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Bouncing Back: The Life of Bill Bartmann [Kindle Edition]

Bill Bartmann , Jonathan Rozek
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $5.95

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Book Description

From the Author of an Amazon #1 World-Wide Best Seller.
Note: All profits from the sale of this book are being donated to charity.

★ ★ ★

"Although Bartmann lost his company, he managed to turn his loss into an opportunity that made him a billionaire and changed an entire industry." — National Public Radio

"Bill is 'The Greatest' at helping people recognize and discover the champion hiding inside. He teaches people how to knockout the negatives in their lives." — Muhammad Ali

"Bill Bartmann is a good steward! He knows he has been given a special gift and he shares it with everyone he touches. He has made a profound positive difference in the lives of so many." — Mother Teresa

"Bill Bartmann survived failure, remade one of the country's ugliest industries, and became a billionaire." — Inc. Magazine

"Bartmann is a quintessentially American figure. Perhaps that is because he is fundamentally a pioneer and a frontiersman, a relentless optimist with unbounded self-confidence and an unshakable faith that he can not only wring booty from what looks like barren turf but that he can also have fun doing so." — The New Yorker

"Named One of the Top 100 Entrepreneurs of the Last 100 Years" — Apple Computer

"Bill Bartmann's autobiography is proof there is nothing that we can't overcome if we truly want to. His remarkable story will inspire every reader." — Harvey Mackay, author of the #1 New York Times Best Seller, Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive

★ ★ ★

They say that truth can be stranger than fiction, and in the case of Bill Bartmann, it’s absolutely the case. Bouncing Back is a glimpse into situations most of us never see:


  • Leaving a dirt-poor family at age 14 to join the carnival

  • Being an alcoholic gang member by age 17

  • Becoming paralyzed by falling down stairs drunk

  • Being told that you’ll never walk again, yet later walking out of the hospital



Those are unusual-enough experiences, but they were only the beginning of Bartmann’s journey. He is the only person ever to work in a pig slaughterhouse for years, and later become a billionaire—the 25th wealthiest person in America.

After his success, Bartmann didn’t just go to Disneyworld, he rented the entire facility and hired 27 jumbo jets to fly his employees there. And he’s the only person to turn down an invitation to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom because he was too busy.

As if that’s not enough to fill one lifetime, Bartmann was then personally indicted by the U.S. Attorney General on 57 felony counts, and faced 600 years in prison if convicted. Without testifying at his own trial or calling a single witness, Bartmann was cleared of all charges and the government later admitted it had no case.

Now Bartmann’s back, taking on the entire debt-collection industry and creating a new form of debt-collection company never before seen on the planet.

Bouncing Back is about the lowest of lows, and the highest of highs. It’s also about how you never know what’s around the corner.


Product Details

  • File Size: 658 KB
  • Print Length: 394 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1612540376
  • Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group (September 30, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FK6XFZQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,287 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting Story!!!! October 11, 2013
By KY GURL
Format:Kindle Edition
A true story of perseverance. Life is full of disappointment and struggle, this guy definitely has had his share of both-he's a true Phoenix. Definite proof that our attitude plays a tremendous role in determining whether we rise from the ashes after we've been knocked down.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Must Read! December 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An absolutely amazing book! This book grabbed hold of me from the beginning and never let go. I was blown away by Bartmann's life story - from his early struggles with poverty, dropping out of high school, working on a factory line slaughtering pigs - to the people in his life who recognized his potential and helped him to get his GED, and then get into college, and then law school - to his phenomenal success in business. The setbacks he encountered and his ability to prevail and to continually re-invent himself make for a mesmerizing tale that I won't soon forget. The book - which I read in one day because I couldn't stop - had me exclaiming out loud and putting the book down in disbelief multiple times as Bartmann recounts the roller coaster ride that's been his life. It's amazingly inspirational and a book I plan to immediately share with everyone I know. I'd give it 10 stars if I could. All I can say is BUY THIS BOOK!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely a must read. Very insperational October 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I very seldom recommend books, as each book has a different message for each person. A book I may find uplifting, you may find boring.

However, Bouncing Back by Bill Bartmann is a must read book. It is an inspirational true story of a man and his family, rising from broke, to billionaire, just to lose it due to others greed for money and fame. They pick themselves up out of what would have broken most people, and start again.

What makes this story so gut-wrenching for me, is that I have been in some of the places he has. Losing years of saving due to others. Having debt collectors hound and threaten your family, because they can. It is also inspirational for different reasons, but for me, that he did not lose his dignity and humiliation when he was a billionaire. When one of his worker’s car broke down, and she walked 15 miles to work. He bought her a new car as appreciation for her dedication. The amazing part is, that he became rich by trying to help people. Instead of hounding people in debt for money, he helped them to get on their feet again and pay off their debt.

Bouncing Back by Bill Bartmann is a truly inspirational story, from working in a pig slaughterhouse, to billionaire, to broke and back up again.

Below is a letter i send to Bill.

Hi Bill

I just finished your book, Bouncing Back.
It was a gut-wrenching journey for me through the pages. Although I cannot imagine all you have been through, I can connect with parts of it.
Debt collectors are not just a problem in America. I am from South Africa and am currently in the Cayman Islands. I saved for years to make my dream come true of travelling the world. That dream got shattered by greedy people that lie for their own benefit.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Success Story that Stands Alone! October 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This journey is inspiring and believable! If he can do it, we all can do it !!! INCREDIBLE and Attainable!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration to Act October 13, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
No matter where you came from you can make a difference! Mark 9:23, anything is possible for the person who believes!

Thank You, Bill!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unfathomable October 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Even knowing what I know now, it is unfathomable what Bill Bartmann has endured, what our country did to him and how God works such incredible wonders. I would give any possession I own to meet him and have a chance to speak about what this book has done for me. Read this book...every word of it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magnificent October 18, 2013
By JAH
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book. I also love listening to the audible edition. I felt like he believed in the principles that he teach. I am exited about putting the principles into action immediately
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TOO STUPID TO DIE ... and a hell of a read! December 9, 2013
By P. Town
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Hell of a read. Couldn't put it down. My admiration for you couldn't have been higher but brother you are one tough SOB. [NOTE: the word 'tough' as defined by US Army Special Forces: 'keeps getting back up'. 'won't quit'. 'too stupid to die'.]
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars BB IS JUST LIKE ME
You will bond, maybe cry for him, but in the end you will simply respect him. Meet you one day.
Published 3 days ago by V
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put this book down!
I am always drawn to the stories of the individual that overcame incredible odds to be successful. Born into a apathetic impoverished family and an alcoholic by age seventeen Bill... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Greg G
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read. Could not put it down.
A great read. A friend had suggested I read this book about Bill Bartmann and his Company CFS. I waited a couple of weeks before downloading it for some reason, but once I started... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tim Krueger
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
Enjoyed this book so much. Such a wonderful story. The man was a true miracle worker. Making it big in life was his goal so many times. Good provider for his family. Read more
Published 1 month ago by K. Sutton
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding and Powerful Read
This is a great story about not only a determined individual named Bill Bartmann, but how he lived his life and confronted so many challenges that would break the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mark P
5.0 out of 5 stars what an inspiring book, it really makes me question myself to go all...
This book was an easy read and very educational and inspirational. I recommend this book to anyone that wants to overcome fears and be successful.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Never give up!
The book makes a strong case for never giving up in the presents of overwelming odds.
Published 2 months ago by William L. Suthard
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I absolutely love reading business biographies because there is always some nugget of information that helps me to be a better investor. How do I find good business biographies? Read more
Published 2 months ago by MicroCapClub
4.0 out of 5 stars A story of failure and success and failure and success and, and
The story of Bill Bartmann is compelling. Just when it appears that he will have things smoothed out, another obstacle comes in his way. Read more
Published 3 months ago by airline reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible story
I enjoyed the writing style of this book as well as the story told. Bill Bartmann is an incredibly resilient man to lose everything and continue to fight his way back. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lori R.
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More About the Author

I was one of eight children. My father was janitor and mother cleaned houses for a living. I dropped out of school to join a traveling carnival at 14, and later upgraded to a street gang. While homeless I lived under bridge viaducts and in haylofts, and ate out of dumpsters.

I became alcoholic by age 17. The Marine Corps rejected me due to poor hearing. One night while drunk I fell down a flight of stairs, crushing parts of my spine. I became paraplegic and my doctor told me in no uncertain terms that I would never walk again. It's a long story but I ended up walking out of the hospital on my own two feet.

I soon got a job on the "kill floor" at a hog slaughterhouse. While there I organized a wildcat strike to demand benefits for us part-timers, and was successful. Also while working at the slaughterhouse, I ran into the principal who earlier had kicked me out of high school. He inspired me to get my GED, which I did.

It's another long story, but I graduated from college with a bachelor's degree, and eventually got my law degree. I immediately went into private practice, specializing in consumer bankruptcy. Later I got involved in real estate investing, and became quite successful, whereupon I got involved in oil drilling and lost my shirt. While broke, I was asked to take over an oil pipe company and I again became a millionaire--until Saudi Arabia flooded the market with oil and the price crashed.

While $1 million in debt from the collapse of the oil business and my pipe company, I bought the first portfolio of defaulted loans ever auctioned to the public by the FDIC.

My intimate knowledge (being bankrupt myself) of the shady practices of debt collectors led me to try a different approach--I treated borrowers with dignity and respect. That first portfolio of loans yielded a relatively substantial return, and I began to pay off my $1 million debt. I bought more loan portfolios and shortly thereafter I was able to pay off the debt.

I could see a tidal wave of these portfolios becoming available first from the FDIC, and later from the Resolution Trust Corporation after the savings & loan crisis. At the same time, our ethical collection practices were yielding substantial profit margins. As a result, I focused on three things in order to gain market share as quickly as possible. The following is a summary of our results:

People--An industry trade journal called us the "largest, best-trained, and most profitable collection operation in the world."

Systems--The Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History has a permanent display on the technology we pioneered.

Financing--My company became the very first company ever to do an investment-grade securitization of non-performing debt on Wall Street. Harvard Business School published a case study on our techniques.

In fact, we went on to raise more than $3.1 billion from 120 different lenders for more than 180 separate transactions. We were acknowledged by Business Week as "one of the top 30 family-friendly companies in the United States." We made it to the "Inc. Magazine 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies" list four years in a row. "Working Woman Magazine" recognized us as "One of the top 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers". (We were not a yoga school but instead a debt-collection company.)

Then came the crash: Without my knowledge my business partner engaged in several transactions with our company for his own personal benefit. An employee noticed these transactions and rather than take them to me or to the auditors, he chose to send an anonymous letter to one of the investment rating agencies.

When the rating agency called me about the letter, I commenced an energetic investigation and soon determined that my business partner had in fact executed the transactions. I held a press conference to explain exactly what we knew of the transactions, how my business partner admitted that he had acted alone, and how the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency would conduct an even more thorough investigation.

Even so, I immediately became the subject of suspicion: "How could Bartmann not have known? He was a hands-on executive who built the company from the ground up." Wall Street backed away and our financing sources instantly dried up.

The SEC and FBI conducted separate investigations and found no wrongdoing by my company or by me. They concluded that the unauthorized transactions were limited to my business partner. Not one but two grand juries concluded there was no basis for charges after investigating the facts.

Nevertheless, in the post-Enron atmosphere, the federal government decided to take the case out of the state's hands, and indict me on 57 felony counts representing 600 years in prison if convicted. Attorney General John Ashcroft personally held a news conference, assuring the public that the government's case was rock-solid against me.

The lead prosecution attorney had been taken off his prior case--to prosecute Slobodan Milošević, the Serbian mass murderer--so that he could now prosecute me.

The government presented its case against me, calling 53 witnesses and lasting 89 days. I chose not to call a single witness and not to present any case for the defense. The jury found me not guilty on all counts. Later the bankruptcy trustee for my former company publicly admitted "There was no fraud at CFS."

Nevertheless, even though my name was cleared I was bankrupt. My assets had been seized and disposed of through an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding, and my motions had been denied to stay those proceedings until the criminal trial was over.

My long and interesting business career has given me a unique perspective: I'm aware of no other slaughterhouse worker or street-gang member ever to have become a billionaire. I'm also something of an authority on surviving bankruptcy and other forms of failure.

I therefore channeled that knowledge and my energies into helping other entrepreneurs to overcome whatever barriers they're up against. I created Bill Bartmann Enterprises, through which I've offered courses, materials, and live events on entrepreneurship and achieving goals.

When the 2008 banking crisis resulted in the federal government bailout of banks, I recognized the same pattern of events that had made me a billionaire the first time around: The government was requiring banks to dispose of assets deemed "toxic" to banks but those assets had residual value to others knowledgeable enough to extract it.

I wrote a book, Bailout Riches, which was published by Wiley in June 2009 and which became a #1 world-wide bestseller on Amazon. It described the current opportunity to capitalize on the enormous wave of defaulted debt available today.

Then after seeing all the deceit and immoral practices in my industry, I wrote the Out of Control, an insiders view of debt collector abuse in America.

Today my work continues as a strive every day to reform the debt collection industry and help raise up those in our society who, through no fault of their own, are struggling with debt.

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