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Some consumers who have attempted to file a Equifax Settlement check in recent days had a surprise: It rebounded.

The cheques, resulting from a legal settlement over the credit reporting company’s data breach in 2017, were drawn on an account at Signature Bank. The bank was taken over by regulators on Sunday after account holders – spooked by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last week – began withdrawing their money en masse.

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However, the checks that were returned unpaid are unrelated to the bank’s failure, said Jennifer Keough, CEO of JND Legal Administration, which handles Equifax’s settlement.

“What happened here, due to a clerical error by Signature Bank, some checks that should have cleared were bounced by other banks,” Keough said.

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Fewer than 5,000 consumers are affected, Keough said. About 18 million consumers were part of the class action lawsuit that led to the settlement, she said.

Consumers Receive Payments After Data Breach

Following the Equifax data breach in 2017, which compromised the personal information of more than 147 million consumers – including names, dates of birth and social security numbers – the company became the target of multiple lawsuits and reached settlement in 2019 with the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and all US states and territories.

As a result, consumers affected by the breach had the option of signing up for up to $125 or free credit monitoring with the three largest credit reporting companies: EquifaxExperian and TransUnion.

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After implementation was delayed due to legal challenges, the settlement received final court approval in early 2022.

Cash payments – which can be well under $125, such as $5 or $21 – began to be made in mid-December as a check, payment to a PayPal account or prepaid card via e-mail. email from the settlement administrator, depending on how the consumer has chosen to receive it.

Here’s what to do if your paycheck bounced

If you are among those whose check has bounced, you will be contacted by the administrator, Keough said.

“We will notify these people and reissue their check,” she said.

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Also, if your bank charged you a fee for the incident, you should contact the administrator. You can do this by email ([email protected]) or by phone (1-833-759-2982).

“When they provide us with proof of [the charge]the money will be sent to them,” Keough said.

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