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Michigan CU In Big Expansion

KALAMAZOO, Mich.-State regulators with the Office of Insurance and Financial Services have approved a request by Educational Employees CU to expand its community charter to add almost 2.5 million residents in 16 surrounding counties, giving the $240-million credit union what is believed to be the largest community charter for a state credit union.

The 500,000 people the credit union already serves in five local counties give the Educational Community CU a field of membership of about three million. The grant comes a month after the OFIS approved a state charter for USA FCU to serve 2.2 million people on Oakland and Macomb counties.

Settlement In RISDIC Failure

PROVIDENCE, R.I.-A local developer who owes as much as $25 million to one of the credit unions that had been insured by the Rhode Island Share and Indemnity Corp. (RISDIC) and which failed in that state's crisis in the early 1990s, has agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle claims brought by the state's bail-out agency in order to get the go-ahead to buy the Westin Hotel complex in downtown Providence.

James Procaccianti told lawmakers last week he will pay $2.7 million in cash and the remainder in installments, with interest, as settlement of 10 loans he had owed to Marquette CU, one of 45 credit unions and banks that were closed after the chain-reaction failure of RISDIC 14 years ago.

Procaccianti owed $14.7 million to Marquette CU, which would have grown to $25 million with interest, but the state agency known as DEPCO created to clean up the RISDIC mess, is willing to settle its claims for $2.7 million ($6.5 million with interest). The deal must be approved by the Rhode Island Convention Authority and state lawmakers.

CU Buys Former S&L Turned CU

LINTHICUM, Md.-State Employees CU of Maryland, the state's largest credit union with $1.5 billion in assets, said it has agreed to acquire tiny White Eagle CU, a former savings and loan that converted to a credit union.

White Eagle CU, based in Baltimore, which converted more than a decade ago from an S&L serving Baltimore's Polish community, has struggled to attract new members. The credit union has just over $1 million in assets.

CUs Get FHLB Funds For Housing

CHICAGO-Credit unions received more than $1 million in affordable housing grants under the new round of funding announced by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago last week.

The funding will help Royal CU, Eau Claire, Wis., renovate Ruth's House and Rehab Center, transitional housing for the homeless, for Hope Gospel Mission in Eau Claire; and will allow First American CU, Beloit, Wis., to join four local banks in a project rehabilitating a housing project and financing subsidized home improvement loans for low- and moderate-income people, and a separate project developing a homeowners assistance program to help provide downpayments and closing assistance. The Chicago bank announced $15.7 million in grants for 52 affordable housing projects in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Chicago CUs Offer Tax Counseling

CHICAGO-The Tax Counseling Project, which helps low- and moderate-income working families file for the Earned Income Tax Credit, will offer free tax preparation services at 16 sites, including several CUs. The service is for working families with household incomes of less than $36,000 and individuals earning less than $15,000. Among the participants are: North Side FCU, and South Side Community FCU.

Robber Turns Himself In To Police

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa-A local man walked into the police station and turned himself in for a pair of robberies at Iowa Community CU. The man, identified as Jason Winters, 30, confessed to the Jan. 12 and Jan. 20 robberies at the CU. A second man believed to be his accomplice, Randy Copenhaver, of Cedar Rapids, is also being held for the crimes.

AEDC Offers Home Equity Promo

TULLAHOMA, Tenn.-AEDC FCU said it is offering a special low rate on a home equity loan to encourage members to consolidate debts.

The Easy Equity loan will allow members to consolidate credit card debt and personal loans into a fixed-rate home equity loan at 4.49% for 36 months, with no closing costs.

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