I learned something inspiring and yet humorous the other day…Apparently, the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees, creators of the Academy For Consumer Bankruptcy Education, followed their own advice about saving money. The organization’s annual seminar in San Francisco focused on ways to educate consumers who have mortgage and auto financing issues.

Each day of the two-day conference started with a panel discussion, after which audience responses to each panelist’s talk were recorded. The room was too large to register response through hand-raising, and the conference organizers didn’t want to spend money on expensive electronic mechanisms, so… they passed out kazoos. If an attendee agreed with a panelist, he’s just blow on his kazoo! The second day, kazoos were replaced with police whistles.

The mission of the Academy is to raise awareness of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, especially as an option for homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments. (In my earlier bankruptcy blog, Some Hopeful News For This Bloomington Bankruptcy Attorney, I explained that Chapter 13 involves a three to five year repayment plan.) The Academy aims to educate the public, along with non-bankruptcy lawyers, about Chapter 13 bankruptcy plans and foreclosures.

As a bankruptcy attorney in Indiana for close to a quarter century, I applaud not only the effort to apply Chapter 13 bankruptcy solutions where that is appropriate. On the other hand, I believe that clients would be best served by seeking out an attorney that is certified as a bankruptcy specialist rather than just a general practitioner (See Bankruptcy Attorney Certification: Not Just Paper On the Wall.) As far as setting an example for wise use of money, I salute the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees – a hearfelt “ka-zoo” to you!