06 Feb NACBA Lobby Day In Washington DC
The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) has been lobbying congress since 1993. In those early days, founding members Ike Shulman, Norma Hammes, and others struck out for Washington, DC, on their own to twist congressional arms and argue for fairness on behalf of consumer debtors in bankruptcy.
In early 2008 I had the pleasure of meeting with Ike, Norma, NACBA president and bankruptcy scholar, Henry Sommer, other NACBA directors, the NACBA legislative staff and many bankruptcy attorneys from around the country. We met to share the accumulated wisdom of long time members, and instructions on talking with congressional staff. Our objective this year was support for the House and Senate measures amending 11 USC Â§1322 to permit the adjustment of home loans by bankruptcy judges. For more detailed information on the proposal and my trip, you can read my earlier article on the subject, also written in 2008.
Not only was my trip to Washington an exhilarating experience, it was extremely satisfying to have the opportunity to explain how important this legislation is for the American homeowner. Congressional staff listened to me; some were genuinely enthusiastic and supportive of the proposed legislation, others just listened patiently. It is too early to tell if these proposed resolutions will become law or die a legislative death. However, just having the opportunity to talk personally with people who advise our congressional representatives on such matters is worth the expense of the trip and the four days spent away from my office.
Win or lose on this legislative endevour, my first real visit to Washington, DC, in nearly 40 years was a success to me; both as a lawyer and as a citizen. I returned to my office in Oregon conviced that I made my opinion on this topic clear and will be heard by our country’s leaders. Each of us actually can make a difference with congress if we put out the effort to do so.
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