Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

88 American Bankruptcy Law Journal 277 (2014)


The article complements and expands the author’s prior article, Bankrupting the Faith. This article primarily relies on interviews with attorneys who represented religious organizations in chapter 11 bankruptcy to assess whether reorganization has the potential to offer an effective solution to religious organizations’ financial problems. In doing so, it makes three contributions. First, it tracks the post-bankruptcy outcomes of a portion of the debtors to find that approximately 65% remained operating post-bankruptcy; these outcomes contradict previous studies of small business bankruptcy and are important to current debates about reforming small business bankruptcy. Given this—and in keeping with the ABLJ’s mission to provide a deeper understanding of bankruptcy issues among its core audience, which includes bankruptcy judges and professionals—the article highlights practical considerations for the attorneys and judges who will be involved in future chapter 11 cases filed by religious organizations. Third, the article identifies a subset of organizations that seemed more likely to turn to bankruptcy: small congregationalist and non-denominational churches with predominately African American membership.