Mike Chadey – Friend, Neighbor, Mentor

Mike Chadey – Friend, Neighbor, Mentor

When I arrived in Rock Springs in 1997 as a younger lawyer, the local economy wasn’t great. Although you might expect a local lawyer to be unenthusiastic about an out of towner vying for his clients’ business, Mike Chadey was warm, welcoming and willing to give friendly advice. He also turned out to be a great neighbor. When enough snow fell you could see Lynne, Mike and their son John sledding down the hill at Garnet Street Park in front of our houses. Mike and I often stood outside the Catholic school doors in the afternoon waiting to pick up our kids, sharing a laugh as we eavesdropped on Sister Lucia reminding the children of man’s evil nature. Maybe that was me she was addressing, I don’t remember.

Over the years, Mike helped hundreds of honest but unfortunate people in this community get a fresh start through bankruptcy. He understood that America is about second chances, that one of the strengths of our country is that people should be encouraged to take risks.

The Bankruptcy Code was then like a foreign language to me. Mike took the time patiently to explain. I had questions like, “how can banks foreclose on a person’s house after bankruptcy? If the debtor’s mortgage debt is gone, what debt is the bank collecting on when it takes the house?” (Answer: banks have good lobbyists.) Another question: “how can corporate debtors like Donald Trump’s companies ‘cram down’ their underwater mortgages to their asset value but individual homeowners can’t?” (Answer: Trump has good lobbyists).
Mike kept serving his clients up until the end. Mike, we will miss you.

©2015 Clark Stith

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