(By Ryan Stultz, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) The FTC issued a statement Wednesday warning that the settlement set aside only $31 million in funds to pay out the $125 payments to affected consumers who choose cash instead of free credit monitoring.
“The pot of money that pays for that part of the settlement is $31 million,” the FTC said. “A large number of claims for cash instead of credit monitoring means only one thing: each person who takes the money option will wind up only getting a small amount of money. Nowhere near the $125 they could have gotten if there hadn’t been such an enormous number of claims filed.”
The commission says the credit monitoring is paid for by a different, larger fund, which will cover all 147 million people affected.
“Frankly, the free credit monitoring is worth a lot more — the market value would be hundreds of dollars a year,” it said. “And this monitoring service is probably stronger and more helpful than any you may have already, because it monitors your credit report at all three nationwide credit reporting agencies, and it comes with up to $1 million in identity theft insurance and individualized identity restoration services.”