Family Christian Center faces third mortgage foreclosure case

2013-03-27T20:00:00Z 2013-03-28T19:19:04Z Family Christian Center faces third mortgage foreclosure caseMarisa Kwiatkowski marisa.kwiatkowski@nwi.com, (219) 662-5333 nwitimes.com

MUNSTER | Family Christian Center is facing a third mortgage foreclosure case — this one relating to a residence in Schererville, according to documents filed this week in Lake Superior Court.

The First National Bank of Illinois filed a mortgage foreclosure case Tuesday against the church, Senior Pastor Steve Munsey and the Internal Revenue Service relating to a property in the 200 block of Holly Lane in Schererville, Lake Superior Court records show. Family Christian Center owed the bank $79,885.55, which included late charges and fees, as of Feb. 27, court records state.

The IRS is listed as a defendant because it filed liens against Family Christian Center totaling $54,042.90, court records show.

Family Christian Center also faces two other mortgage foreclosure cases — one relating to its Munster-based worship center and the other relating to four condos owned by the church in Munster, Lake Superior Court records show. Sutton Place of Munster Association Inc. also filed a small claims case against the church over unpaid condo association dues.

All four cases are pending and place an increasing burden on Family Christian Center's already strained finances.

A Times investigation published last month revealed Family Christian Center had been spending millions of dollars annually on leadership compensation, travel, meals and jet fuel, yet fell behind on its mortgage payments and racked up a list of past-due bills, according to records from the county and Lake Superior Court.

Family Christian Center appears to have owed at least $550,000 in verified past due bills as of Dec. 4, according to a transcript of a court hearing on the credit union's foreclosure case.

Family Christian Center's most recent foreclosure case relating to the property on Holly Lane was filed because it hadn't paid the mortgage or property taxes, court records state.

Attorney Carla Pyle, who represents First National Bank of Illinois, said the bank paid on the church's behalf to redeem the Holly Lane property after it went to the Lake County treasurer's tax sale. She declined further comment.

Roy Dominguez, spokesman and attorney for the church, said he cannot comment on pending litigation.

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