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Credit on Halloween

posted by Bob Lawless

Today is Halloween. My 12-year old son--and I am not making this up--is dressing up as Google. If one can dress up as a web site or a concept, then what scary Halloween costumes could one wear to a party for credit and insolvency professionals?

Suggestions should be made in the comments. Best suggestion wins the respect and admiration of the Credit Slips community. As David Letterman says, "This is only an exhibition, not a competition. No wagering please."

To get us started, how about these:

  • a yoke of debt (but the yoke would be on you)
  • a barrel
  • a Form B22
  • the Senate Judiciary Committee (only requires you and sixteen of your closest friends to coordinate the costume)

Others . . . . ?


How about a McMansion?

or a negotiable instrument?

or a Real Estate Agent (blonde wig, way too much makeup, scented business cards, fake personality)?

That's easy: a credit card!

Gather children, while I tell a tale of the scariest of all characters in the Halloween insolvency realm: the dreaded and heinous secret lien. He lurks, undead, unrecorded, in the shadows-- cunningly luring unsuspecting trick or treaters into his evil lair. The children stumble on in faith, muttering: "there's no such thing as the secret lien, there's no such thing as the secret lien . . ." And then, out of the darkness he springs. He stops the innocents in their tracks. He rises up to full height revealing his hideous countenance from beneath his heavy cloak. They shriek. They faint. Their candy buckets clatter on the ground. But hush, and wait. Yes, there he is. Just over the crest he appears. The brightness of his bona fides lights the sky. He swoops down, his three-sectioned cape flowing in the breeze. The battle is swift and bloodless. The spectre is dead. From the brilliant light emerges a single arm, bulging with muscles. And then, he is gone. The innocents look skyward and shiver in the cold. They walk on, awed and yet afraid in the face of such power.

Happy Halloween friends.

A Capital One card. Quite scary.

How about that professor who testified this was a perfect bill. You could wear along nose like Pinocchio, or a Dunce Cap.

Well, this isn't terribly funny, but.... How about one big tear drop---for the tears that families shed when they conclude that they have little choice but to file, or the tears shed when the family loses their home in foreclosure.

Hi Bob. Is your son going as the firm or the verb? I think the verb gets even more creativity points. My sons are going as a PowerRanger and Mr. Incredible, so nothing nearly quite so cutting edge (but they're only 4-1/2 & 3).

I'm going to be a 2/28 Mortgage. It is really scary because 1) it looks benign, 2) by the time you figure out why it is dangerous, it is too late, 3) it will change the world, and 4) only a few people figure out what is going on, but no one else will listen. (Think: Invasion of the Body Snatchers--the analogy is perfect.)

How about . . .

Sallie Mae. I see this costume as a take-off of Daisy Mae from L'il Abner, only with a red, white and blue (Uncle Sam) color scheme. She carries a rifle to scare off any students with the temerity to try and discharge their loans in bankruptcy;

A Congressman. In resort wear- Hawaiian shirt, carrying tropical blender drink from one of those bank-sponsored junkets. To make his identity clearer, he could carry a barrel of pork.

In New York City only - A Court Officer. Emblematic of the Office of Court Administration, which sells the names of respondents in Housing Court proceedings (upon filing- not upon issuance of judgment or warrant of eviction) to companies which compile a blacklist for landlords screening of prospective tenants.

How about . . .

A shark.

A credit default swap.

I think "conceptual" fancy dress has been around for a long time, for instance look at this catalogue page from the 1920s:


My wife went to a New Years' Eve Party as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (1969--it was 769).

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  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless ([email protected]) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.