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African American churches protest foreclosures by black-run bank

November 03, 2012|By E. Scott Reckard
  • The financially troubled Broadway Federal Bank recently had seven repossessed churches on its books. Above, a mural at the bank's Exposition Park branch.
The financially troubled Broadway Federal Bank recently had seven repossessed… (Broadway Financial )

A coalition of African American ministers is protesting foreclosures on their churches -- by Broadway Federal Bank, a savings bank established in the 1940s to serve Los Angeles' then-segregated black community.

About one-quarter of the money Broadway Federal has lent out has been for mortgages on church properties. In the tough economy, it's become a problematic business for the bank, which regulators have categorized as troubled since 2010.

The bank's annual report for 2011 with the Securities and Exchange Commission said regulators have barred it from making additional church loans. Broadway Federal, which continues to be run by African Americans, said its problems "raise substantial doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern."

As of June 30, according to a financial report from parent Broadway Financial Corp., the bank had over 12% of its loans and other assets in delinquency or foreclosure, and seven repossessed churches on its books. Broadway Federal turned a small profit during the first half of this year after losing $14 million in 2011.

The Rev. Garon Harden, founder of the Greater Open Door Church of God in Christ in Long Beach, said a large group of church officials would hold a news conference at 9 a.m. Saturday to protest foreclosures by Broadway Federal.

“It’s going to be 40 or 50 people there, mostly pastors,” Harden said.

Paul C. Hudson, Broadway Federal’s chairman, declined to comment Friday on the planned protest.

ALSO:

Broadway Federal closing two branches

Broadway Fed among small banks strained by bailout terms

Broadway Federal, other black-owned businesses paid heavy price in riots

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