Tom Martino, self-declared Troubleshooter, talks about his bankruptcy, being humbled


"I had three major creditors, including Colony Financial," Martino says. "And Colony was willing to settle with me and allow me to work out management and sales of my property until everything was paid off. But the other two banks -- Colorado Capital, which was one of them that closed, and International Bank -- wouldn't settle." As such, "I filed Chapter 7 to get relief from those main three creditors. I will give up all of the properties that they financed, and they'll go back to each respective lender."

Despite the WhyIWentBroke.com website's name, "I'm not broke," he insists -- and he disputes the $78 million liabilities total (if not his assets, listed at just over $1.3 million). "I'm guessing that my portfolio went from plus-$22 million to negative-$35 million on paper. But, of course, paper is real. And now, the trustee takes a look at me, and all of my non-exempt assets go to him."

This scenario has led to plenty of reflection on his part. "If you take the last thirty years of my life, every penny that I've invested in real estate I've lost. So therefore, I've wasted thirty years, and that does change someone. You look back and say, 'What could I have done better?'"

tom martino efusjon.jpg
Martino pimping one of his many enterprises, a beverage called Efusjon.
But even though "I got my butt whupped," he says, "I don't believe in giving up -- and I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me. I made a lot of money, and unfortunately, I didn't exit when I probably should. You just keep going and hope you can maintain your property, but sometimes you can't. If everyone knew when to exit, no one would have a problem."

Martino says he's been sharing this cautionary tale on his show for many months, and he thinks the experience has made him better at his job. "It adds a whole different perspective to what I do," he says. "And since I started talking about it, I've had more people sympathize and more people friendly to me. I've had people say they've gone through similar things, and a lot of e-mails from people sharing similar stories. I think it's humanized me a bit. I used to talk about my deals in a positive way, so it would be hypocritical not to talk about the problems.

"Luckily, this all happened after I had children. After I had children, I found out that there are more important things in life than money."

"The idea of bankruptcy is to get a fresh start, not to sentence people to life," he adds. Yet he believes "there needs to be a system in place where people with my level of income should be able to work out plans that are different than bankruptcy. Many creditors want all or nothing, and unfortunately, that forces you into this. And it's not something anyone wants to do."

Page down to see the aforementioned bankruptcy filing, case summary and text from WhyIWentBroke.com.

My Voice Nation Help
156 comments
CSC
CSC

This discussion is so much like the old Troubleshooter message board except for one thing...now there is only one Martino or Martino Mini Me on it, instead of a handful of them.  Ten or so yrs ago his msg board was full of people who loved to regurgitate buzz phrases like "take personal responsibility," "you shoulda done your homework first," "get over it," "get a life," and so on.  So unoriginal.  Now the shoe's on the other foot, and Tom thinks his economic class deserves special treatment in bankruptcy.  So hypocritical, arrogant, predictable.  As for how he lost his fortune, I saw the housing bust coming, so why didn't Tom?  Why didn't he "do his homework?" 

NotGuest
NotGuest

Boys, boys: I really think it's unfair to characterize the Troble Defender as having had his ass handed to him. Besides, most of us know that he's renting his ass out during Fleet Week on Fire Island, flatbacking his way to liquidity. Talk about job creation! Then again, if he isn't getting assfucked yet, we can all sincerely hope that he will be very soon, with all if the people he's fleeced over the years running a train on that booty till he can hangar his plane and chopper in it. 

Me
Me

Seriously, Poor Tom is now bemoaning the screwed up bankruptcy laws that his political ideology put in place.  Well, you reap what you sew.  For far too long people like him have turned their back on people when they were dying from lack of healthcare nor the ability to even find a job that paid a living wage.  Well Tom I only hope this is your "Come to Jesus Moment".  Empathy... try it.  If not, oh well, you losing everything seems to be like karmatic revenge.  I don't know how many conservatives convert to being liberals once they too fall on hard times.  You are not an island Mr Martino.  Ironically, the only thing Tom regrets is not getting out of the market in time.  Let me translate that - meaning that he did not sell his bad assets to another idiot before he became that idiot.  Predatory capitalism.... does not do society or a country good.

PublicRecordsareFun
PublicRecordsareFun

Creditor's meeting, October 7, 8:30 a.m., 1999 Broadway, Suite 830, Room A.

The Troubleshooter goes under oath.  Only Creditors can ask questions, but it's open to the public.  Think you're humbled now?...wait until October 7.  Hahahahahaha.

Guest Who
Guest Who

Three Words.

Omni Financial Services

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

Ok going to lunch now. It was fun playing with all of you socialist commies here on Westword.

Oh and yes... I will be having french fries with my meal!

Have a great day!!

Guest
Guest

Wow, quite a bit of denial out of  Tom on his own show and Boyle’s.  He glossed over time and again that taxpayers may untimatelybe bailing out the funky banking that may have made his real estate loanspossible and blames others for trying to buy the property in question forpennies on the dollar, when he wanted to do the same himself.  No one is losing money due to his loans, Tomsays at 11.50 am today.  Wow. Didn’t he also say that his wife’s ownincome, money, and credit bought the home he lives in? (And didn’t he parse andrevise that later?)  I hope he is readyto prove all this now that he’s put that on the table.  He’s putting that information out there.  No one else did.  And tells us this is all about jealousy?  He pulls out the poor familyof immigrants card?  He says don’t resent him for working hard and making money?  AsEric and others may have said, it is not jealousy.  It is about hypocrisy  He better be right that taxpayers are not going to lose any money and other claims.  He's pretty bold to say them.  He's stepping in pretty deep with his own comments.

Mike
Mike

Glad I never listened to that fool!

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

I should have known better than comment on anything on Westword. Just full of liberal commies and socialists setting around on unemployment and entitlements smoking their dubies.

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

Ohhh so classy! Bet you dont have near the balls to do it. Just a talker

Guest
Guest

Don't you mean "freedom fries?" French is so gay and liberal.

guest
guest

it's more like... I've have had my ass handed to me by people who don't buy my bullshit so I'm gonna go whine to someone who cares. BY TOM

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

oooohhh.... awwwwwww.... where did you get your law degree? WalMart? Oh wait... liberals dont shop at WalMarts. How about King Soopers?

Guest
Guest

So why is it that you're the one who sounds high, Tom?

Eric
Eric

Ya mean like you?

Guest
Guest

So you admit you're Tom! I'll be sure to print out your comments here and have copies ready for your creditors on Oct. 7.

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

Oh yeah... I've had my ass handed to me. Man I feel so broken spirited. God you're a pathetic liberal commie. Typical also. When you can't win a debate on your won you act as if everyone is on your side and then resort to way out in left field comments from la la land.

 

Eric
Eric

trouble defender, other than the snide, teabag elitist nose in the air attitude in your reply to Guest, can you point out any possible errors and/or ommissions in his post?

Or were you able to focus enough to even get through it?

But I'm keeping you from "job creating",

Thanks for playing, you "captain of industry".

Hmmmmmm
Hmmmmmm

Am I the only one who finds the way "Trouble Defender" writes to be crazy-similar to how Tom Martino talks? Really, Tom, get back to work.

Guest
Guest

This from a guy who doesn't know where the last bank bailout started?  Let me give you a hint...it wasn't under Obama.  But I enjoy when people bring politics into something that isn't really about that.  Well done.

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

"So why is it that you're the one who sounds high, Tom?"Yup... that's usually the liberal type of response. Cant respond with truth and facts so you just go way out in la la land with a random comment. Great job!!

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

Nope. I'm actually sitting here enjoying the fruits of my capitalist labor. Thinking about going out to have lunch with some other capitalists...

rutgersgrad
rutgersgrad

I've been overseas working for a few years and just recently returned. I grew up in Colorado and remember Martino's name from my childhood days. I heard he filed bankruptcy, so I did a few Internet searches to get caught up and stumbled across this article.

I just spent the last 30 minutes going through these comments, and a few things are very clear:

1) Trouble Defender is clearly Tom Martino. I have worked with CEOs for about a decade now, and I can say with 100 percent certainty that not one of these "job creators" would spend time commenting on a weekly alternative newspaper's website about a story that doesn't directly concern them. They would be, uh, working. And they certainly wouldn't be foolish enough to use this type of language. So it's hard to believe claims that Trouble Defender is some business titan, or even an executive at all. The tone and style of Trouble Defender's posts (the ones where he's trying to make a point, not attacking someone on the site) are similar to Martino's postings on his own website.

2) Guest's post about printing out these comments and giving them to creditors spooked Martino, as he comes across as a bumbling, insensitive, insulting, arrogant and crass fool. If the Trouble Defender's comments are traced to Martino it would be very damaging. In fact, it would completely destroy Martino.

3) Any true "captain of industry" would never act this way on a public forum, calling people  "pusses," "losers," "socialist commies," "queers," "druggies" and "POS liberals." Yup, a regular ol' Jack Welch we got here.

4) When a commenter has backed him into a corner, he unleashes a rant about what he assumes is the background, lifestyle and political leanings of the poster - without actually addressing the point.

5) Case in point: "Only under Obama it does since all he does is bail out banks and companies with our tax dollars." Yet when several people point out that the banks were bailed out under Bush - pointing out a clear, striking error in his statement..again, HIS statement - he doesn't actually address the comments and just goes on a rant about this being a site for Obama-loving liberals. Sorry, Mr. Martino, but people pointed out the logical error in your sentence. And it's a rather huge error.

6) He clearly doesn't understand why some people would take issue with paid endorsements (as opposed to advertising). I don't have a problem with his site - as long as it clearly states that the companies have paid to be on the site and that they are not recommended based purely on personal experience with the business. But if that's not clear, and people are duped into thinking that Martino recommends these companies because he truly investigated them and their services, then I have a big problem with it.

7) There might be some value in his site. But his arguments on this site don't stand up very well. For instance, he says the biggest problem with review sites like Yelp is that people don't know they're getting ripped off. How is it any different on his site? For instance, one of the companies on his site is Applewood Plumbing and Heating. Guess what? They tried to rip me off royally twice last year. They charged me $750 to snake a drain in my kitchen. I had no choice once they came over, given that I was renting my place out and was overseas at the time, so I had to get it fixed quickly. After they finished, the buy said I likely need new disposal too, and he gave me a quote of $800 for that project. I was able to have another company come over that same day and do it for $150. The second company told me that most plumbing businesses typically charge $100-$200 to snake a drain. So I got royally screwed, yet the company is on Martino's list.

8) I have no doubt that Martino genuinely wants to help consumers, or at least at one point in his career he did. But somewhere along the way he succumbed to greed and hubris. Making lots of money became the main goal. Instead of blaming everyone else for his troubles  - the banks, the president, the economy, etc. - he should take a hard look in the mirror.

You are in your 50s, Mr. Martino. It's not too late to change. Get back in touch with what really matters. You have destroyed your reputation, and you have no one to blame but yourself.

Guest
Guest

Tom has always been a thin-skinned prick. It's only increased now that he's exposed as a phony.

Guest
Guest

Trouble Defender, we all know you're Tom Martino. We all know that you just got handed you ass in public. In court and here. So sit down, shut up, and try to pay some of that $78 million you owe. Your own ponzi scheme/house of cards came tumbling down. You're a liar and a whore and god knows what else. Your "humble" shtick convinced no one. You are a sad, greedy, opportunist. Did you really think it wouldn't catch up with you someday? You're Denver's Bernie Madoff. You screwed many people, but you screwed yourself the most, just like Bernie. I hope you do prison time like he is doing. And I know you're scared of that.

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

That's all you could come up with? Wow!! I'm certainly impressed!!

As I'm sure everyone on here is. Bravo oh aware one. Bravo!

Eric
Eric

Would that be "by the way"?

Eric
Eric

Why so sensitive?

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

Ok.

2 possibilities.......................

Either "Eric" was dropped on his head as a baby, or..........................................

"Eric" was just born plain stupid!

You might want to try to do more than researching dumbass... how about you get your face off of your bong and go back to high school for some basic education?

Fuck you!

Eric
Eric

Ok.

2 possibilities.......................

Either "trouble defender" is actually Tom Martino defending yourself through an alias, or..........................................

"trouble defender" needs to check himself out in the mirror before heading out to lunch. That mess on yer nose is from bein' a little too close to the south side of a tom martino headed north.

Also, you might want to try researching before you post, so as to know what the fuck you're talking about.

"Job creator" my ass, you fraud.

Greg1701
Greg1701

TTD, that's a sad waste of a Thursday...

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

Man you are just full of such funny one liners!! Hey... you should be a comedian!!

NOT!! Please just go back to the hole from which you cameth from.

What a loser....

guest
guest

good one tom... you stole that from someone else on this board. what an ass!

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

Hey buy the way... I'm looking for a good car detailer. I need my Porsche detailed. I pay top dollar??!!

Have a great day!

guest
guest

now, we all know you are delusional.

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

Oh man... they sure "tore" me down didnt they! Laughing all the way to lunch!!

Little puss

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

Wow... you must have extra special time while you're watching Jerry Springer to "investigate" all of my level headed thinking comments. Go back to Jerry Springer now little one... grab some kleenex while you're at it so you can clean yourself off after you jerk off to the no teeth guests on there.

guest
guest

you haven't made a single point on this message board.. go back and read it. everytime you spout some bullshit 3 or 4 people tear you down. you have no ability to criticly think.

guest
guest

i guess that lunch is off again.. huh tom?

Eric
Eric

That's not the language a person would expect from a "captain of industry".

Why so sensitive?

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

Teabagger, elitist... all of the typical liberal commie comments. Bet you're a queer too...

Eric
Eric

Concur, Lex, but our "captain of industry" is just a little slow on the old uptake.

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

Like I said.... everything always goes back to Bush. How long has it been since he was Pres? And Oh By The Way... I am not a Bush fan so instead of salivating at the mouth that "You got me" on something... let's stick with the facts. It's ALLLLLL BUSHES FAULT... everythign is.

Lex
Lex

In 2008, our tax dollars were used to bail out banks. Bush was the president. 

It was you who brought up bank bailouts, so I'm pretty sure you're the one who brought Bush into this.

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

Oh yes... now we're going to bring Bush into this. Cause you know.... EVERYTHING is Bushs fault. Obama hold zero responsibility for any of our poor economy. As a matter of fact, Obamas a victim too isnt he?

Eric
Eric

Great post!

Eric
Eric

Then I guess you're admitting you wasted an entire afternoon that you should have used "job creating.

That's not the time management expected of a "captain of industry"

But I'm keeping you from your paper route.

This has been fun though.

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

How many jobs have you created little commie? I bet money...ZERO!!

Just because I've made you look like the little dipshit you are, do you really think questioning my job creating abilities makes you look any smarter?

Ah no... thanks for playing tho!!

Let's not forget...I'm on Westword here... the land of queers, druggies, liberals, commies and socialists. It's not like I'm surrounded by greatness here. I'm the minority on here today. Very few smart people read the Westword online.

Eric
Eric

All kidding aside, taking in to account how stupid you've made yourself out to be in reply after reply on this thread, how in the world do you come off as being even dumber by thinking anyone would believe that you're a job creator?

WTF?

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

So now I'm a greedy capitalist? Ive employed hundreds of people and helped keep them off of welfare and now Im greedy? Hmmm... somehow that doesn't make sense. Can you elaborate?

The Trouble Defender
The Trouble Defender

Awwwww.... poor widdle victim. All you pos liberal whiners need to get a clue.

Diane Bittle
Diane Bittle

Sure do. Greedy capitalists who shift jobs overseas, bust unions and game the stock market until it crashes created a much greater need for them. So at least Tom Martino won't starve to death because of his poor business judgment. Of course, capitalist never take any tax breaks, loopholes, incentives or shelters from the government. Why, that would he as hypocritical as Tom Martino himself.

Eric
Eric

With cash or your food stamp debit card? 

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...