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And finally; the crowning criticism to be applied to each and all of the bills touching land credits which are now pending in Congress, is this: After studying the land credit systems of Europe, and with the example of the American building associations' systems operating on every hand in our country, the authors of these bills have missed the fact and failed to catch and appreciate the mighty truth, that every one of the successful land credit systems on earth is based on co-operation; on the pro rata mutual interest of all its members. The idea of co-operation in any practical, effective sense, is conspicuously absent from each and all the plans proposed. The basic idea which runs through all these bills is to establish a system of institutions, each with a capitalized framework of preferred stockholders, to manage and control the institution, and in none of them can you find the idea of a mutual co-operative organization like the German Landschaft, which has wrought such miracles of good for Germany, or the American building association system, which towers in volume and strength as the most gigantic and powerful achievement in co-operation that has ever been wrought out on this planet.
It is difficult to believe that the existing evils which mark the conditions under which mortgage loans are most generally made in this country, can be improved to any appreciable degree, under either of the land credit bills now pending in Congress. Unless some broad, comprehensive measure, based on the idea of mutual co-operation, is adopted, discarding the plan of the capitalized corporation, controlled by a handful of preferred stockholders, better not meddle with the problem.
Is it not the duty of this League to use its best efforts to induce Congress to so plan and shape the final legislation on the subject of land credits as will make the measure broad enough to correct the evils complained of; broad enough to cover every American home, whether in town or country, making the distinctive character of the measure read: "Equity, Mutuality, Cooperation.” Without a foundation of that character, no such system can be devised that will be in the best sense, either useful or successful.
If it is finally determined to bring under Federal control and supervision the land credits of our country, we believe the local institutions should be closely patterned after the highest type and most improved system of building associations, which operate on a plan broad enough to cover the entire field of land credit.
A better plan would be to so design the Federal institutions that, if thought desirable, the existing building associations could be transferred from their present state control and become units in the Federal system. If this can be done, here are some of the manifest advantages which will thus be secured:
Instead of beginning with a new and untried system, which at the first will be purely an experiment, and the ultimate success of which will be at least uncertain, beginning as it does with zero as a starting point, you will have as a foundation and nucleus,
upon which and around which to build a Federal land bank system, more than 6,400 live, active, prosperous institutions scattered over all the states, with their corps of experienced officers, all drilled and trained in the work; you will have a mighty army of more than 2,800,000 citizens already enlisted in support of the system; you will have a complete system of local institutions already organized and in successful operation, which do not have to be demonstrated or explained, but which are already well and favorably known by the people and securely entrenched in their confidence; and you will have more than one billion two hundred and forty-eight million dollars of capital already invested in the work, and growing at the rate of more than one hundred and ten million dollars per year.
Is not such a prospect more inviting and does it not give promise of quicker practical results and higher ultimate success than to begin pioneering with empty hands on bare bed rock?
Nebraska Report. Increase in the amount of aggregate assets of building and loan associations of the state and the unprecedented growth of confidence in these institutions are reflected in the annual report made by Secretary Royse of the state banking board. The gain in assets tops $1,300,000. The total assets have now reached the large sum of $37,138,413.21.
In his report Secretary Royse congratulates the banking board -of which Governor Morehead is the chief—and informs the members of the general trend of affairs in the building and loan business at the present time. His report, including the recommendations and the tabulated statement, follows:
“The Nebraska building and loan law has demonstrated the wisdom of its founders by the progress made by the associations under its provisions. It is becoming apparent, however, that in some particulars the law will soon need amendment. Such amendments as may be proposed should not be made until after careful scrutiny and consideration, as a good law may easily be mutilated by amendments until it becomes a bad law.
“I will refer you in particular to one provision of the law that, in my opinion, should receive attention. As the law now stands the amount of stock held by any one person is limited to $5,000 par value. Inasmuch as the law provides that a loan shall not exceed the par value of the stock held by the borrower, the maximum loan that can be made is $5,000. This was a wise provision at the time the law was enacted, but conditions have changed and what appeared to me an ample loan provision at the time the law was passed is now found to be inadequate and absurdly constrictive as applied to some of the larger institutions.
"Care should be taken in any and all amendments that are offered to the law that mutuality, the basis of these associations, be fully protected, and that no errors be permitted to creep in that
would make these institutions a place of refuge for the idle funds of the idle rich."
ABSTRACT OF REPORT. Number of associations...
Assets. First mortgage loans....
$33,628,785.73 First mortgage loans in process of foreclosure.
212,791.70 Stock loans
609,447.93 Real estate
239,940.85 Furniture and fixtures.
32,145.43 Cash ...
1,860,000.00 Delinquent interest premiums and fines..
97,840.80 Expenses and taxes paid....
20,534.92 Real estate sold on contract.
414,292.74 Other assets
LIABILITIES. Capital stock running.
.$23,870,884.52 Full paid and matured stock.
11,183,023.95 Reserve fund ....
827,777.55 Undivided profits
330,654.78 Due shareholders or incomplete loans.
674,760.20 Advance dues ....
40,429.46 Advance interest and premiums.
20,840,00 Other liabilities ...
Michigan Report. The annual report of the sixty-four building and loan associations, compiled by Secretary of State Martindale, shows the gross assets of the companies as $25,739,834.88, an increase of $1,731,172.48 over the previous year. Loans on mortgage securities and on stock of the associations total $23,045,673.55, an increase of $1,330,455.21.
The amount due shareholders in "dues" paid in and in dividends credited is $24,151,182.60, an increase of $1,982,227.56. The average amount due each shareholder is $412.36. The total receipts for the year are reported as $15,161,642.79.
The report also shows that $1,656,772.81 was paid out in dividends and matured stock. The total membership as reported is 58,655, of which 39,219 are investing members and 19,436 are borrowing members. The number of shares in force are 631,183. The net earnings for the year are shown as $1,317,187.89, which is 572 per cent of the dues and dividends credited. The operating expenses are 1 per cent of the assets.
The reserve fund required by law is $390,084.18, which is 55 per cent of the real estate held by the association.
From reports submitted, there were approximately 1,150 new homes built by the membership of these associations, constituting an outlay of $2,560,350. For the purchase of other homes and for removing incumbrancies, $2,269,800 was advanced to members.
Illinois League. President Mark D. Rider has sent the following statistical blank to all associations in the state:
To facilitate the work of the League and our general statistics would ask that you answer the following questions and return to this office, and would thank you in advance for the courtesy of a prompt reply. 1. What can you suggest that would give the local building and loan
associations greater publicity in your section?... 2. Do the journals published in your city or town give the building and
loan associations any publicity through their news columns ?...... Could you have well written articles inserted from time to time free
of charge?..... 3. Are you in favor of a State Monthly Bulletin, prepared so as to take
in the quarterly or semi-annual reports of your association? 4. Is your association a subscriber to the U. S. League official organ,
THE AMERICAN BUILDING ASSOCIATION News?....
How many copies ?.... 5. Do you keep a record or files of your publicity matter?.... 6. About how much do you spend for advertising annually?. 7. Are you in possession of anything in the way of data, etc., that would
be of interest to the general public and which would create publicity
for the building and loan associations ?..... 8. Have you any speakers or lecturers on building and loan associa
tion work?..... 9. Are you training young men to the building and loan plan of savings
for future officers?. 10. Do you accept deposits from others than members of your associa
tion?... 11. Do you issue single payment stock?..... 12. Are your loans confined to homes only?... 13. Do you make loans on renting or mercantile property?.. 14. Do you make loans on farms?... 15. What is your suggestion on payments on farm loans?... 16. Would a State Clearing House be of value to you?. 17. What percentage of profits do you allow on withdrawals and of first.. second... ... third.......... fourth.....
... and ..? 18. Would you be in favor of a uniform system of bookkeeping ?...... 19. How many individual members has your association?..... 20. Should you find any pertinent suggestions to any of the questions
you might add same.
NOTE.—These questions are for general statistics, consensus of opinion, and vote on the several subjects. Would you be interested to take part in a friendly debate on any of the above subjects at our next annual meeting at Champaign, Ill., 1915, where a whole evening will be devoted to the dicussion of any questions to the good of advancing the building and loan plan of thrift.
Name of association.....
Official Notice of the New Jersey League. To the Building and Loan Associations of the State:
GENTLEMEN-A meeting -of the New Jersey League of Building and Loan Associations will be held at Washington Hotel, Newark, N. J., on Saturday, December 5, 1914, at 2 p. m. for the purpose of discussing the recent ruling of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue in regard to the taxing of building and loan associations under the war tax revenue act.
Whether or not your association is a member of the New Jersey State League, it will be greatly to your advantage to send a representative to this meeting because the interests of you association, and of all building and loan associations, are vitally affected in the premises, and above all, your profits are at stake.
Therefore, you are urged to send a live representative to this meeting to make an expression of sentiment that must be heeded.
The meeting will be honored by the presence of Hon. Charles Eugene Clark, of Covington, Ky., President of the United States League of Building and Loan Associations, and Mr. Henry S. Rosenthal, Editor of the AMERICAN BUILDING ASSOCIATION News. Both of these gentlemen, at much personal sacrifice of time and money, have consented to address this meeting.
I would strongly appeal to the loyalty of the building and loan men of New Jersey to show their zeal and devotion to the cause by attending this meeting in large numbers.
Hoping that you will give this appeal earnest consideration, I remain
Very truly yours,
JOSEPH A. M. McNAMEE,
and Loan Associations.
A Most Valuable Habit. There is no better or safer way to save money than in our building associations, which are without exception well managed. The rate of interest paid by the building associations, considering the safety of the investment, is considerably larger than is possible in any other security of equal safety. Many of Chester's business men owe their start toward a successful business career to the money saved in our building associations, and any young man who wishes to get ahead financially will do well to follow in their footsteps. Eleven years may seem quite a long time to wait for a series to run out, but when the series comes to a close it seems but yesterday when it was started, and the money put away each month was not missed. The habit of systematic saving is a most valuable one to acquire, and will help any one over the rainy day periods which come every once in a whole. -Chester (Pa.) Advocate.