In trying times, many turn to the church to ease anxieties, but even houses of God haven’t been spared the wrath of recession, the Wall Street Journal reports. A church building boom begun in the 1990s has left many congregations overextended, and with the economic slowdown taking a sizable bite out of donations, many are turning to Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Long considered good credit risks, carrying little or no debt and a reliable income, the nation’s 335,000 churches are facing foreclosures at rates lenders haven’t seen before. “There have been too many churches with a ‘build it and they will come’ attitude,” one lender said. “They had glory in their eyes that wasn’t backed up with adequate business plans and cash flow.”