A judge in federal Bankruptcy Court in Albuquerque has ruled the U.S. Small Business Administration acted outside its authority by requiring the Archdiocese of Santa Fe to certify it was not involved in a bankruptcy proceeding in order to qualify for a low-interest loan from a program aimed at helping nonprofits and small businesses affected by the novel coronavirus.

Judge David T. Thuma wrote earlier this month the SBA should act on the application from the archdiocese “without regard to Plaintiff’s status as a Chapter 11 debtor.”

The judge added that if the SBA’s actions were the cause of the archdiocese losing its requested $900,000 loan, the archdiocese could sue for damages.

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