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.