For the first time in history, in October of 1981, service charges were placed on checking accounts. The Carter Administration's decisions abroad affected the farmers' abroad affected the farmer's grain abroad, affected the farmer grain prices. The farmer’s demise was to recall one of Mr. Osborn's sayings. "We're built with the earth as our foundation, not figures and promises. Farmers have played an important role" (in the bank's history-end of quote.) When farmers have hard times, they can't pay back their loans- "prime the pump" practice was essential to their solvency. The farmers, hurt-the bank hurts. A new All Savers Certificate of Deposit was authorized. On December 17, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Department of Financial Institutions. At the December Directors' meeting, a plan was approved for a special mortgage loan promotion to try to boost the sluggish economy in the area. W.O. Osborn chairman Emeritus, died at his home on December 26, 1981. It was the end of an era for The State Exchange Bank. In spring of 1982, Carl M. Adams died at home. In September, 1982, the directors accepted the resignation of John Deery and named Allen Cummins, formerly the manager of the Farmers State Bank, LaPaz, was named Executive Vice President of The State Exchange Bank. In October a Merger Application was filed for the proposed merger of The State Exchange Bank and Farmers State Bank. On December 30, 1982, SEFCO filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Due to the bank's close association with SEFCO through the years, this move caused problems for the bank. The proposed merger wasn't accomplished before depositors pulled their money because of rumors and suppositions. During the Directors' Meeting scheduled for January 10, 1983, the Marshall County Sheriff interrupted the meeting with news that Fred Adams, President and Chief Executive Officer, had taken his life in a wooded area near Culver Military Academy. Directors employed the legal firm of Krieg DeVault Alexander and Capehart as Special Counsel to make an independent study of the relationship between the State Exchange Bank and State Exchange finance Company. Due to increased costs, after some forty years, the cafeteria service for employees was discontinued. On September 30, 1983, a definitive agreement was signed by the Bank and SEFCO, which would form the basis of SEFCO's Plan of Reorganization. The plan basically provided that as much of their principal and interest as possible be returned to the note holders and creditors of SEFCO (later, after lawyer fees, those note holders and creditors would be paid over 50% of the debt owed.) The plan further resolved to eliminate the years of litigation that could occur without a settlement, and to merge the Farmers State Bank with The State Exchange Bank. The Directors, attorneys and others began another year of frustration in ironing out all the details of the Plan and filing it with the Court, until finally, on January 24, 1995, it was consummated and NorCen Bank was born of the merger of The State Exchange Bank and Farmers State Bank. Bryce Burton was elected as the first Chairman of the Board of NorCen Bank. (This history of The State Exchange Bank was compiled by Charlotte J. Jung, Senior Vice President, in 1986, added to by Marcia P. Adams in 1998 and edited by Harvey Firari in 1998).