Joseph A. Bledsoe, III (“Jody”) was appointed as a Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Eastern District of North Carolina on April 4, 2014, where he is the Trustee for the New Bern and Fayetteville Divisions. He replaces retiring Interim Trustee Robert R. Browning, and Standing Trustee Trawick H. “Buzzy” Stubbs.
Jody is originally from Fayetteville, NC, and received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from North Carolina State University in Raleigh in 1989. He received his J.D. from the UNC School of Law in 1992.
He began is legal career as an associate with his aunt, Carol A. Morrison, who was at that time a consumer debtors’ attorney. Jody credits his aunt for teaching him the bankruptcy “basics,” and for giving him a strong foundation on which to build a career in bankruptcy.
Among the cases Jody successfully argued as a consumer debtors’ attorney are In re Alexander, 344 B.R. 742 (Bankr. E.D.N.C 2006)(adopting the mechanical approach to determining projected disposable income) and Musselman v. eCast Settlement Corp., 384 B.R. 801 (E.D.N.C. 2008)(holding, among other things, that the IRS’ Local Expense standards are fixed allowances). After becoming Trustee, Jody successfully argued against the findings in Musselman in In re Harris, 522 B.R. 804 (Bankr. E.D.N.C. 2014).
The cases of which Jody is most proud are In re Ingram, No. 06-02714-8-RDD, 2006 WL 6070518 (Bankr. E.D.N.C. Nov. 20, 2006); In re Bowden, No. 11-06168-8-SWH, 2012 WL 589657 (Bankr. E.D.N.C. Feb. 22, 2012); and In re Pryor, 479 B.R. 694 (Bankr. E.D.N.C. 2012). In Ingram, the Court allowed the Debtor to use a different six-month period for determining his CMI, after he suffered a substantial reduction in income immediately prior to his Chapter 13 filing. Bowden effectively restored the “ride-through” option for Debtors in Chapter 7. And in Pryor, the Court held that, in an adversary proceeding filed by the Debtors against a creditor for alleged violations of the automatic stay, state law claims asserted by the Debtors were not preempted by the National Bank Act of 1864.
In his spare time, Jody loves to perform on stage, having appeared in several scripted stage productions over the years, and also performing short- and long-form improvisation.
Jody has been happily married to his wife, Kimberly, for 25 years, who Jody says is his strength and inspiration. Together, they have a daughter, 21, and a son, 19.