Atlanta, GA- Last week news broke that the nation’s oldest African-American college, Morris Brown was facing foreclosure and an asset auction. In an effort to keep the historical college from closing and retain their campus the administration has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Morris Brown is almost $30 million in debt, and was served with a default notice when creditors tried to collect $13 million in bonds attached to the college. The bonds were issued in 1996 from the Fulton County Development Authority, at the time Morris Brown put several of its buildings as collateral.
A foreclosure auction was scheduled for September 4th, but their bankruptcy filing will stop the auction at least in the short term. Under the guidance of a skilled bankruptcy attorney the college will be able to reorganize under Chapter 11 and emerge from the process more financially sound.
On Saturday, the college held prayer vigil where alumni and administrators met to discuss the college’s future. During the vigil, Morris Brown board chairman Preston W. Williams said, “The trustees are taking several deliberate actions to insure that we not only they survive but thrive. Our commitment is to focus on restructuring and making it possible for us to survive another day.”
The Chapter 11 filing will stop the foreclosure process until a judge makes a ruling on their bankruptcy petition.
Morris Brown is one of the nation’s first African-American colleges, but over the decades their student body shrank from thousands of students to a mere fifty this past year.