Life was good for Jorge Newbery. A high school dropout and serial entrepreneur, he had built a real estate empire of over 4,000 apartments across the USA. Taking risks and working tirelessly were the ingredients to his rise. But, he took one risk too many.
An ice storm on Christmas Eve 2004 triggered his collapse. He was maligned, publicly shamed, and financially gutted – even arrested. He lost everything and ended up $26 million in debt.
As he struggled to regain his footing, he spent what he could to get others to lift him up. But no one did. He discovered that there was only one person who could build him back up. To move forward, he crafted a new life’s purpose: to help others crushed by unaffordable debts rebuild themselves
Burn Zones is a story of playing life’s bad hands and overcoming adversity against the greatest of challenges. It’s an inspirational story of a man who was pushed to his mental and physical limits, and came out the other side even stronger.
And, most of all, it’s a lesson that you can do the same.
Jorge P. Newbery is a successful entrepreneur, distressed debt and real estate investor, endurance athlete, and author. He turned around some of the country’s most troubled housing complexes in amassing a portfolio of 4,000 apartments across the USA from 1992 – 2005. However, a natural disaster triggered a financial collapse in which he lost everything and emerged over $26 million in debt. He never filed bankruptcy. Instead he developed strategies to gain leverage over creditors to settle debts at huge discounts, or simply did not pay them at all. He is a veteran of dozens of court battles, once fighting a creditor to the Missouri Court of Appeals. The entire debt (over $5,800,000) was inadvertently extinguished due to sloppy legal work.
As an athlete, Newbery raced bicycles for a living from 1986 – 1990 as a Category 1. He competed in the 1988 Olympic Trials and was 4th in the Spenco 500, a nonstop 500-mile bike race televised on ESPN. He also raced for the Costa Rican National Team in the Tour of Mexico, was 2nd in the 1987 Southern California State Championship Road Race, plus held the Green Jersey in the 1987 Vulcan Tour. Newbery also runs and has completed over 70 marathons and ultramarathons. In 2012, he was the overall winner of the Chicago Lakefront 50K. At 46-years-old, he was double the age of the 24-year-old second-place finisher.
Today, Newbery helps others crushed by unaffordable debts rebuild their lives. Jorge is Founder and CEO of American Homeowner Preservation (AHP), a socially responsible hedge fund which purchases nonperforming mortgages from banks at big discounts, then shares the discounts with families to settle their mortgages at terms many borrowers find “too good to be true.” Jorge’s response to the nation’s mortgage crisis creates meaningful social and financial returns for investors, while keeping families in their homes. AHP’s mission is to facilitate win-win-win solutions for homeowners, investors and lenders.
“Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands” is Jorge’s autobiographical account of how he was pushed to his physical and mental limits during his time of strife, and how he overcame the challenges he faced. Jorge’s latest book is: “Debt Cleanse: How To Settle Your Unaffordable Debts For Pennies On The Dollar (And Not Pay Some At All),” which provides step-by-step help for families overwhelmed by debt.
Jorge is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and other publications, and speaks regularly on debt, investing, finance and housing issues.