Matt Hutchins, who runs a business rebuilding muscle cars in East New Market, Maryland, had a similar story, minus the medical problems:

“We were going to just pay it right off. We didn’t expect to drag it out,” he said. “And then the whole economy just dropped off.”

What I like are the quotes from these salt-of-the-earth businesspeople:

“They accused me of operating a separate terminal,” he said. “I was like, ‘Whoa. I don’t even know how in the heck to even do that.’”

Oh, and this business is not mostly but entirely unregulated.

Great stuff. Thanks to SABEW for helping us get started. Fellow SABEWians: keep ‘em coming. Send links to theauditcjr@gmail.com.

Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014).

Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.