MARLBOROUGH, Mass. (1/15/09)--Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) signed three bills that are important to credit unions, according to the Massachusetts Credit Union League. House Bill 1068, an Act Relative to the Operation and Corporate Governance of Credit Unions, permits telephone conference calls for meetings of boards of directors and standardizes member voting procedures by requiring a majority voting standard (E-Weekly Jan. 14). The bill eliminates advance regulatory approval for offering credit cards and safe deposits boxes and provides for the ability to accept utility payments. An outdated 6% per year interest rate cap on deposits was removed, the league said. House Bill 1006, an Act Relative to the Conversion of a Massachusetts Chartered Credit Union to a Federal Charter; establishes legal authority for a state-to-federal conversion, said the league. Senate Bill 2854, an Act Relative to Credit Union Mortgages, changes mortgage lending guidelines for state-chartered credit unions. It eliminates some categories of loan-to-value ratios and uses safety and soundness standards as the primary criteria for mortgage lending. The bill requires that any credit union mortgage written must be eligible for sale into the secondary market and requires written loan policies that incorporate prudent underwriting standards.