His first venture became one of Tulsa's most notorious business failures. Now people are asking what's wrong with Bill Bartmann's latest company, Neighborhood Financial Services.
News on Six business reporter Steve Berg says we got calls from people who said the doors at Neighborhood Financial Center at 21st and Sheridan were covered up and locked tight. So we tried to find out what happened?
That's the question that many regular Neighborhood Financial Center customers were asking when they walked up to do business Monday. "Well, I come in Friday and got insurance on my truck and was gonna come back today and upgrade it to full coverage and apparently they've closed the door since Friday."
Michael Thomas: â€œI come by here to pay a bill, an electric bill, and I didn't know these guys had moved. I mean I don't even know what's going on to tell you the truth." The sign on the door directs people to NFC's corporate office at 82nd and Harvard.
Most we talked to say that's a drive they'd rather not make. "I'd rather not. If I could find someplace closer, that would be a whole lot better." "This right here, this is where it needs to be, this is convenient for me."
As we discovered though, people will not have to make the drive, because NFC is no longer in the check cashing and utility payment business. Chief Operating Officer Wayne Learned says the business was doing okay, but says it was the most labor intensive and had the least return. "So we have made the decision to discontinue the check cashing and utility payment businesses and focus all of our energies on our credit counseling Debt Discounters of America and on our Loan Operations."
The Loan Operation will be the only function that continues under the NFC name. Learned says the good news is that the Debt Discounters business is growing rapidly.
We talked with Bartmann's spokesman, and he says the change has nothing to do with Bartmann's high-profile legal troubles. He's currently under indictment for the collapse of Commercial Financial Services or CFS.