November 03, 2011 14:22 ET

CFS II Accepted Into Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program

Tulsa-Headquartered Company Plans National Expansion

TULSA, OK--(Marketwire - Nov 3, 2011) - With a projection to hire 10,000 people over the next three years, Tulsa-based debt collection company CFS II today announced that it was accepted into the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program through the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

"We are actively pursuing regional headquarters as a target industry and goal for the Chamber's economic development program," says Mike Neal, president and CEO, Tulsa Metro Chamber. "A commitment to retain the CFS II headquarters in Tulsa is a success for the city and the region as it continues to grow its existing workforce and invest in our community. This is a critical example of the importance of Oklahoma's Quality Jobs program as an asset to leverage in our competition for new jobs."

Led by industry icon and crusader for industry reform, CEO Bill Bartmann, CFS II will expand its operations from Tulsa to at least five states and expects each of the five states to have an average of 2,000 employees each within three years. Positions include executive, management, HR, IT, legal, accounting and customer service. The bulk of the hiring will occur in customer service where starting wages will be about $35,000 each.

"While sounding outrageous to anyone who does not know our history, we've done all this before," said Bartmann. "Fifteen years ago, our company grew from 200 employees to almost 4,000 in less than three years, and we did that in just one location. Repeating that feat in five locations is far easier today than what we did earlier."

CFS II currently employs 220 people, up dramatically from the eight employees it opened with in July 2010 -- slightly more than one year ago. This past July the company expanded its lease to 52,000 square feet at the CityPlex Towers, 81st and Lewis. "We are excited to see CFS II get off to such a quick start. You can bet we will be in there competing to convince CFS II that their Tulsa office should be much larger than 500 people," said Mike Predovic, Principal with Trinity Commercial Properties, leasing agent for CityPlex. "We know we have the right combination of infrastructure and resources to make it work. We think the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program will be a huge boost."

The architect behind CFS II's expansion is Bill Bartmann: entrepreneur -- political activist -- consumer advocate. "The debt collection industry has really turned into a nasty business and needs to be turned on its ear," said Bartmann. Recently, he launched campaigns on both the national and state levels to reform the collection of consumer debts by debt buyers called "Stop These Criminals."

Bartmann also addresses the abuse in the industry in his recent book, Out of Control: Cases of Debt-Collection Abuse in America And What We Can Do About It. The book is available on Amazon, and Bartmann is donating all proceeds to the National Consumer Law Center.

In Oklahoma, Bartmann was instrumental in helping pass new legislation protecting citizens from unethical practices. SB 368 was approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Fallin this past summer. In the next legislative session, he is hoping to have introduced a comprehensive proposal to govern all facets of the debt buying business.

"There is nothing wrong with asking people to pay their bills. They ought to pay their bills. But the reality is that no one just decides they are going to cheat the credit card company out of their money," said Bartmann. "The drivers of credit problems are job loss, an illness in the family or a breakup of the family." "They may owe the money, but they certainly don't deserve to be cussed, abused, threatened and lied to. It is just plain wrong, and we can do better as an industry."

Bartmann has already met with officials of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission and a series of national and local legislators and state attorneys general to introduce and advance his plan for radical reform of the industry.

"There are many companies out there making a lot of money by cutting corners and treating consumers badly," concludes Bartmann. "I am going to prove that one can do well by doing right by treating people with dignity and respect."

For more information about CFS II, please visit:

About Bill Bartmann:

The Harvard Business School published a case study on Bill Bartmann's collection business, CFS. He is a bestselling author and was named national Entrepreneur of the Year by NASDAQ and the Kauffman Foundation. His new debt collection company, CFS II, is located in the CityPlex Towers in Tulsa.

CFS II Founder & CEO Bill Bartmann is available for interview.

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