Rogers State University President Dr. Larry Rice has nominated an area business leader for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.
Rice describes Bill Bartmann, the CEO of CFS2, a consumer financial recovery firm based in Tulsa, as a person who is “making a difference.”
“Mr. Bartmann has already made a difference in the lives of 4.5 million consumers and is on a campaign to change the lives of 35 million consumers who are being abused by egregious debt collectors,” Rice said in his letter to the Nobel Committee. “Mr. Bartmann has expended $6 million of his own funds to pioneer a revolutionary and novel approach to attack this problem.”
Bartmann’s approach works with families in financial crisis at no cost.
It also involves financial counseling, negotiation of debts and job search assistance. Bartmann’s CFS2 helps consumers secure appropriate government services to get their financial situations in order.
“Mr. Bartmann has been a tireless campaigner for reform of the debt collection industry and initiatives to drive those from the business who refuse to play by the rules,” Rice’s nomination letter states.
“He has worked to introduce new laws in state legislatures and in the Congress. He has built strong relationships with consumer advocacy groups, key political figures and state law enforcement.”
Rice’s letter details ways Bartmann’s actions have made an impact on reforming the industry, including:
• Reduce the bankruptcy rate in American by 50 percent
• Reduce the national unemployment rate by one full point.
• Stop all debt buyer credit card litigation in America. Last year, five million such suits were filed and 10 million are projected this year. Bartmann has personally shielded 4.5 million consumers from such suits.
• Reduce the judicial system backlog by 70 percent
• Return $36 billion annually in the form of credit card principal reduction of debt forgiveness
• Help 35 million families who are being pursued by third party debt collectors.
“One national media source described Mr. Bartmann as ‘The Patron Saint of the Second Chance.’ His connections to those in economic distress came early and naturally. He grew up in the poorest of circumstances,” Rice wrote.
Bartmann worked in a slaughterhouse and completed his GED. He earned a bachelors degree from Loras College and a law degree from Drake University.
In April, Bartmann’s CFS2 received the American Consumer Council’s “Friend of the Consumer” award.
“The greatest challenge society faces today is the disintegration of the family unit. Mr. Bartmann believes that the singles greatest factor driving stress on the family is financial. By extending a helping hand and teaching consumers the principles of building self-esteem and financial literacy while reducing he financial strain, he has become a powerful influence to stabilize the working poor and those who are the victims of economic collapse,” Rice said.