Consumer Bankruptcy Journal Fall 2015 - Page 6

President’s Report “ As DC continues to be a standstill, NACBA remains well positioned to leverage any opportunity. Make no mistake about it, we continue to call on and meet with Members of the House and Senate, Treasury, Justice, Education and the White House. The results of the 2016 Presidential election will determine what new policies or initiatives will impact the practice of bankruptcy law. 6 CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY JOURNAL based inquiries into the allocation of resources, which in turn led to inconsistent results among courts throughout the circuit.   On October 14, 2015, the Ninth Circuit overturned Sternberg in its en banc decision in America’s Servicing Company v. SchwartzTallard, and restored the balance needed to ensure proper enforcement of the automatic stay.  NACBA filed an amicus brief in Schwartz-Tallard urging the court to reconsider its previous Sternberg decision and arguing that the Sternberg panel’s holding was at odds with the plain text of section 362(k), undermined the statutory purpose of the automatic stay, generated unnecessary confusion in an area that demands uniformity, and was unworkable in practice.  NACBA also participated in oral argument and urged the court to overturn the Sternberg decision.   NACBA is pleased that the en banc panel, which cited NACBA’s brief, agreed that Sternberg was incorrectly decided.  In affirming the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel’s decision in Schwartz-Tallard, the Ninth Circuit correctly held that the section 362(k) “authorizes an award of attorney’s fees reasonably incurred in debtor’s prosecution of a suit for damages to provide redress for a violation of the automatic bankruptcy stay.”  Debtors in the Ninth Circuit will again be able to protect their right to a breathing spell from creditors’ collection activities following the filing of a Winter 2015 bankruptcy petition.   In closing, you may have noticed that NACBA released several new technology initiatives to further engage  and showcase  members. These initiatives include a new website, a new search engine optimized Find an Attorney  platform, a new partnership with Google for a NACBA Navigator / Member Map and an interactive Voter Voice mechanism  to directly  contact elected officials (very effective in CA SB 308 efforts). Additionally, NACBA  continues to enhance Membership benefits  by offering  more return for your membership investment. Opportunities to  save on your Verizon Wireless bill or  your expenses with Staples or Best Buy, travel discounts through Expedia and perhaps even more appropriate, the chance for discounted  insurance coverage (Health, Liability and Identity Theft) are all available as part of your NACBA Membership.   Your membership dues are invested in you. We strive to provide the highest quality benefits and services possible. In many cases, participation in just one of these benefit programs will recoup your annual membership fee. We understand and appreciate the value of your dollars spent on membership and work hard to provide you the best service, products and programs.    Thank you for your continued membership in NACBA. I look forward to seeing each and every one of you in San Francisco and Miami in 2016! National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys