October 08, 2013 08:00 ET

Bouncing Back -- an Autobiography by Bill Bartmann

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Oct 8, 2013) -

"Some people have made more money than I have, though it's fewer than the number of Olympic Gold Medals ever awarded... I cannot think of anyone who's been to both extremes in quite the way I have. The poverty, pigs, paralysis, and prosecutors at one end of the spectrum - and the family, fortune, and endless frontiers at the other. Perhaps somewhere in that spectrum a few people will see a story they can relate to."
- Bouncing Back Author Bill Bartmann

News reports say that the American Dream -- the elusive goal of starting from the bottom, working hard and attaining wealth and success -- is dying. Based on a poll, the Washington Post writes that for most Americans, "faith in a brighter tomorrow has been eroded by intensifying struggles on the job and at home."

Bouncing Back (Brown Books Publishing Group, September 30 2013, Digital Price $8.50, available on the Amazon Kindle Store, ISBN: 9781612540375) is evidence to the contrary, a testament to the unyielding endurance of our national ethos. Bestselling author and consumer advocate Bill Bartmann, CEO of leading debt collection company CFS2, believes that no matter how difficult the obstacles, no matter how grim the outlook, opportunity is always around the corner. And for Bartmann, opportunity has knocked several times, and has made him, at one point, the 25th wealthiest man in the country.

In his autobiography, Bartmann tells the triumphant and inspiring true story of living the American Dream many times over. Born in poverty in small-town Iowa, Bartmann left school to join a traveling carnival and a local street gang. After barely earning a GED, he trudged his way through college while working highly dangerous jobs to make ends meet. Eventually, he made a fortune -- and lost it all to bankruptcy.

After contemplating suicide, Bartmann learned from his mistakes and recognized an unbelievable opportunity from despair. In 1986, Bartmann became a pioneer in the debt collection industry, turning a "crazy idea" into CFS, a ethical collections company that became a thriving giant. Profits rapidly accumulated. By the late 1990s, Bartmann was worth $3.5 billion. Celebrated worldwide as a business genius, his wealth allowed him to live like few kings ever have -- he once rented 27 jumbo jets to fly 6,000 people to Disney World on vacation and wrestled Hulk Hogan in Las Vegas. Soon after, tragedy struck. A former business partner mishandled funds and the United States Attorney General personally targeted Bartmann, indicting him on 57 felony counts. While defending himself, his family and his company, Bartmann lost everything once again.

Forever the unvanquished, Bartmann kept fighting -- and was cleared of all charges. With purpose re-forged, Bartmann is on another comeback. Over the years, the debt collection industry has grown more abusive and disreputable. As a result, in 2010, Bartmann launched CFS2, a new company leading the charge towards universal debt collection reform. Unique among collection agencies, CFS2 provides its customers in debt with free social services, including a comprehensive job search and placement program. Once back on their feet, CFS2 has found that customers are not only able but willing to pay back what they owe. As a result of these new techniques, CFS2 is twice as profitable as its competitors. In its short lifespan, CFS2 has already been awarded numerous consumer awards and prizes, including the 2013 American Business Award, the 2013 American Consumer Council "Friend of the Consumer" Award and for Bartmann, a nomination for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

Bouncing Back brims with the life lessons that can only be learned by living in both dire poverty and extreme wealth. It is a story of working odd jobs, of butchering hogs and leading a strike at the pig slaughterhouse. It's a tale of practicing small town law and making a fortune in real estate, of growing rich and going bankrupt in the oil business, and of incredible success in the debt collection industry. Bouncing Back is an entertaining ride through the unique life of a man who has proven that nothing is impossible and that the American Dream remains alive and well.

In keeping with a central theme of the book, Bartmann will give away all profits from Bouncing Back sales to the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that works to protect homeownership and family wealth by fighting predatory lending practices. According to Bartmann, CRL is "a fierce advocate of meaningful debt collection reform, including banning all robo-suing."

About Bill Bartmann:

In the 1990s, Bartmann built CFS, the world's largest debt collection agency, and became recognized as a national authority on fair debt collections practices. Inc. magazine credited CFS with "remaking one of the ugliest industries" due to the zero-abuse policy Bartmann demanded of his staff. His firm helped 4.5 million consumers resolve over $15 billion in credit card debt, without initiating a single lawsuit. The Harvard Business School published a case study on CFS.

Bartmann is a best-selling author and was named national "Entrepreneur of the Year" by NASDAQ and the Kauffman Foundation. He has been called the "No. 1 Collection Industry Consumer Advocate" in the world and was referred to by USA Today as the "Patron Saint of the Second Chance." On Friday, October 4, Bartmann was featured on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley as the "understanding" debt collector who "thrives with a simple strategy: kindness."

Bill Bartmann is available for interview.

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