Bankruptcy Attorney Named by Trump as Ambassador to Israel

23 Dec Bankruptcy Attorney Named by Trump as Ambassador to Israel

BLN faviconThere are many kinds of law being practiced in the United States — and a wide variety.   Some attorneys deal with people issues, like family law or estate planning or social security.  Other attorneys never see clients or interact with people (government attorneys work for entities or agencies).   And then there are subsets of each of those kinds of law.   For example, family law attorneys could focus on divorces, adoptions, or division of retirement accounts after a divorce.  Adoption attorneys may only do voluntary adoptions, private adoptions, step-parent adoptions or agency adoptions.  Some estate planning attorneys do simple wills; others will prepare trusts, including gun trusts or pet trusts.

Each area of law is unique.   And bankruptcy law has these kinds of subsets:   consumer or business.    Within consumer there are attorneys who only practice under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.  Others only work under Chapter 13.  Some attorneys work under both chapters 7 & 13.

On the business side, there are bankruptcy attorneys who only practice under Chapter 9 (municipal government bankruptcy), Chapter 12 (family farm bankruptcy) or Chapter 11 (business reorganization).   And then within Chapter 11, there are specialists as well.   The corporate bankruptcy world is very different from the consumer bankruptcy world.    And David Friedman, the bankruptcy attorney just nominated by President-Elect Donald Trump, to be the ambassador for Israel is very much a part of the corporate Chapter 11 bankruptcy world.

Members of Bankruptcy Law Network are also members of the National Association for Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA).   Most of the attorney members of  NACBA are with small firms who deal with people and the financial stress which drives those people to seek legal assistance.   There are frequently tears, anger, and much of the time, there is shame when people come to learn about their options.  People worry about what their neighbor will think of them, what their employer might do, or what they will say to their friends.

As 2016 comes to a close, the issue of whether a bankruptcy attorney, whether corporate or consumer, being appointed to a national position of importance might have an impact on the attitude towards bankruptcy in this country.     The bigger issue is that Mr. Trump’s business bankruptcies were mentioned often during the election process.    The members of BLN and NACBA are wondering if perhaps having a President-Elect who uses bankruptcy as a tool to reorganize (and proudly proclaimed himself to be a good businessman for filing a bankruptcy) and who met David Friedman as a result (Mr. Friedman was Mr. Trump’s corporate bankruptcy attorney) — whether this combination of presidential acceptance of bankruptcy by nominating a bankruptcy attorney into this world leadership position — that this may have a “trickle-down” impact on the view towards consumer bankruptcy.   There is no shame in corporate bankruptcy; there should be no shame in consumer bankruptcy either.

We can hope.

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.
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