The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions on Tuesday filed an amicus brief in support of $79 million Magnify Credit Union, Mulberry, Fla.

The credit union was named in a lawsuit alleging its website violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

NAFCU noted the amicus brief it filed on behalf of Magnify CU is the 15th the trade association has initiated in support of credit unions facing litigation over what NAFCU contends are “unclear” website accessibility requirements under the ADA.

Just last week, NAFCU filed an amicus brief in support of $3.4 billion Northwest Federal Credit Union, Herndon, Va. That action was NAFCU’s third amicus brief in support of Northwest and its second in a federal court of appeals. The original complaint against the credit union was dismissed in January and an amended complaint was dismissed in April.

To date, credit unions in at least 26 states have been targeted with demand letters alleging their websites were not ADA compliant. NAFCU began filing amicus briefs to support credit unions targeted by ADA website accessibility litigation in December. So far, it said Tuesday, six of the lawsuits in which NAFCU has filed an amicus brief have been dismissed.

“NAFCU and its members strongly support the protections of the ADA and efforts to ensure individuals with disabilities are not discriminated against and have equal access to financial services. However, this is best achieved through clear guidance and standards for website compliance, not through meritless and costly lawsuits,” the trade association said in a statement.

Dan Berger, president and CEO of the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, addressing the trade group's 2018 convention in Seattle.
NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger, addressing the trade group's 2018 convention in Seattle.

Representatives from both national trade groups have met with lawmakers and regulators in an attempt to get clarity on the issue, and a bipartisan panel of more than 100 lawmakers last month said regulators must find a solution to the problem.

Last month, a suit against a Virginia credit union was dismissed, but both NAFCU and the Credit Union National Association continue to issue amicus briefs as more and more CUs are targeted.

More of Credit Union Journal’s ADA coverage can be found here.

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