Monday, October 02, 2006

Senate Passes Bill To Protect Tithing In Chapter 13 Bankruptcies

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that on Saturday morning, before it adjourned for the election break, the U.S. Senate passed a bill to amend the Bankruptcy Code to overrule a recent decision that held that in Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings, tithes to a church could not be paid until the debtors had repaid their other creditors. More specifically, the court held that above-medium income debtors in Chapter 13 cannot deduct charitable contributions from their payment plans. The Senate bill was sponsored by Senators Orin Hatch and Barack Obama. In a release on the bill, Sen. Hatch said: "As a rule, I do not like impromptu legislative responses to judicial decisions,” Hatch said. “But the religious practices and beliefs of individuals should not be subject to the whims of judicial interpretation. This bill ensures those who tithe can continue to live their faith while in bankruptcy." The House of Representatives has not yet acted on the bill.