Mass torts multiply as consumers learn of Equifax breach

By now, most people know to keep their credit card information, Social Security numbers and other personal information as private as possible to avoid cyberthieves getting hold of them. Countless consumers in Tennessee and across the world can attest to the nightmare of having to recover from identity theft and other unlawful activity that happens when someone obtains their confidential information. However, recent news from Equifax has millions across the country wondering if they are about to be living one of those nightmares, and many have already joined mass torts claims against Equifax.

Hackers were able to breach the security systems in place to protect consumers whose vital information was held by Equifax. The credit bureau is one of three used by lenders for determining the creditworthiness of loan applicants. Equifax computers hold credit card numbers, birth dates, addresses and Social Security numbers -- all of which easily provide hackers with ammunition to destroy the credit of 143 million consumers. Many of those frustrated and angry consumers have reached out to attorneys for information about holding Equifax responsible for the potentially damaging breach.

Currently, more than 50 class action lawsuits are underway. While those who registered for Equifax's free credit monitoring service previously forfeited their right to sue through a mass tort claim, Equifax has since removed that provision from its service. This makes those supposedly protected consumers eligible to join any action against the credit bureau.

Legal advisors remind consumers that joining mass torts claims means relinquishing one's right to sue individually. However, many affected consumers in Tennessee may find that a class action lawsuit benefits them more than trying to sue a company on their own. So far, the effects of the Equifax breach may not have caused much damage, but financial advisors warn consumers to be on guard over the next few months as hackers attempt to use the information that they have obtained.

Source: goodhousekeeping.com, "You Could Be Entitled to Money from the Equifax Security Breech", Lindsey Murray, Sept. 20, 2017

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