Can I Tithe During Bankruptcy?

01 Jul Can I Tithe During Bankruptcy?

Tithing, the practice of giving a portion of your income to a church, usually 10%, was specifically recognized and protected by Congress in “The Religious Liberty and Charitable Donation Protection Act of 1998.”

Therefore, it came as quite a surprise when a Bankruptcy Judge felt the changes made to the bankruptcy code by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), compelled him to find that debtors who make above their state’s median income cannot tithe, or even make other charitable donations until their creditors have been paid.

The case, In re Diagostino, No. 06-10384 (Bankr. N.D.N.Y. 8/28/2006) created quite a stir in the press and resulted in expressions of outrage and disbelief by Republicans and Democrats alike.

So that there was no doubt about the ability to tithe, the Senate and House of Representatives enacted the “Religious Liberty and Charitable Donation Clarification Act of 2006 (S. 4044).

What S. 4044 does is to make clear that money given by a debtor to a charitable organization, including tithing to a church, is not to be included when considering the funds available to be paid to a creditor in bankruptcy.

So, can you tithe during bankruptcy? The answer is Yes.

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I've been a consumer bankruptcy lawyer for nearly 25 years. Since that time I have helped many people resolve their financial problems. I have been practicing law since 1986 and I am licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in the State of Louisiana. Because I am a sole practitioner, you know that your debt matters are being handled by me personally. In addition to my work with consumers, I am also frequently asked to speak at local seminars on bankruptcy law. I am member of the following organizations: • Louisiana Bar Association • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys • Bankruptcy Law Network My office is located at: 3920 General DeGaulle Drive, New Orleans, LA 70114 Telephone: (504) 368-4101

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