Regulators liquidate troubled Indianapolis credit union

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Indianapolis’ Newspaper Federal Credit Union, which was placed into conservatorship earlier this year because of financial troubles, has been liquidated.

The institution’s regulator, the National Credit Union Administration, took the liquidation action on Wednesday. The credit union’s office, at 126 S. Meridian St., has closed and its two ATM machines are now inactive.

“The NCUA made the decision to liquidate Indianapolis’ Newspaper Federal Credit Union and discontinue its operations after determining the credit union was insolvent and has no prospect for restoring viable operations on its own,” the NCUA said in a written statement released late Wednesday.

About 500 INFCU members, and most of their deposits, have been transferred to Indianapolis-based Elements Financial Federal Credit Union. Member deposits are protected through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which insures individual accounts up to $250,000.

The NCUA has retained a portion of the INFCU’s deposits, as well as all of its loans. Denver, Colorado-based Statebridge Co. LLC will act as the servicer for these loans.

The NCUA had taken control of the newspaper credit union in January because of what it described as unspecified “unsafe and unsound practices” at the organization.

The credit union’s financial situation had deteriorated markedly over the past year or so, with ballooning losses from bad loans.

As of Dec. 31, the institution reported a net worth of zero, with assets of $6.4 million but liabilities of $6.7 million. It also reported an annual net loss of $991,000. It had charged off $501,000 in bad loans over the course of the year.

In comparison, the institution reported $7.3 million in assets and $6.6 million in liabilities at the end of 2019, with an annual net loss of $2,400 and loan charge-offs of $33,800.

INFCU was founded in 1962 by employees of The Indianapolis Star and the now-defunct Indianapolis News.

At the time of its liquidation, INFCU had 1,143 members. Elements has 116,004 members and more than $2 billion in assets.

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