sincerely hope this data breach does not affect my future signup of credit, or threaten my plans to travel in 2018 to a variety of exotic locales: Taiwan, Hawaii, Seoul, Korea, and maybe Japan and Germany again!
If you can take advantage for California and New York readers, please do so. Equifax was supposed to be a steward and guardian of our data, and their incompetence should result in jail time. Lastly, I would like to see Equifax go down in flames. Perhaps they will be paying out billions in restitution, with fines levied, and executives who were immorally trading on insider information punished. Thankfully, our government is on it, but I am not holding my breath!
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