LibertyBank closed by regulators and sold to Idaho bank

LibertyBank, which has two branches in Medford, was closed today by federal regulators, who then brokered a deal to allow an Idaho-based bank to purchase its assets, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

LibertyBank customers are allowed to write checks and use their debit cards throughout the weekend without interruption. Checks drawn on the bank will be processed, the FDIC said in a news release.

The bank is now owned by Home Federal Bank, of Nampa, Idaho. It will open for business on Monday at regular hours, the FDIC said.

LibertyBank, based in Eugene, operated two Medford branches, one on Biddle Road and the other on Barnett Road.

Other branches were in Grants Pass, Bend, Eugene, Portland, Springfield and Redmond for a total of 15 locations statewide.

A story published in October in the Mail Tribune noted that Eugene-based Liberty Bank ranked in the bottom 12th percentile of its peer group. Bauer Financial of Florida, which tracks bank performances, included Liberty Bank on its list of troubled banks.

The story noted that Liberty Bank's troubled assets had climbed from $52 million in 2008 to nearly $80 million in 2009.

As of March 31, 2010, LibertyBank had approximately $768.2 million in total assets and $718.5 million in total deposits. Home Federal Bank paid the FDIC a premium of 1.0 percent for the deposits of LibertyBank. In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, Home Federal Bank agreed to purchase approximately $419.7 million of the failed bank's assets, the FDIC said.

The FDIC and Home Federal Bank entered into a loss-share transaction on $300 million of LibertyBank's assets. Home Federal Bank will share in the losses on the asset pools covered under the loss-share agreement. The loss-share transaction is projected to maximize returns on the assets covered by keeping them in the private sector, officials said. The transaction also is expected to minimize disruptions for loan customers.

Customers who have questions about today's transaction can call the FDIC toll-free at 1-800-523-8159. The number will be operational today from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from noon until 6 p.m. Then it will be operational from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

More information also is available at the FDIC's website at

— Chris Conrad

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