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Bankruptcy Can Get You Back to Giving Back


There’s no way around it: the United States is a nation of givers. Time and time again, studies have shown that approximately 80% of Americans continued to give to religious and/or secular charities despite the recent recession and its resultant job insecurity and high unemployment rates. But despite recent reports of an economic recovery, in recent months many more Americans are foregoing their charitable giving and feeling no shame about it.

In fact, according to a recent article in The Huffington Post,  “The percentage of people who won't be making charitable donations this year has doubled to 12 percent—up from 6 percent in 2009—according a recent Harris Poll. The poll surveyed 2,620 adults in September about contributions in time and money, personal responsibility and corporate social responsibility. The results seem dismal for expecting charities this year. Many Americans said they are giving smaller amounts and to fewer organizations, and less than a quarter feel they “have a personal responsibility to make the world a better place by being actively involved in various issues.’”

The same information revealed that despite the plummet in charitable giving stats, more people are instead volunteering with their favorite charitable organizations in 2010, up 2% from the previous year. This inclination to give time instead of cash could be revealing a general uneasiness about our current economic environment—an environment where joblessness and bankruptcy remain rampant.

If you’re an average altruistic American facing the prospect of insolvency or bankruptcy and are feeling reluctant to give as you have in previous years, take heart. It’s important to understand that bankruptcy laws protect your rights to donate to charities as well as those same charities’ rights to keep your donations. In fact, debtors taking the ‘means test’ to determine whether they can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can allocate as much of their income to charity as desired as long as their charitable giving is in accordance with what they’ve done in previous years. The same is also true for Chapter 13 filers: they can actually use charitable contributions to reduce their disposable monthly income, and more importantly, reduce their monthly plan payment.

So, if it has become common practice to donate money to your church or other secular charity over the years, declaring bankruptcy should not hinder your ability to provide that same amount of financial support. In fact, bankruptcy fortifies this support, making it easier for you to give to an organization that really matters to you by freeing up funds from debt dissolution elsewhere. In short, bankruptcy makes giving back to your church, community or other favorite charity more possible.

Want to free up your budget to not only give back but also to get back on the road to financial freed? Want to find out more about how bankruptcy protects charitable givers—givers who may end up needing help themselves? Check it out with the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt. In North Carolina, call for a totally FREE consultation at +1-919-646-2654 or visit their website at for tons of information about every aspect of bankruptcy and bankruptcy law.

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