Banks are foreclosing on churches in the U.S. in record numbers as lenders are losing patience with religious institutions that have defaulted on their mortgages, Reuters reported.
Since 2010, 270 churches have been sold after defaulting on their loans. In 2011, 138 churches were sold by banks, an annual record, with no sign that religious foreclosures are abating. That compares to just 24 sales in 2008 and only a handful in the decade before.
The church foreclosures cut across all denominations, and small to medium size houses of worship have been hit the hardest. Most were later purchased by other churches.
The highest percentage of foreclosures have come in California, Georgia, Florida and Michigan.