Its not unusual for a bank to try and seize any and all assets that they can get their hands on, they can be like greedy little children in that respect. They have tried to attach pets, livestock, and family heirlooms in order to get their money and now one bank has gone so far as to go after a synagogues five torahs.
All parties are at each others throat with this situation, with the Congregation Chabad-Lubavitchof Boyton Beach angry with the timing of the legal action because the synagogue filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protectionin June. Under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy usually all litigation is to come to a stop. The bank, Stonegate, is angry because they claim that the bankruptcy was done as a stalling tactic.
The synagogue has been further incensed because the filing of this action was done on Rosh Hashana, one of the holiest days in the Jewish faith. Needless to say, this has compounded the outrage many have felt with the banks actions and has prompted the attorney for the synagogue, Howard Dubosar to state that threatening to take the torahs is "a desecration. This bank is playing hardball." He went further to state that the filing was, "calculated to harm the psyche of this religious institution. This is the holiest time of the year. It's like foreclosing on a church on Christmas Eve."
The conflict between the bank and the synagogue began back in 2007 when the synagogue received a $3.8 million loan for a planned expansion to the synagogues campus. The expansion never happened and the synagogue has claimed that the bank engaged in a bait and switch by promising to provide additional financing through a bond, but never executing one.
The bank struck back with a foreclosure action and looked to seize all assets including any contributions made by the congregation. With this action many congregants are worried that their money will not be going to the synagogue but to the bank.
So, as things stand the bank wants the torahs and any contributions that the synagogue receives, in order to pay back their debt. If there was an award for ice veins in business practices this bank would be leading the pack. There should be some lines that people shouldn't cross and trying to obtain holy items as assets is one of them. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail in this dispute, with a September 24th hearing arranged to settle the matter.