(Credit Union Times) In the thick of the economic meltdown that ravaged the housing market a few years ago, churches in some communities were among those that felt the bruises of foreclosures more than other properties.

One of the credit union industry’s top business lending programs can be found at the $1.1 billion Evangelical Christian Credit Union in Brea, Calif. Toward the end of 2012, it ranked second in the nation, amassing $833 million in business loans, according to SNL Financial.

However in 2009, Evangelical Christian started grappling with an increase in foreclosures on churches. In a USA Today article, the credit union said it had to foreclose on seven of its 1,100 loans in 2008. At least one Texas church had filed for bankruptcy, owing the cooperative nearly $2.8 million.

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