Max Gardner, III is recognized as one of the leading lawyers in America in the area of Predatory Mortgage Servicing and the standing of mortgage servicers in consumer bankruptcy cases. His position as an educator and as an attorney on the front lines of the war against predatory lenders and mortgage servicers has captured the attention of ABC News’ “Nightline,” PBS’ “Frontline,” CNN, BusinessWeek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes and many other news outlets across the country. Mr. Gardner has also taken the lead in pursuing the attempts of many creditors to collect debts legally discharged in bankruptcy cases. Mr. Gardner refers to this practice by creditors and debt buyers as one of the biggest “bankruptcy frauds” in America. More importantly, Mr. Gardner has also captured the attention of unethical lenders, servicers and collectors all over the country due to the nationwide efforts of hundreds of lawyers Mr. Gardner has trained at his renowned “Consumer Bankruptcy Boot Camps” over the past twelve plus years. Mr. Gardner’s Consumer Bankruptcy Boot Camps are held at Gardner’s remote 160 acre estate located deep in the heart of the South Mountains of Western North Carolina. These Boot Camps have been among the most successful and intensive lawyer-training seminars in history. Mr. Gardner’s Consumer Bankruptcy Boot Camps have been featured on ABC News’ “Nightline,” the “CBS Nightly News” and CNN’s “Your Money” and written about in featured articles appearing in BusinessWeek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, and every major newspaper in North Carolina.
The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers (NACBA) recognized Mr. Gardner as a Champion of Consumer Rights in 2003; named him the Outstanding Consumer Lawyer of 2004 and awarded him The Distinguished Service Award in April of 2013. Mr. Gardner was elected a Member of the North Carolina Legal Elite by Business North Carolina in 2004, 2005, 2006, and again in 2007. Mr. Gardner was named a Top Lawyer in N.C. in 2013 by The Legal Network. Gardner has received the AV Preeminent Award from Martindale Hubbell for the past 20 years. This is the highest ethical rating for any lawyer. He also has the top rating of 10.0 from AVVO.
Max Gardner received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with highest honors from the UNC School of Law in 1974. Among others, he was a member of the North Carolina Law Review, President of the Student Bar Foundation, named the Outstanding Law School Graduate of 1974, and was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Following graduation, Mr. Gardner served as Senior Law Clerk to the Hon. William H. Bobbitt, the late Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, and to the Hon. J. William Copeland, an Associate Justice with the Supreme Court. Mr. Gardner worked as an Associate with the law firm of Smith, Moore, Smith, Schell & Hunter in Greensboro, North Carolina, until 1977, when he opened a consumer-based law practice in Shelby, North Carolina. He served as Treasurer for McNeill Smith’s 1978 Campaign for the United States Senate. Mr. Gardner also served as Of Counsel for Sims, Walker & Steinfeld of Washington, D.C., from 1983 to 1994, and served as General Counsel to the Democratic Party of North Carolina from 1993 to 1997. Mr. Gardner has also represented Bankruptcy Trustees and Debtors in Possession in numerous motor carrier bankruptcy proceedings involving the ICC and freight claim disputes under the Filed Rate Doctrine and other related matters. Mr. Gardner has served as Of Counsel to the law firm of Kellett and Bartholow, PLLC, of Dallas, Texas, since 2015. Kellett and Bartholow specializes in bankruptcy class actions, the most recent having been filed against Wells Fargo Bank for “stealth” mortgage modifications in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.
Mr. Gardner is a member of the North Carolina State Bar; the North Carolina Bar Association; the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys; the National Association of Consumer Advocates; the American Bar Association; the American Bankruptcy Institute; and all of the Federal District Courts for North Carolina and the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a long-standing member of the Consumer Law Section of the American Bankruptcy Institute. Gardner has been a frequent speaker for the past 25 years at seminars offered by these respective organizations.
Max Gardner III
1410 College Ave.
Shelby, NC 28152