Henry J. Sommer is President of the National Consumer Bankruptcy Rights Center. He has litigated many major cases involving bankruptcy, consumer law, civil rights and other issues. Previously, he was the head of the Consumer Law Project at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, where he worked for over 21 years and Supervising Attorney at the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project in Philadelphia. Mr. Sommer has also served as a Lecturer-in-Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Adjunct Professor at Temple University School of Law. He received his A.B. degree from Harvard College, magna cum laude and his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, cum laude.
Mr. Sommer is Editor in Chief of Collier on Bankruptcy and the entire Collier line of bankruptcy publications. He is the author of Collier Consumer Bankruptcy Practice Guide (Matthew Bender); Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice, (11th Ed. 2016) published by the National Consumer Law Center, Boston, Ma., and Consumer Bankruptcy: The Complete Guide to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Personal Bankruptcy (John Wiley & Sons 1994) as well as numerous articles on bankruptcy law. He is the co-author of Collier Family Law and the Bankruptcy Code (Matthew Bender).
Mr. Sommer is a former member of the Federal Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules (appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) and a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference. He is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, a member of the American Law Institute, and a former member of the Federal Reserve Board Consumer Advisory Council. He is also a former President of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), and a former Chair of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Conference.
He has been asked to testify many times before the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, as well as the National Bankruptcy Review Commission, on bankruptcy and consumer law issues. He has served on the faculty of numerous continuing legal education programs including those presented by the Federal Judicial Center, NYU Law School, the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, the Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute, the Executive Office of U.S. Trustees, the ABA Family Law Section, NACBA, ALI-ABA and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Mr. Sommer was the first recipient of the National Consumer Law Center’s Vern Countryman Consumer Law Award and a recipient of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Excellence in Education Award and the American College of Bankruptcy’s Distinguished Service Award.