Friday, December 08, 2006

House passes bill to allow tithing during bankruptcy

House passes bill to allow tithing during bankruptcy
Faith and finances

The Salt Lake Tribune/December 7, 2006
By Thomas Burr

Washington - Congress has passed legislation co-sponsored by Sen.
Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that would allow a person to contribute to
charity or pay religious tithing during the course of a consumer
bankruptcy. The bill, also sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.,
passed the House on Wednesday; the Senate approved the measure in
September. "Congress has a long history of protecting our religious
freedom to tithe," Hatch said in a statement. "That was our intent
when we enacted bankruptcy reform last year, and this bill clarifies
the law so that those who tithe can continue to live their faith while
in bankruptcy." A ruling by a New York bankruptcy court earlier this
year prompted the legislation. The judge ordered that an upper-income
couple filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy could not pay tithing to a church
until all creditors were paid first. The Hatch-Obama bill clarifies
that Congress did not intend to prohibit religious tithing or
charitable contributions when it passed the reform measure last year.
"For millions of Americans, charitable giving and tithing is an
essential part of their lives," Obama said in a statement. "And in a
country where 37 million citizens live in poverty, we should be
encouraging charitable giving, not limiting it." President Bush is
expected to sign the legislation

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