The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) presented O. Max Gardner III of Shelby, N.C., with the organization’s prestigious Distinguished Service Award at last week’s annual conference and meeting in San Diego. A consumer bankruptcy attorney for more than 39 years, Gardner has developed unique strategies for expanding protections to consumer bankruptcy clients. Often, his approach results in monetary sanctions against predatory lenders, mortgage servicers, dishonest creditors and deceptive debt collectors, with the goal of putting as much money as possible back in the hands of his clients.
A longtime speaker for NACBA and scores of other organizations supporting consumer rights, Gardner also shares these strategies with consumer attorneys around the country through his famed Bankruptcy Litigation Boot Camps, and has been on the leading edge of national foreclosure defense efforts for the past 12 years. Gardner was one of the first lawyers to identify robo-signing issues, as early as 2001. His Boot Camp grads have not just sued but have actually collected over $30,000,000.00 in monetary damages and legal fees for their consumer clients since his first boot camp in January of 2006.
Gardner’s Boot Camps have been featured on CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and PBS’ Frontline. The print media from the New York Times and the Washington Post to The American Banker and every major newspaper and national magazine has featured Gardner’s work.
The NACBA award is granted “in recognition of and appreciation for extraordinary contributions to the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and the recipient’s many years of invaluable service to our organization.” In 2005, NACBA honored Gardner with the organization’s Champion of Consumer Rights award at the Philadelphia annual meeting. Gardner is also a Super Lawyer, a member of the Legal Elite, An AVVO Plus-10 Lawyer, and a member of the Martindale Hubbel 25 Year A Plus Rated Lawyers’ Group. Gardner said this 2013 Award was the “highlight of my career and deeply appreciated.” Although medical problems prevented Gardner from accepting the award in person, he penned a poem for the occasion, which was read by Boot Camp Vice President Bob Godnik after he accepted the award from NACBA President Ed Boltz. Boltz called Gardner “an exemplar of what a bankruptcy attorney should strive to be.”
Gardner is the Grandson of a former N.C. Governor, Lt Governor, Chairman of the Board of War Mobilization, Under Secretary of the US Treasury, and Ambassador to Great Britain. His Great Uncle was also Governor of N.C. and served in the State House and Senate and in the United States House and Senate. Governor Gardner founded the Greater Consolidated University of North Carolina System and Gardner-Webb University is named in honor of the Governor and his wife, Fay Lamar Webb Gardner.
Though Gardner scaled back his live events and moved them closer to his home last summer for medical reasons, he continues to train consumer bankruptcy attorneys, foreclosure defense lawyers and others who represent consumers in the battle against the banks, mortgage servicers, debt buyers and the like. This summer, he will team up with famed Chase and NCO whistle-blower Linda Almonte to present a brand new seminar revealing shady debt buyer practices and how attorneys can put that inside information to work for their consumer clients. Gardner has said this new endeavor will be “the end of the future for future flow agreements.” The event will be he at the newly constructed LeGrand Center High-Tech Learning Center in Shelby, North Carolina on June 29th and 30th of his year.