Filing bankruptcy while receiving compensation

In the scenario below explain the best solution. Include comments related to any ethical issues that arise. You should try to locate at least one case that has been decided on the issue or one that is currently pending to support your answer.

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Dr. Arthur Ritus obtained his degree in chiropractic medicine by taking out $100,000 in Health Education Assistance Loans from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the period from 1995 through 1997 and from other government sources from 1998 to 2002. Loan repayment was not scheduled to start until 2005. In 2005, Dr. Ritus became one of the ordained ministers of the Millcreek Life Academy (MLA) in Millcreek, Utah. As a minister, Ritus was required to take a vow of poverty, which required him to renounce any interest in real or personal property and any income and grant all interests in those assets to MLA. In 2005, Dr. Ritus accepted a position as a full-time employee to perform medical services to inmates at the Department of Corrections in Salt Lake City, Utah. Instead of using his own social security number, Ritus provided the Department of Corrections with a number issued by MLA. Checks were deposited to one of the MLA bank accounts and then MLA transferred approximately $12,000 a month to another account set up by Dr. Ritus. In August 2010, Dr. Ritus filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition under Chapter 7 to obtain a discharge of his debts. Dr. Ritus made the following claims to his attorney.


·         The $12,000 received each month consisted of gifts from which no taxes or deductions were taken.

·         The home purchased by Dr. Ritus was deeded to his estranged wife in 2007.

·         Dr. Ritus voluntarily paid alimony and child support for his estranged wife and children.

·         Dr. Ritus claimed that he was only left with $1500 a month to pay his own expenses; therefore, he could not repay the student loans.

·         Dr. Ritus drives a 2010 Mercedes Benz S-Class Sedan, titled to the MLA and valued at approximately $75,000.

Should the court allow the Chapter 7 case to proceed?

Should the loans be discharged?


Identify any other potential issues; provide responses to all questions supporting your answer with legal reasoning, examples, and other scholarly materials.

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