The Evangelical Free Church in New Hope, Minnesota, has finally been vindicated in a six-year legal battle that involved $13,450 in tithes from a couple who had declared bankruptcy. Initially, a judge determined the couple received "no reasonable equivalent value" for their donations to the church. Ultimately, after a $300,000 legal battle, a new federal law prohibits collectors from confiscating donations made by insolvent contributors (CT, May 18, 1998, p. 14).
In June, President Clinton signed the Religious Liberty and Charitable Donation Protection Act. The new law effectively closes a loophole that infringed on the right of religious exercise and allows those who have filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy to contribute up to 15 percent of their yearly income to a religious organization or charity.1