Church Led by Maryland Senator Seeks Debt Relief via Bankruptcy
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Church Led by Maryland Senator Seeks Debt Relief Through Bankruptcy

June 25, 2012

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A church led by Maryland Senator C. Anthony Muse has filed for bankruptcy protection in order to repay overdue mortgage payments and other debts, according to a report from the Washington Post.

Sources indicate that the bankruptcy filing of The Ark of Safety Christian Church, which was founded a few years ago in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was described by Muse as “simply reorganizing and restructuring our debt.”

This is the second time that a church led by Muse has seen financial troubles. In 1999, Muse resigned from his position as pastor at a Methodist church after the church experienced what sources call “mortgage problems.”

Apparently, Muse started a major construction project and then left the church with roughly $56 million in unpaid debt after taking more than half the congregation to his new venture.

But despite his own financial troubles, sources say that Muse has championed financial literacy during his time as a politician, and has also expressed his understanding of the financial difficulties faced by most consumers during the recession.

And Muse claims that many of his church’s problems are due to the dismal economy, rather than any financial mismanagement on the part of the church’s leadership.

According to Muse, “middle-class homeowners and middle-class churches are still struggling to climb out of the recession. Our members are middle class and have many needs. Their struggle has strained the church’s resources.”

Indeed, the financial trials experienced by the 2,000 members of Muse’s church have indeed stretched the congregation’s resources. The church reportedly owes $1.2 million to a mortgage company, and at least $250,000 to a local law firm.

All told, the church owes $1.8 million to its 20 largest creditors. And sources suggest that Muse may soon need a bankruptcy attorney of his own, as he had to mortgage his own home in an effort to recover some money to give to the church.

Interestingly, though, sources say that Muse owns three other properties in addition to the one he mortgaged for the sake of the church. These properties include a vacation home, a rental property, and a vacant lot.


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