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Can Bankruptcy Courts Recover Charitable Contributions?

If greater than 15 percent of income, donations to churches may be at risk.

When an individual files for bankruptcy, a bankruptcy trustee is given the task of seeing that the individual's creditors are paid back as much as possible of what they are owed. In order to do this, they often look for assets or even possible donations that they can recover. This may include a person's tithes and church donations, depending on the situation.

When a bankrupt giver's donation is jeopardized

Section 548(a) of the bankruptcy code authorizes a bankruptcy trustee to recover ("avoid") two kinds of "fraudulent transfers" made by bankrupt debtors within a year of filing for bankruptcy:

Intent to defraud. Section 548(a)(1) gives a bankruptcy trustee the legal authority to recover "any transfer of an interest of the debtor in property … that was made or incurred on or within one year before the date of the filing of the petition, if the debtor voluntarily or involuntarily made ...

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Posted:
  • November 21, 2014

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