Sunday, March 11, 2012

We Made It

We bicycled to Church this morning and we made it back home safely!  It was a little cool in the morning (around 40F) but it warmed up to around 60F for the ride home.  The trip is on the order of 15 miles and it feels good to get back to biking.


I feel a loss of control: I bought gas on Thursday night (the 10 block gas gauge on our new car had just gone to the lowest block) and today the gas has gone up 16¢ per gallon to $4.059.  I was going to tell all of you to fill up, but I don't know what happened (my LW says since it was late when we filled up maybe the gas goblin got confused or didn't see us!).  Fortunately, we in IL have a very high gas tax and since we are close to Chicago get the Summer Blend gas, so we get to pay more than most people.


(Reuters) - Banks are foreclosing on America's churches in record numbers as lenders increasingly lose patience with religious facilities that have defaulted on their mortgages, according to new data.
The surge in church foreclosures represents a new wave of distressed property seizures triggered by the 2008 financial crash, analysts say, with many banks no longer willing to grant struggling religious organizations forbearance.
Since 2010, 270 churches have been sold after defaulting on their loans, with 90 percent of those sales coming after a lender-triggered foreclosure, according to the real estate information company CoStar Group.
In 2011, 138 churches were sold by banks, an annual record, with no sign that these religious foreclosures are abating, according to CoStar. That compares to just 24 sales in 2008 and only a handful in the decade before.

"Churches are among the final institutions to get foreclosed upon because banks have not wanted to look like they are being heavy handed with the churches," said Scott Rolfs, managing director of Religious and Education finance at the investment bank Ziegler.
Church defaults differ from residential foreclosures. Most of the loans in question are not 30-year mortgages but rather commercial loans that typically mature after just five years when the full balance becomes due immediately.
Its common practice for banks to refinance such loans when they come due. But banks have become increasingly reluctant to do that because of pressure from regulators to clean up their balance sheets, said Rolfs.
"A lot of these loans were given when the properties were evaluated at a certain level in 2005 or 2006," Rolfs said. "Banks have had to reappraise the value of these properties, whether it's a church or a commercial office building. Values have gone down, so the loans cannot continue in the same form."

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