Protecting Yourself in the Wake of the Equifax Data Breach

On September 7, 2017 the credit reporting agency Equifax announced that their systems had been breached. Over the next few days it became clear that the breach had gone on for several months, from May through July 2017, with an earlier, smaller breach in March 2017.  

Over145 million Americans discovered that their personal information and financial data - names, birthdates, addresses, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and in some cases driver's license numbers and dispute documents - had been accessed by hackers.

It soon came out that the CEO of Equifax had been infomed of the breach on July 29th, but did not inform the board until mid August.  …

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created to provide a single point of accountability for enforcing federal consumer financial laws and protecting consumers in the financial marketplace."

[ And so it was - until November 2017, when Trump appointed a CFPB opponent as acting head of the agency. See below for recent updates. ]

In January 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was passed in response to the 2008 financial crisis. 

Prior to this, there were at least seven different regulators who were responsible for various aspects of consumer finance, and some rules had not been updated in many years. As you might imagine there were gaps in coverage, and when you added in a lack of comminication between regulators, the banks and other lenders (especially mortgage brokers and so-called "payday lenders") were left effectively unregulated. 

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