Max Out Life

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How Bill Bartmann Lost It All and Got It Back

Top performers rise to the occasion.

Top performers rise to the occasion.

Bill Bartmann has known great success, but he is best remembered for losing some $3.5 billion in paper wealth and his status as one of the richest people in the U.S. That was 12 years ago, when his debt-collection company, Commercial Financial Services, collapsed in scandal. But Bartmann has been climbing back, using Bill Bartmann Enterprises first to tell his story through books and on the speaking circuit, then to teach other people how to make money collecting debt the way he did with CFS. And now, at 61, he has yet another big idea.

In October 2008, I was watching television with Kathy, my wife of 38 years. We were watching C-SPAN at the moment Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson stood up on a podium and asked Congress for $700 billion. After he said that, we just looked at each other with stupefied looks on our faces that said, “Is this really happening again?”

What Paulson was doing was running the same plays the government did back in the 1980s with the Resolution Trust Corporation after the failure of the savings and loan associations. We had built our company, Commercial Financial Services, at that time by buying up debts from the government on the cheap and then collecting on them. After we experienced that sense of déjà vu, I asked Kathy if she wanted to go do it all again. She said no, that was a lot of work and we’re older now. That’s when we decided to do it a different way. We would show other people how to do it.



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This entry was posted on July 18, 2014 by in Career, Romance and tagged , , , , .
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