On October 13, my old friend, and consumer advocate extraordinaire, Addison Parker was honored at the White House as a "Champion of Change." You can read below, the official "bio" that describes why Add was chosen as an honoree. I can tell you that, unofficially, Add is as final a legal services attorney as I have ever known, and that the number of Kentucky families he has helped are countless. I can also tell you, that sitting in the audience, watching Add being honored was a great thrill for me, particularly when he talked about the great loss of wealth he had seen in his community and how that problem needed to be remedied first, if we wanted a real economic recovery. I fear those are words not often enough expressed in our White House, and I am glad that in is moment honor, Add did just that!
Until his retirement in June 2011, Addison was Co- Litigation Director of Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, Inc. (“AppalRed”) and Director of AppalRed’s Stop Foreclosure Clinic. He worked for 32 years at AppalRed. Presently, as AppalRed Attorney Emeritus, Addison provides pro bono services to AppalRed and its clients. AppalRed provides free legal assistance to low income persons in 37 counties, located primarily in the Appalachian hill country of Eastern Kentucky. Since 1999, Addison supervised AppalRed’s consumer law practice, foreclosure defense, complex litigation, and appellate work, while maintaining a full case load. For two decades, Addison has been Chairman of the Consumer Law Task Force of Kentucky Legal Services Programs. He was chairman of the Kentucky Bar Association Bankruptcy Section in 2006-07 and has been a speaker on consumer law topics and foreclosure defense at numerous continuing legal education seminars in Kentucky and nationally at seminars and conferences sponsored by AARP, The National Consumer Law Center, and the National Association of Consumer Advocates.
As Director of AppalRed’s Stop Foreclosure Clinic, founded in 2008, Addison trained and supervised AppalRed attorneys and private bar partners to defend judicial foreclosure with consumer-protection based counterclaims and defenses arising from unlawful and deceptive origination practices; disclosure violations; and abusive, deceptive, or negligent loan servicing. Addison received the 2011 Kentucky Justice Association’s Consumer Safety Award for his work with the Stop Foreclosure Clinic.
Written by Ira Rheingold, Executive Director, National Association of Consumer Advocates