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WPerson
WPerson, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4147
Experience:  Knowledgeable and Experienced Attorney-Licensed in Illinois
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When a group of Christians decide to form and Church and one

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When a group of Christians decide to form and Church and one and half years later the Church still only has a name but no building. The memebers have been tithing weekly and yet the money just sits in the account because the Church has no type of overhead because they are operating out of another Church and the member's home for meetings and bible study for free. When members decide to leave (not all but some) can they legal get the money (tithes) back from the Church's account?
Absents concerns of fraud or misrepresentation, the tithe is considered a gift which means that the person providing the title has the intent to voluntary relinquish the money without any expectation of any benefit.

To that extent, it is unlikely that the members would have a strong claim to have the money returned because the tithe by its very nature as a gift suggests that the donor has no expectation that the money will be returned.

On the other hand, if the members believe that the money was provided based upon misrepresentation or fraud, the members may contact the local prosecutor to request an investigation of the funds and the church.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is this the case if the intention was to use the tithes to buy or lease a building to worship? The leaders have not attempt to search for a new place in the year and half. The tithes are supposed to be for the upkeep of the building and for expenses for which there are none.

Not necessarily because this facts may suggest some type of fraud or misrepresentation considering that there is no building, no lease, and accordingly no maintenance. It may be a good idea for your group to consider an audit of the funds and retain a local attorney to provide a comprehensive review of the facts and law.
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