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On June 15 of last year, 30 North Carolina attorneys gathered to brainstorm how to better serve the specific needs and promote the interests of creditors rights attorneys. As made clear by the slowly healing wounds of the economic downturn, our nation’s economy depends on the availability of credit to fuel spending and investment by businesses and consumers. The meeting resulted in the formation of the North Carolina Creditors Bar Association (NCCBA). The NCCBA is a specialty bar whose members are committed to protecting and enforcing the rights of those who make credit available.
The NCCBA is an advocacy group for a particular area of practice, creditors rights. Hence, it neither competes with nor displaces the role of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA), which advocates for all attorneys in this state. For example, it is not appropriate for the NCBA to take action and support legislation that might favor one attorney’s practice area over another. As a specialty bar, the NCCBA can support positions on behalf of its members in the legislature, in the courts, and before regulatory authorities.
Membership in the NCCBA is limited to attorneys who devote at least 25% of their time to creditor representation. NCCBA attorneys are engaged in a variety of practices, ranging from transactional practices in which loans and security agreements are created to bankruptcy, collection, and foreclosure practices in which enforcement of agreements, liquidation of collateral, and recovery of funds are the goals.
At the first official meeting of the NCCBA held on October 15, 2010, the following officers were elected: President – Jerry T. Myers, Smith Debnam Narron Drake Saintsing & Myers, LLP, Raleigh; President-elect – Ralph C. Clontz III, Clontz & Clontz PLLC, Charlotte; Treasurer – David M. Warren, Poyner Spruill, Raleigh; and, Secretary – Christine L. Myatt, Nexsen Pruet, Greensboro. The NCCBA also established and appointed members to the following committees: Membership, Legislative Affairs, Judicial Affairs, Education, and Public Affairs, and elected four members to represent the main focus areas of creditors’ rights law: commercial collection, consumer collection, creditor bankruptcy, and foreclosure.
According to Jerry Myers, the newly elected president:, “Although this organization is in its infancy, we have already discussed projects which will not only benefit the profession, but will also focus on educating individuals on how to protect themselves from debt. Our Public Affairs committee is preparing an educational program entitled ‘Avoiding the Debt Trap’ to be presented to students at high schools and community colleges across the state. The Legislative Affairs committee has discussed drafting a statutory mechanism to clarify receiverships in North Carolina. Presently receiverships are handled primarily under common law concepts and the governance of them varies widely. It is hoped that the NCCBA proposal will provide greater uniformity and predictability for receiverships. Our group is also interested in two bills pending before the legislature, one that would allow wage garnishment and another that would increase property exemptions.”
You can find additional information about the NCCBA and a membership application at www.nccreditorsbar.com.