I hate to leave money on the table, so when a colleague sent me an email in June with a link to an LA Times article (no longer on their web site, unfortunately) on the Trans Union class-action settlement, I knew I’d be signing up for my fair share.* As you know, however, I’ve been busy, and I haven’t gotten around to registering yet. But the deadline is rapidly approaching, so it’s higher on my to-do list now.
Here’s the lowdown:
The complaint alleges that Trans Union LLC and Acxiom Corporation violated the law by selling lists containing personal and financial consumer information to third parties for marketing purposes. The settlement is for expediency, and not an admission of wrongdoing.
Anyone who had an open credit account or an open line of credit from a credit grantor (such as car loans, bank credit cards, department store credit cards, other retail store credit cards, finance company loans, mortgage loans, and student loans) located in the United States anytime from January 1, 1987 to May 28, 2008 is eligible to apply for a share of the settlement.
Class members must choose from one of the following benefits:
- Sign up for six months of credit monitoring services.If you select this option, you can also register to possibly receive cash benefits in the event of a cash distribution or file an individual lawsuit against the defendants.
- Sign up for nine months of enhanced credit monitoring services.If you select this option, you will not receive any further benefits, including a cash payment, and you will not be able to file an individual lawsuit against the defendants.
- Register to possibly receive a cash payment. If you select this option, you can also sign up for six months of credit monitoring; however if you receive a cash payment, you cannot file an individual lawsuit against the defendants.
I am going to register for the cash payment, as well as the six months of credit monitoring. I’ll have Marc do the same – I’m assuming that because we have separate accounts as well as joint accounts, and did so during the applicable period, we are both eligible for our own share of the settlement. Maybe we’ll get two unexpected checks in a year or two.
You can register for benefits at the Trans Union class action web site but you have to do so by September 24, 2008.
*Class-actions can be a great source of “free” money. It’s not truly free, since the company is compensating you for a harm you suffered, but it’s free in the sense that it’s money you never expected to see again. A couple of weeks ago, we got a $16 check from a Countrywide class-action settlement related to mortgage application fees, and we should eventually get settlements for the diamond and Bar/Bri (bar review course) class-action lawsuits. Eventually. Unfortunately, these things take time.