The Heartland Credit Union Association, which represents CUs in Kansas and Missouri, is the latest credit union league to join the Credit Union National Association’s class action suit against Equifax.

The association follows 18 other state leagues and more than 30 individual credit unions that joined since the trade association's suit which was filed in October.

The league said it elected to join CUNA’s suit because so many credit union members in Kansas and Missouri were harmed by the data breach, which impacted nearly half of the total U.S. population.

Brad Douglas, president and CEO of the Heartland Credit Union Association
Brad Douglas, president and CEO of the Heartland Credit Union Association

“We’re fighting data breaches and cyberattack issues on multiple fronts, and this lawsuit is part of a larger effort to help protect private consumer information,” Brad Douglas, president and CEO of the Heartland Credit Union Association, said in a press release. “We need stricter regulation to ensure changes to data security, so we’re taking action and helping lead this charge.”

According to CUNA Chief Corporate Counsel Susan Parisi, last week, the court established two tracks for the litigation, one for consumers harmed by the breach and a second for credit unions, trade associations and other financial institutions. Any credit union interested in joining the litigation as a named plaintiff should plan to do so by the end of January, Parisi said. Credit unions can join the suit by emailing databreachlawsuit@cuna.coop.

Credit unions experiencing losses related to the data breach who do not join as named plaintiffs now will still be able to seek recourse as a member of the injured class. There is currently no deadline for that type of participation, Parisi added.