ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI) – A life-sized portrait of Judge David Houston III was unveiled during a private retirement ceremony held in his honor. Judge Houston of the US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Mississippi in Aberdeen, is retiring after nearly 30 years of service.
“I came on the bench in 1983. I went out and started going out to Texas in the middle of 1984. I went out there on a fairly regular basis, once a month for four days for almost four years,” says Houston.
Judge Houston spent the remainder of his career trying cases in Mississippi. Houston says the most difficult part of being a bankruptcy judge was dealing with struggling business owners.
“The ones that pull on my heart strings are the cases involving individuals who have tried very hard to make a-go of whatever business they might have been in. But because of economic downturns, perhaps something unexpected that has happened to them, they weren’t able to make it. To tell that person that they’ve got to lose their business is a very difficult chore,” says Houston.
Although Houston says he doesn’t expect any significant changes to bankruptcy laws in the near future, the most recent change came in 2005 with the Consumer Protection Amendment.
“The code was amended to make it much more difficult to file bankruptcy. There were a lot more hoops to jump through to get the paperwork done, more forms to fill out. The new law was not as consumer friendly,” says Houston.
Houston says becoming a bankruptcy judge was simply a stroke of luck for him but he has some advice for the next generation coming into the field.
“I would say be patient because these people have often time gone through a traumatic event in their lives and that’s why they’re in this court,” says Houston.
Houston says he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family after his retirement.
Judge Houston will officially retire from the Court in January.