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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XXII CORPORATIONS
  • CHAPTER 171 CREDIT UNIONS
  • Section 75 Investments in building, improvements and equipment; purchase of insurance covering debtors; safe deposit vaults

Section 75. Subject to the approval of the commissioner, a credit union may invest a sum not exceeding its loan reserve, investment reserve, undivided earnings and other surplus accounts for the purchase of a suitable site and the erection or preparation of a suitable building or for alterations, improvements or additions thereto for the convenient transactions of its business. There may be included in such a purchase, erection, or preparation, subject to the approval of the commissioner, rental property in a reasonable amount; provided, however, that said rental property is necessary to complete said purchase, erection or preparation.

A credit union whose assets aggregate one million dollars or more may, during any period of twenty-four consecutive months, expend a sum not exceeding, in the aggregate, twenty thousand dollars on any one parcel of real estate owned by it for necessary alterations, improvements or additions for the convenient transaction of its business.

Subject to the approval of the commissioner, a credit union may invest a sum not exceeding its loan reserve, investment reserve, undivided earnings and other surplus accounts for the alterations, improvement and additions to any premises leased by it for the convenient transaction of its business. A credit union whose assets aggregate one million dollars or more may, during any period of twenty-four consecutive months, expend a sum not exceeding, in the aggregate, ten thousand dollars on any one parcel of real estate leased by it.

A credit union may expend for any one parcel of real estate, improved with a dwelling designed to be occupied by not more than four families and to which it has acquired title by exercise of a power of sale contained in a mortgage held by it on said real estate and foreclosure thereof, a sum not to exceed five thousand dollars as determined by the directors for repairs thereto for the purpose of the sale of said real estate. Any expenditure greater than five thousand dollars shall require the prior written approval of the commissioner.

Subject to the approval of the commissioner, a credit union may invest a sum in excess of fifty thousand dollars for the purchase of electronic data processing equipment.

A credit union may invest an amount to be approved by the commissioner, subject to such regulations, if any, as he may deem necessary, in a corporation or association formed for the purpose of furnishing to such credit union, or to other credit unions or banks as hereinafter provided, statistical or bookkeeping services or information of the kind generally required by a credit union. A credit union may also, in participation with any other credit union, bank or national banking association, invest its shares or deposits in such corporation or association, subject however to the same approval and regulation, if any, as above provided. The provisions of section two of chapter one hundred and sixty-seven shall apply to such corporations or associations. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to preclude a credit union from renting or subscribing for the services of such corporations or associations or any other corporation or association rendering such services.

A credit union may purchase by itself or with other credit unions or banks, group life insurance on the lives of debtors who request such insurance. The premium for such insurance, or the premium on an individual life insurance policy held to cover the indebtedness, may be added to the payments required of those who elect to become insured. In the event of the death of any debtor so insured, the insurance proceeds shall be applied to reduce or extinguish the unpaid indebtedness to the extent of such payment.

No director, officer or employee of such credit union shall benefit financially, directly or indirectly from the sale of such insurance.

A credit union may purchase by itself or with a group of credit unions or banks, group accident and health insurance covering debtors of such credit union or group of credit unions if the debtors request such insurance. Such insurance shall cover all or part of the indebtedness of such debtors. The premium for such insurance or the premium on an individual accident and health insurance policy held to cover the indebtedness, may be added to the payments required of any such debtor who elects to become insured. No director, officer or employee of such credit union shall benefit financially, directly or indirectly, from the sale of such insurance.

A credit union may engage directly in the business of selling, issuing or registering checks, traveler’s checks or money orders and may cash any check or money order whatsoever and may make charges for any of the foregoing.

A credit union may collect payments on bills representing indebtedness to a utility company doing business in the commonwealth, at its main office or at a branch office, with the written approval of the utility company.

A credit union may establish and maintain safe deposit vaults and rent boxes or storage space therein under conditions prescribed by the commissioner.

For the purposes of this section “safe deposit box” shall mean a box or safe in the vaults of any credit union; “lessee” shall mean the person in whose name a safe deposit box stands on the books of a credit union; and “rent” shall mean the amount due to a credit union for the rental or use of a safe deposit box.

A credit union which leases a safe deposit box for rent shall advise the lessee in writing that insurance coverage for the contents of such safe deposit box is not provided by such credit union, but that the lessee may, at his own expense, insure said contents with an insurance company of his own selection. The commissioner shall establish such rules and regulations as he deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this paragraph.

If the rent for a safe deposit box has not been paid for one year after being due, the credit union may mail, postage prepaid, to the lessee at his address shown on its books, a notice stating that if the rent for such safe deposit box is not paid within sixty days from the date of such notice, the credit union may cause such safe deposit box to be opened and the contents to be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of this section. Upon the expiration of sixty days from the date of such notice, if the lessee has failed to pay the rent for such safe deposit box in full to the date of such notice, all rights of the lessee in the safe deposit box and of access thereto shall cease and such credit union may, at any time thereafter in the presence of one of its officers and of a notary public not in the general employ of such credit union, cause such safe deposit box to be opened and such notary public shall remove the contents thereof, list the same and seal such contents in a package, marking thereon the name of the lessee and his address as shown on the books of the credit union. An affidavit setting forth the facts concerning the entry and listing the contents of the safe deposit box shall be signed by the officer and the notary public and shall be retained by the credit union. Such affidavit shall be prima facie evidence of the facts set forth therein in all proceedings at law and equity wherein evidence of such facts would be admissible.

The package containing the contents of any safe deposit box opened as aforesaid shall be retained on special deposit by the credit union subject to payment of rent due for such safe deposit box, all expenses incurred in connection with opening such safe deposit box and charges for the safekeeping of such package. If such package remains unclaimed for seven years and the amounts due as above provided remain unpaid, the credit union may mail, postage prepaid, to the person to whom, and at the address at which, the notice provided for above was mailed, a notice stating that if such amounts shall not be paid within sixty days from the date of such notice, the credit union will turn over the contents, less the rental charge, to the state treasurer as unclaimed and abandoned property, to be held by him subject to the provisions of chapter two hundred A. The credit union may sell, assign or deliver so much of the contents of such package, at either public or private sale, as will enable it to realize such amount as will compensate such credit union for said charges.

The affidavit required by this paragraph shall be in substantially the following form:—

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

County of

We, ___ an authorized official of ___ and ___ a notary public not in the general employ of said credit union, hereby certify that on the ___ day ___ (insert year), we were present and witnessed the forcible opening of Safe No. ___ leased in the name of ___ in the vaults of the ___ office of said credit union; that the contents of said safe were removed, examined, listed and then enclosed in a package and sealed in our presence. We further certify that the following is a true and complete list of all the contents removed from said safe.

(Allow space here for listing of contents.)

___________________________________________________________________
Signature of officer.   Title.
___________________________________________________________________

Name of Credit Union
___________________________________________________________________

Signature of notary public not in the general employ of said credit union.