The Difficulty of Debt Collections – Especially in TX

debt_collectionsIf a friend got into trouble with too much debt to the point of being sued by a bank, I would urge them to hire an attorney.

In Texas in particular, I urge that standard advice, and then double and triple it. Get thee to a lawyer!

There’s a weird thing you may not know about Texas and collecting consumer debt, like from credit cards. We think of Texas as a pro-business state. And so we might think that would put the power of laws and courts in favor of big banks at the expense of consumers and debtors.

Compared to other states, that just isn’t so. Texas is a very hard state to effectively sue and collect money in. And if the consumer hires an attorney, it gets very difficult indeed to force payment.

How do I know this? In my bad old investment days I used to work on the creditor side of things, trying to induce people to pay money they owed. Sometimes that meant pursuing debtors through the courts.

Consumer debts from Ohio, New York, Oklahoma, California? All so much easier to collect than debts from Texas. Texas was basically a nightmare for me.

But let me step back for a minute to explain different types of collections. If you haven’t been in trouble with debt owed to a bank, you might not know the differences.

Step one usually involves traditional collections efforts, which consists mostly of letters in the mail and phone calls. Besides dinging your credit through reporting the unpaid debt to the credit bureaus, a traditional collections firm constitutes a limited nuisance. Legally, the collector can’t call more than once a day. They can’t contact you at work. They can’t speak to anyone except  you about the debt. If you don’t mind the hassle, traditional collectors can be ignored. Since most consumer protection happens at the federal level, there aren’t tremendous differences between collecting; this is the same across the states.

But in step two, a creditor initiates a lawsuit against the debtor. This is a more expensive step for a lender, but it ultimately gives the lender many more tools to collect the debt.

The creditor, through its attorney, seeks a judgment approved by court and judge. With a judgment in hand, which might take between a few months and a year to obtain, the debtor has much more at risk.

A court-ordered judgment allows a creditor to collect in more ways. In most states, if you have a job, the bank can garnish your wages, meaning force your employer to send money –- up to 25 percent of your salary — to the collections attorney. In most states if you own real estate, the collector files the judgment with the county. With a judgment as a lien on property, you generally cannot sell your property or refinance your mortgage without paying on the judgment. Finally, if you have any money in a bank account, the creditor can force the bank to turn over that money.

In Texas, however, a creditor can’t effectively do most of those things. Judgment creditors can’t garnish wages at all. And property liens and bank account garnishments can be fought very effectively with an attorney.

Benjamin Trotter, an attorney in San Antonio who represents consumer debtors who have been sued, or who have a judgment against them, described to me a wide array of tactics he uses to push a bank creditor to back off from bank accounts.

“Ninety percent of the success against these lawsuits is just showing up,” said Trotter. “Because you make the other side work on this, and they have to determine the cost and benefits of how much they want to put into these cases. Particularly for these lower threshold amounts, do they want to put all the documents in order to collect on a couple of thousand?”

debt_collections_law_firmTo be more specific, creditors do not have the right to take the money from a bank account that comes from social security, insurance, or unemployment payments, nor money held jointly with another person. When attorneys like Trotter get involved, they can gum up the creditor’s process. It’s up to the creditor to figure out precisely where all the money in an account came from. That takes time and money to do. Creditors do that cost-benefit calculation and frequently back off.

When it comes to real estate liens, a debtor’s attorney can file to get liens removed from declared homesteads in Texas. (Note: This won’t work with non-homestead property.) But removing the judgment lien from the homestead can nullify one of the creditor’s most powerful tools.

By making judgment enforcement relatively toothless in Texas, the debtor’s attorney’s power is greatly enhanced. Since it’s so much harder to do all those things in Texas to collect debts, an attorney who represents a consumer debtor almost always can get a bank to negotiate a settlement.

I asked Trotter if he had advice against making rookie mistakes, say, for a debtor being sued who hadn’t yet hired an attorney?

“A lot of people will call up the bank or the bank’s collection attorney themselves,” Trotter cautioned, “So if you do reach out on your own to the bank’s lawyer, know that you are being recorded.”

If you talk to them, Trotter cautions, admit nothing.

He says, “especially when it comes to the statute of limitations, if you validate the debt, it could extend the statute of limitation, and put you on the hook of admitting you owe it.”

Instead of admitting to owing the debt, “Say something along the lines of ‘I’m not admitting that I owe this, but for the purposes of putting this behind me, I want to come to some sort of agreement,’” Trotter said.

I’d say get an attorney to do the talking for you.

In Texas, it probably will work.

 

A version of this post ran in the San Antonio Express News and Houston Chronicle

See related post:

Ask An Ex-Banker: Medical Collections

 

 

Post read (97) times.

Never Buy A Time Share

timeshare_bullshitOh time share, time share!

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

I hate the way you are sold. I hate they way timeshares give the appearance of an ‘investment,’ when they are in fact the opposite of an investment. I hate the way financially distressed people buy you.

I’ve previously urged readers to never buy a variable annuity. Last fall I broke my self-imposed rule to never even mention the word bitcoin. Some day soon I’ll write about never buying gold. Taken together, time shares, variable annuities, bitcoin and gold are the Four Horsemen of your Personal Financial Apocalypse.

All four share the common characteristic of being packaged and sold as sound investments, when really they’re expensive, money-soaking, tricks.

For your benefit, I signed up for a timeshare pitch last week. I sacrificed an otherwise pleasant afternoon to multiple aggressive and manipulative sales techniques packed into 90 minutes. You’re welcome. I deserve a medal for bravery.

Roberto, my personally assigned salesman at Wyndham Resorts, asked me for fifteen minutes what kind of vacations I usually take, what place I like to go, and what people I go with. As I warmed up to describing past skiing and camping trips with my daughters, he asked me to share what kind of “feelings” I experienced with my daughters while on vacation. Oh, Roberto, thank you for asking.

always_be_closingPlunging deep into the hazy mist of emotions and family, I learned that timeshares are a legacy to pass on to my daughters. They promise “ownership” in perpetuity, yet every month charge “maintenance fees” which never go away. My editor at the newspaper is an heiress who “inherited” a Hilton Disney World timeshare from Dad. Hey, thanks Dad! It costs her $1,500 a year to maintain. With a handsome legacy like this, she may never be able to retire.

Once made dizzy by this emotional journey, Roberto began to bludgeon me with the fuzzy logic of timeshares. Since I already spend a certain amount of vacation money per year on my family – as he scribbled some numbers on a page – wouldn’t I like to “own” rights to vacation spots rather than “rent” as I have been doing up to now through traditional hotels? What if I could do that at less cost? More number scribbling followed, plus I would gain “Deed and Title” to vacation ownership. Roberto wrote “D & T” on the page and underlined it twice, so I’d really grasp the solidity of this type of ownership.

“Deed and Title?” That is such garbage. Ask anyone who has ever had tried to book timeshare vacations with points and you will quickly enter a world of “exchange fees,” added fees for “guest certificates,” fees for membership in the points exchange company, and heavy restrictions on usage. Can’t book your vacation with one and half years’ lead time? Sorry, all the places you want to go, at the listed “points” price, are blocked.

Have you ever noticed that carnivals and video game centers always work on a tokens or tickets system, rather than money? Timeshare venders use points for the same reason.

But back to my afternoon with Roberto:

wyndham_resorts_fraudHe repeatedly used the classic “anchoring” sales technique of saying the full price of their vacation point package would be $100,000, only to eventually offer a very similar package for around $27,000. Wow, I should have been thinking, what a huge discount. All just for me?

Actually, he made two offers, a bigger price and a smaller price. Given those two, he asked, which one seemed more attractive to me? This is the sales technique of making me feel like I’m cleverly in charge and actively choosing a smart, low-cost, option.

Were the offers made affordable? Well of course they were, because I can make a low down payment and borrow the rest. Wyndham offered to “finance” part of my purchase of the “Deed and Title” to their vacation points, at 13.99% interest. So that was really nice of them, assuming I don’t mind paying sub-prime mortgage interest rates.

When he heard I was in finance, my salesman focused on the clever “inflation hedge” aspect of these timeshares. Since the cost of hotels would be increasing by 10-14% in coming years (an #AlternateFact, but whatever) I should know that my points would always be worth the same amount forever, so I’d be better off buying today rather than waiting for another day.

Speaking of today, in a classic red-flag sales technique, Roberto would not allow me to take any of their marketing materials or specific offers home to “think about it.” The offer, of course, was “this day only,” with assurances that on any subsequent day I came back the offer would likely be worse.

four_horsemen_personal_financial_apocalypse
The Four Horsemen of your personal financial apocalypse: Time Share, Variable Annuity, Bitcoin, Gold

After I had declined to purchase the package, I was sent to an exit interview with a new person. Following a few cursory “how was your experience today” questions, she hit me up once again with an offer to purchase a smaller package, at an even lower price. Today only, of course.

In an earlier professional life, I networked with bankruptcy trustees, the people who sell off valuable assets of the estate of a person who goes bankrupt. You’re not going to believe this but trustees always, always, always had timeshares to offer.

The simple problem for bankruptcy trustees is that timeshares are worth nothing. No, that’s not quite right. Timeshares are worth less than nothing. They have negative value, because they cost money every year to maintain.

This is why Ebay is full of offers for timeshare vacation weeks, and hundreds of thousands of “points,” for $20, or $1. Or even $0.01. Check it out.

Caveat Emptor, or buyer beware, on any particular offering on eBay, obviously, but a scan of timeshare message board confirms that paying full price for a timeshare is a complete mug’s game.

timeshare_bankruptcyAll bankruptcy trustees become inadvertent experts in timeshares, and not just because they can never seem to sell these so-called “assets.” There’s clearly a positive correlation between people who go bankrupt and people who are tricked into believing timeshares are a good investment. Bankruptcy trustees tell a quiet joke amongst themselves that, by law in the United States, nobody is allowed to go bankrupt unless they have first purchased a timeshare.

The slogan of the entire industry should be: “Timeshares: All the costs of renting, none of the benefits of owning.” Catchy, no?

See, that’s why I don’t work in marketing.

 

A version of this post ran in the San Antonio Express News and Houston Chronicle.

 

Please see related posts:

Never Buy a Boat

Variable Annuities: Shit Sandwich

Bitcoins and Bullocks

Vacation camping with my daughter

Post read (567) times.

Missing the point, over at the NYTimes

the_screamJames Stewart writes an interesting piece this morning on a 55 year old NYC attorney who recently declared bankruptcy, after earning in the $375-500K range for the past 20 years for a series of high-powered New York law firms.

Stewart’s analysis is that:

1. Being a non-equity partner attorney is tough these days, and

2. NY City is expensive these days.

Both of these points are, undoubtedly true, as far as they go.  On the other hand, what an idiotic piece.

Here’s a great example of making 2 true points, while overall missing The Truth of this unfortunate bankrupt attorney’s situation.  The Truth is this: this guy’s lifestyle and expenses clearly didn’t match his earnings.  Full stop.

This isn’t meant to blame or shame the attorney, who obviously is suffering from an inability to budget, and now has the ignominy of getting his personal financial situation described to the millions of readers of the New York Times.

But rather, its meant to point out that the Financial Infotainment Industrial Complex – of which the New York Times is the most important and highest quality member – can take a few pieces of data and shape an entirely bizarrely wrong narrative out of it.

When my four year old is given a Connect-The-Dots exercise in pre-K, we might be alarmed if she took the three black dots set up in the shape of a triangle and drew a highly accurate rendition of Edvard Munch’s The Scream. (Impressed, of course, but alarmed).

James Stewart, are you so far enmeshed in the New York City mindset that your main point about going bankrupt on $375K a year is that non-equity partners sure have it tough?  That is alarming.  Not impressed.

 

Post read (5510) times.

Prescience on Detroit Bankruptcy

Motor City Industrial Park
Motor City Industrial Park

I’ve been doing summer reading and will soon post my review of Jane Jacobs’ classic 1961 book on urban revitalization The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

In the meantime I was struck by a short passage in the book in which she foretells the death of Detroit.

On the recently bankrupted Detroit, we could call Jacobs fantastically prescient, or we could just as accurately acknowledge that Detroit has been dying for over half a century.

Detroit’s Chapter 9 Bankruptcy is just reaping what was sowed in the 1950s.

At one point in her argument about the need for diversity in cities, Jacobs deplores the Bronx, but notes that Detroit is even worse:

And if the Bronx is a sorry waste of city potentialities, as it is, consider the even more deplorable fact that it is possible for whole cities to exist, whole metropolitan areas, with pitifully little city diversity and choice.  Virtually all of urban Detroit is as weak on vitality and diversity as the Bronx.  It is ring superimposed upon ring of failed gray belts.  Even Detroit’s downtown itself cannot produce a respectable amount of diversity.  It is dispirited and dull, and almost deserted by seven o’clock of an evening.

 

Please also see my review of Jane Jacob’s fascinating Systems of Survival – A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics 

Post read (28694) times.

The Meaning of Jon Corzine

monopoly-go-to-jailWith the announcement that MF Global Trustee (and former FBI chief) Louis J. Freeh will charge Jon Corzine for failing in his duty to oversee the company, the meaning of Jon Corzine shifts once again.

Prior to this announcement, I understood the meaning of Corzine primarily through the following investment aphorism:[1]

“One of the worst things that can happen to you or a client is an early investment that wins big. You will become overconfident of your abilities and proceed to lose much more in the future through imprudent decisions than you initially made on the winner.”

Corzine’s career is the epitome of this wisdom, although he combined it with an uncanny ability to “fail upwards.”  A few salient points in his timeline illustrate his pattern.

The 1994 failure in Goldman’s Fixed Income department

1. He made partner as a government bond trader in the ‘80s, and later managing Goldman’s entire bond trading operation, but Corzine ramped up fixed income risk just when the wrong moment hit.

Interest rates rose sharply in 1994, prompting a bloody massacre of fixed income departments on Wall Street, including an existential threat to Goldman’s survival, due to losses.[2]  Instead of firing Corzine for his astonishing imprudence, the partnership felt it had no choice but to elevate Corzine to Chief Executive, all the better to unwind the level of risk in the fixed income department.  His elevation illustrated another finance aphorism:[3]

“If you owe the bank $1,000., they own you.  If you owe the bank $100 million, you own them.”

Corzine, as described in William Cohan’s Money and Power, How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World, in a sense ‘owned the bank,’ as the partnership could not afford to lose him due to its exposure to rising interest rates.  He was a massive risk taker in the lead-up to 1994, making extraordinary money in 1992 and 1993.  But when it all turned bad, instead of being fired, Corzine was rewarded with the top job at Goldman, paired with Hank Paulson to temper Corzine’s risk appetite.[4]

Summer of 1998, Long Term Capital Management, and Corzine’s attempted rogue portfolio trade

2. With the August 1998 Russian ruble-bond default and Solomon Brothers’ swap desk liquidation, most of Wall Street faced major exposure to the insolvent Long Term Capital Management, the first Too-Big-To-Fail hedge fund.  The New York Federal Reserve attempted a private sector “bail-in,” requiring cooperation and an infusion of capital from each of the Wall Street firms, via a Godfather-style meeting of the families, hosted by the New York Fed.

Corzine, however, nearly managed to personally blow up the whole bail-in, achieving the rare trick of pissing off not only the rest of Wall Street but the entire Goldman partnership as well.

While the Fed urged cooperation between banks, Corzine attempted a sideswipe of the portfolio out from under the rest of the Street.  He secretly negotiated a purchase of Long Term Capital’s entire portfolio using Goldman’s capital[5], presumably believing the firm could make a profit by taking on the risk of the illiquid trades.

This attempt, ultimately unsuccessful, came at a delicate time for financial markets, suffering unexpectedly large losses on Russia and exposure to LTCM.

Goldman, in particular, had been planning an IPO that Fall, which Corzine’s actions undermined.  The IPO was delayed by market conditions, but also by the frightening style of rogue trading risk which Corzine engendered with his move.  The firm leadership of Paulson, along with deputy heads John Thain and John Thornton, engineered a coup against Corzine’s leadership as a result.

Corzine seemingly never saw a risk he didn’t try to take, which ultimately proved too much for the partnership.  They allowed him to stay nominally in charge through Goldman’s IPO in June 1999, with the understanding that Corzine would be professionally sidelined after that.  His political career began shortly after.

MF Global and lack of risk controls

3. After unremarkable stints as Senator and Governor of New Jersey[6], Corzine landed the top job at MF Global, a medium-sized brokerage.

We now know Corzine continued his pattern of 1994 and 1998, in which he doubled-down and tripled-down on risks, in the face of extraordinary losses.  Although his trading led to huge losses, somehow his ability to fail upwards did not derail his own personal career.

Up until MF Global became the eighth largest bankruptcy of all time, the meaning of Corzine seemed to be about his almost Forrest Gump-like success, in the face of amazing failure.  His Midwestern affable, bearded, demeanor masked an unlimited appetite for investment risk.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but either way Corzine kept on moving upward.

We know in retrospect that Corzine’s pattern of unrelenting risk-taking continued at MF Global, and that ultimately some wrong-way bets on European sovereign bonds pushed the firm into chapter 11 bankruptcy.

We also know some $1.6 Billion in customer funds were misplaced in the final days of MF Global, for which I’ve argued Corzine should be in jail.

A new meaning of Jon Corzine

Following the debacle of MF Global, and in the light of the 2008 credit crisis, however, Corzine’s career came to represent something darker and more insidious.

Unlike failed chief executives Dick Fuld of Lehman Brothers, or Jimmy Cayne of Bear Stearns, Corzine actually oversaw the misplacement of customer funds, not just the destruction of shareholder value.

We forgive – mostly – the leaders who drove their firms into the ground through errors in judgment, or risk management, like Fuld and Cayne.  Shareholders lost, but shareholders took equity risk and our system rightly allows for losses like that.

Fuld and Cayne lost personal fortunes invested in their own firms, as they should have, and suffered for the loss in their reputation.[7]

But we should not forgive those who commit the fiduciary sin of misplacing customer funds, like Corzine.

I make a distinction between these so that we do not lose sight of the different types of losses, and the consequences.  It bothered me, up until now, that Corzine was not pursued more aggressively for the loss of customer funds.

Too Big To Fail executives

For me, Corzine additionally offered the ultimate lie to the public about executive compensation.  Namely, if you’re so essential to your business that you deserve, say, $12.1 million per year in good times,[8] how can you not retain the liability and responsibility when things go horribly wrong?

In what way did you earn the upside profitability, but not deserve the downside liability?

If you’re so good at what you do, then you need to be held personally liable when $1.6 Billion in customer funds go missing.

All of which is to say that I’m extremely pleased to see MF Global Trustee suing Corzine for his responsibility in the failure of his firm.

MF Global, the firm, was not Too-Big-To-Fail when it went under in September 2011.

Jon Corzine, the executive, until now represented a type of CEO who could earn profits and bonuses in the good years, without suffering personal consequences when things went wrong.

With the latest news, however, I’m encouraged that at least one Too-Big-To-Fail executive will suffer the consequences.

 

Please also see Arrest Jon Corzine Now

And Update on Jon Corzine by the MF Global Trustee

And One more rant on Jon Corzine

Corzine pariah


[1] All credit for this aphorism to financial planner David Hultstrom, whose ‘Ruminations on Being a Financial Professional’ is the best collection of pithy and wise investment advice I’ve ever seen collected in one place.  See especially pages 9-12.

[2] Incidentally, I’m not in the prognostication business, but when you look at this simple chart of fixed income over the past 50 years, you see we’re at the very bottom of the rate cycle with very little to go from here.  No risk manager alive has ever dealt with a massive move upward in rates, only short spurts in a secular move to lower rates.  When the trend reverses, it will by U-G-L-Y.

[3] Attributed in different variations to John Paul Getty as well as John Maynard Keynes.

[4] I didn’t work in Goldman’s fixed income department until 1997, at which point Corzine ran the firm as senior partner, along with Hank Paulson from investment banking.  Corzine was the bearded, affable, sweater-vest guy who would occasionally come down to the bond trading floor.

[5] Matched with capital from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

[6] An associate of mine who dealt with Governor Corzine frequently complained about Corzine’s leadership in New Jersey.  Although in agreement with his political persuasion, he found Corzine unwise politically and inconsistent to deal with.

[7] I actually wish we had more Japanese-style “begging of forgiveness” for corporate failure by chief executives.  The promise of public shaming might help temper risk appetite.

[8] Corzine’s scheduled final executive package, before he wisely offered it back, in the wake of the Ch. 11 filing of MF Global.

Post read (5755) times.

The USA of I.O.U.

usa of iouEvery once in a while I read a finance article that sticks in my head and never goes away.  An article about the historical intersection of debt and the United States from the New Yorker from four years ago by Jill Lepore is just one of these.[1]

The USA of IOU

Jill Lepore’s article explains that in many ways the United States was founded of the debtors, by the debtors, for the debtors.

We know from English literature that the United States represented a fresh start for insolvents from the lower and upper classes, which makes sense when we learn that both Dickens’ father went to debtor’s prison and Trollope’s father fled England to avoid it.

What I didn’t know is that as many as two-thirds of Europeans arriving in the Colonies were debtors, paying their way as indentured servants.  The colonial governments of Virginia and North Carolina for their part, eager for laborers, passed incentives by promising 5 years’ worth of debt protection.  The founder of Georgia, James Oglethorpe, specifically started the colony as a debtor’s refuge in 1732, as an alternative to English debtors’ prison.

Lepore makes the interesting comment that Founding Fathers Jefferson and Washington were so up to their necks in debt to London bankers that the Declaration of Independence from England not only served democratic Enlightenment ideals but also their own balance sheets.[2]

Debtor’s prison

Before reading Lapore’s article I had no idea that the English tradition of locking up debtors in prison jumped the Atlantic and came to the American colonies and the young United States.  Debtors through colonial times and the first 40 years of the Republic routinely got locked up in brutal prisons, – often for very small amounts.  There the debtor would stay, half-starved and dependent upon alms from passers-by, until someone – usually a relative – paid the debt.

New York became the first state in the nation to outlaw debtors’ prisons in 1831, paving the way for other states to follow suit.

Debtors’ prisons largely predated proper bankruptcy law, which makes sense as bankruptcy would always be preferable to prison.

Bankruptcy for Traders vs. Everybody Else

You are not going to believe this[3], but in the 1800 to 1830 period, financial traders typically received preferable treatment, by law, over everybody else, when it came to insolvency.

If you were a stockbroker in 1800s Wall Street, for example, or you engaged in financing merchandise shipping and trade, or trading in agricultural commodity futures[4], you could declare bankruptcy if the business went awry.  But, if you were not a financier, you had no way of getting clear of your debts, and you might face debtors’ prison.

In essence when debts became overwhelming, Lepore explains, a bankruptcy law in 1800 allowed financiers to declare bankruptcy and receive a fresh start, freed of their debts.  Presumably lawmakers justified this disparity through a logic similar to today’s “Too Big To Fail” principal.  If the brokerage houses in turn of the 19th Century Wall Street couldn’t work through their financial distress, well then my goodness, what would happen to the economy????[5]

Since the bankruptcy law only applied to traders, everybody else was liable to be thrown into debtors’ prison.  Indefinitely, in fact, until their debts got paid.  Not until 1841 did Congress pass a permanent bankruptcy law so that ordinary folks could declare bankruptcy in the event of insolvency.[6]

So, if you were wondering whether the bailout of Wall Street in 2008 while Main Street suffered represented the nadir of financial inequality and injustice, you’d be wrong. Early 19th Century injustices were even worse. There, doesn’t that feel better now?

debtors prison



[2] Before reading Lepore’s piece I knew about the historical train of thought that the Founding Fathers were greatly motivated by selfish private interests, such as keeping taxes low and protecting their own private property, something that British sovereignty increasingly impinged upon in the years leading up to the Declaration of Independence.  As a recovering banker, however, I find the we’re-up-to-our-necks-in-debt-let’s-cut-ties-with-our-bankers argument plausibly intriguing.  I’m sure Jefferson and Washington were great guys and all, but any time you can simultaneously establish a radical new experiment in non-Monarchical government based on Enlightenment ideals and wipe out your personally huge debts at the same time?  Wow, I mean, that’s a two-for-one.  You kind of have to do it.

[3] Yes, that’s sarcasm.

[4] Yes, the concept and use of commodity futures are not hundreds, but thousands of years old.

[5] Does this sound familiar to anyone?

[6] Lepore relates the story of a clever insolvent who found a loophole in the bankruptcy law of 1800 that offered unequal treatment between traders and everyone else.  With extraordinarily large debts that had previously landed him in jail, her hero John Pintard managed to get a temporary reprieve from prison through a loophole in the debtors’ prison laws.  He took out an advertisement in a newspaper that he was doing business as a stock broker.  Pintard then traded a single stock, pocketed the fifty-eight cents profit (later donated to charity), and filed for bankruptcy as a trader.

Post read (9242) times.