If you provided personal information to or made mortgage payments to Countrywide Financial before July 1, 2008, you may be eligible for free credit monitoring for two years.
The ruling is part of a settlement finalized today by U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell of Paducah, who oversaw more than 36 lawsuits related to a security breach at the company.
The lawsuits are tied to the arrest of former Countrywide employee Rene Rebollo Jr., who was a senior analyst for the company.
Federal investigators claim Rebollo used a flash drive to download personal data from roughly 20,000 customers a week for two years from 2006 through August 2008.
The data included sensitive information ranging from birth dates and social security numbers, to mortgage and credit card information.
He later sold the seemingly valuable data to another defendant, Wahid Siddiqi, for just $500 and the pair earned a combined a $50,000 through sales to third parties, likely mortgage lead companies and similar entities.
Bank of America, which now owns the defunct mortgage lender, denied any wrongdoing, but said a settlement would help the company avoid additional expenses and litigation.
Former Countrywide customers who are able to prove their identity was “stolen” as a result of the breach are eligible for up to $50,000 in compensation for each offense.
The deadline to subscribe for free credit monitoring (Triple Advantage by Experian) is September 7, 2010 – the earliest deadline to file a claim for monetary compensation is October 18.