Church foreclosures hit a record high in 2012, with the recession decimating contributions from congregations of all types nationwide. Lower property values and overly optimistic expansion projects were also to blame.
From 2010-2012, 270 church properties were sold after a loan default, 90 percent of them by banks, according to data from Co-Star Group. The jump in foreclosures is striking: there were only 24 sales in 2008, and a mere handful during the decade before that.
Despite the willingness of lenders and trustees to work with the struggling churches, many churches are having trouble refinancing their debt. Appraisal values on their properties are generally one of the major reasons for the problem. Sales of distressed properties have caused values to drop, so the loan-to-value ratios are often too high to enable a refinancing.
Although TMI focuses primarily on achieving the greatest return for bondholders and loan investors as possible, we recognize the need to work with the defaulted church through the recession. We are persistent in our pursuit of the monies owed to the bondholders and investors, but we also exhibit grace toward the church in an attempt to best resolve the default. Unique circumstances are often encountered requiring special skills and sensitivities. TMI is well prepared to assist with troubled loans in the church and non-profit area as well as traditional commercial loans.
TMI Realty Advisors, LLC offers property management and real estate brokerage services. TMI is positioned to assist in the management, evaluation, marketing and sale of real estate throughout the United States. We are fortunate to have on our staff experienced real estate professionals. The management of the properties which are sometimes vacant is a challenge, but TMI Realty hires local property managers to oversee the security and wellbeing of the buildings and grounds of the property. TMI Realty’s brokerage arm allows for oversight of local brokers who are tasked with the marketing of each property either owned by the Trustee or under a power of attorney to sell the specific property.