October 23, 1966 |
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Education||Northern Arizona University Cornell University|
|Occupation||Author, Publisher of HousingWire magazine|
|Notable credit(s)||Publisher, HousingWire magazine, President, The LTV Group|
A subprime lender, Bitner collaborated with mortgage brokers from 2000 to 2005. Bitner and his friends started a mortgage business, Plano-based Kellner Mortgage Investments, in September 2000. Kellner was funded through a $175,000 mortgage on his parents' home. They hoped to aid people who lacked the financial standing to receive loans, and in the process, gain profits after those people became homeowners. Each year, the company loaned $250 million to people. After closing loans, the company would sell them to larger lenders, including Countrywide Financial. Bitner received a six-figure salary for several years beginning in 2002. In 2008, he stated: "Most of that income I never actually saw because I had to put it back into the company to capitalize the loans."
In his 2008 book, Confessions of a Subprime Lender, he discussed how their salutary aims were overridden by a hunger for financial gain. Brokers "gamed the system", using poor criteria to grant loans. Bitner believed that many people were accepting loans they could not pay off. Bitner exited from his company in 2005 because he felt uncomfortable about the daring loans. The two friends with whom he started the company purchased his shares because they wished to gradually, instead of immediately, close the company. His former company failed in 2007, one of the many casualties during the numerous defaults early that year. Julian Delasantellis of Asia Times Online wrote in a review of the book that "Bitner is admirable in that he is willing to take a measure of blame onto himself, when so many others are flailing about furiously trying to do the opposite, but I still think he judges himself somewhat harshly."
Bitner self-published the 2008 book Greed, Fraud & Ignorance: A Subprime Lender's Look at the Mortgage Collapse to reveal his story about the 2007 mortgage collapse. Newsweek said that his book "conveys the authority of someone who was in the trenches where this dirty work was going on".
Bitner attended Northern Arizona University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in public relations. He also attended Cornell University, where he earned a master's degree in communication. He earned both degrees through a scholarships in debate and public speaking.
Bitner is married and has two children.
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- Christie, Les (2008-07-15). "Confessions of a subprime lender: 3 bad loans". CNNMoney.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-26. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
- "Confessions of a Subprime Lender". Newsweek. 2008-03-11. Archived from the original on 2011-08-26. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
- Delasantellis, Julian (2008-11-08). "Book Review: Subprime – an (im)morality tale". Asia Times Online. Archived from the original on 2011-08-26. Retrieved 2011-08-26.