CORONA (CBS) — Thou shalt not foreclose on thy neighbors.
That’s the message that members of Congregation Beth Shalom want to send to San Diego-based California Bank and Trust, known as CalBank, when they march and rally Tuesday outside a local branch of the bank.
Congregation Beth Shalom built its $1.4 million house of worship at the top of the real estate market in 2008, but donations plummeted as regional unemployment soared, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to the protest’s Facebook page, the rally is endorsed by the Board of Congregation Beth Shalom, the Corona-Norco Interfaith Association and the Inland Congregations United for Change.
The synagogue took its original loan from Vineyard Bank, which later went bust, and the loan was sold to CalBank.
The group’s Facebook page says CalBank has refused to modify the mortgage because they prefer the guaranteed federal reimbursements.
Riverside and San Bernardino counties have been among the hardest-hit regions in the housing bust. Unemployment hovers at about 12%, and the area has the fifth-highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan areas nationwide at 5.16% according to RealtyTrac.
Congregation Beth Shalom declared bankruptcy last summer, according to the Times, and has cash on hand to pay its bills, teachers and staff – but not the mortgage.