Norma Hammes

Norma Hammes received her A.B. degree in Communication and Public Policy from UC Berkeley in 1972. She was employed as an urban planner for the City of San Jose in the early 1970s prior to and while attending law school. She received her J.D. from Santa Clara University in 1977. She is certified as a Bankruptcy Law Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

Norma co-founded the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), served as its Treasurer (1992-1996), its President (1997-2001), served on its Board of Directors (1992-2009), and chaired the Webinar Committee from 2014 to 2017. She continues to serve on NACBA’s Legislative Committee in the capacity of President Emeritus.

She also managed NACBA’s annual conventions until 2007. Norma was instrumental in preparing much of the curriculum and organizing NACBA’s nationally-acclaimed two-day workshops (Chicago – July 2005 and Orlando – September 2005). She was an instructor of more than 3,000 consumer bankruptcy attorneys from across the country who learned how to practice under the law which became effective in October 2005. For NACBA’s Fall 2007-2009 workshops, she developed the curriculum for (and moderated) one and a half day long sessions on the steps necessary to prepare a bankruptcy case for filing.

In 1997, Norma received the Fresh Start Award from the Santa Clara County bankruptcy community. She has served as Chair of the local Chapter 13 Committee several times over the last 25 years. Norma has testified before Congress (1998), the National Bankruptcy Review Commission (1996-1997), and has served as a panelist for numerous educational seminars across the country. In July 2008, she was appointed by the Bankruptcy Judges of the Northern District of California to its Bench-Bar Liaison Committee. She chaired that committee in 2010-2011.

In July 2009, Norma was appointed by NACBA to serve as its liaison with the Obama Administration regarding the implementation of the Homes Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP). In late 2009, at the U.S. Treasury Department’s invitation, she served on its Bankruptcy Working Group that proposed improvements to the HAMP program regarding bankruptcy debtors.

In addition, Norma serves on the Board of Directors of the National Consumer Bankruptcy Rights Center, Inc. (NCBRC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established to help represent the position of consumer bankruptcy debtors in appellate litigation nationwide. She currently serves as its Vice-President.

Upon retiring from the Board of Directors in 2009, NACBA awarded Norma with the Extraordinary Service Award. 

Bar Admissions for Norma include:

·         California Supreme Court
·         Northern District of California – U.S. District Court & U.S. Bankruptcy Court
·         Fifth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals (TX, MS, LA)
·         Seventh Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals (WI, IL, IN)
·         Ninth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals (WA, OR, CA, AK, HI, NV, AZ, ID, MT)
·         U.S. Supreme Court

Regional Application

This information is only applicable to people who live in Santa Clara County, California, USA. In the USA, the bankruptcy law is a federal law that applies in all states. The property that can be protected (“exempted”) by people who file bankruptcy is prescribed by state law, however. Bankruptcy, property, and exemption law is further affected by court decisions that apply in certain geographic areas. If you live in the USA, but are outside of Santa Clara County, please consult an attorney in your own area.

General Information

The information contained in this web site is general in nature. Bankruptcy law is extremely complex and it is easy to misunderstand how a general description might or might not apply to you personally. In order to find out how this information applies to you personally, you will need to discuss it in detail with one of our attorneys.

Debt Relief Agency

Federal law states that attorneys who represent people in bankruptcy cases are “debt relief agencies.” Gold and Hammes represents people (and small businesses) in bankruptcy – in fact, that is the only type of law we practice. Therefore, Gold and Hammes is a debt relief agency.