About Mark Martella
Mark Martella was born and raised in the town of Belleville, New Jersey, a suburb of New York City, in a small, tight knit, Italian-American community. Unbeknownst to them at the time, Mark and Carmen’s paths crossed in the early 1980’s as Mark graduated from Seton Hall Prep in 1981, (Carmen’s freshman year). From there, Mark went on to attend Villanova University where he graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and went on to attend Villanova University School of Law where he received his law degree in 1988. He also received his Master’s Degree in Political Science from Rutgers University in 2003.
Listen, we know how important attorney bios are, trust us! However, we also know how important it is for you to learn more about who your attorney is when they aren’t practicing law. So, let us be the first to say, welcome! We encourage you to get to know your attorneys on a personal level.
Who Is Mark When He’s Not Being an Attorney?
When Mark is away from the office, he most often likes to wind down by either cooking or dining out and writing restaurant reviews for his newsletter. Mark’s two favorite cuisines are Italian and BBQ. Cooking is in his blood. His grandfather had a pizzeria just outside of Newark, NJ, and was known as the “Pizza King”. Mark’s mom taught him the family recipes. He loves sharing traditional “Italian Sunday Dinners” with those who were not so fortunate to experience those weekly celebrations growing up.
As a past president of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, Mark also has a passion to help those who have an entrepreneurial spirit. Unfortunately, in his bankruptcy practice, he has seen too many businesses fail, not because they didn’t have a good product or service, but rather, they didn’t have the business skills necessary to be successful. To quote Michael Gerber, author of “The E-Myth”, they were: “too busy working in their business instead of working on their business.” As a result, Mark writes articles and creates videos with tips and tools to help small businesses succeed. Also, he has previously held full day seminars and hosted mastermind groups to help coach small businesses and teach them how to develop habits of success. When it comes to small businesses, his favorite motto is “Learn from the mistakes of others. Don’t be the one making the mistakes others learn from!”
Additionally, he likes to speak to groups and create videos on the importance of financial literacy and how not to let creditors take advantage of you by exposing their manipulation secrets.
Lastly, when Mark wants to totally unplug, he likes to strum his guitar, chill at the beach, sail, fish and travel.
What Is Mark Passionate About?
In 2008, Mark was part of the Charlotte County Chamber’s Leadership Charlotte Class of 2008. As part of the program, the class spends a day visiting community non-profits. That is when he was introduced to The Charlotte County Homeless Coalition. He was so moved by its programs and their impact on the community, that he casually mentioned to one of his classmates that if there was ever an opening on the board, he would be interested in joining. Coincidently, a board seat just happened to open up a week later, and Mark has been involved with the Homeless Coalition since March of 2008. Mark served on the board for 10 years, two as President, and is currently an emeritus member of the board.
The Homeless Coalition is an amazing organization as for over 30 years it has provided services to cover so many different community needs in Charlotte County. For example, it provides shelter to 53 men, women, children and veterans every night, serves over 120 meals a day, has a food pantry that provides over 2,500 meals a year to 500 families, provides counseling services to help people get benefits they are entitled to or set them up with other agencies that can provide the services for health care, addiction and social services. It also provides education to help people get back on their feet as well as serves as an advocate for those who have no voice in the community.
There are two projects that Mark chaired that continue to leave a mark on the Homeless Coalition. Mark recognized that the biggest challenge the organization faced was fundraising and reducing expenses. When Mark fist took over as President, he realized that the $866,000 mortgage was a huge burden, taking away valuable funds that could be used for client services. He therefore created the “87 Freedom Club” to ask people to donate $87 a month ($1,000 a year) to retire the mortgage. The balance is down under $375,000 and an anonymous donor has pledged to match up to $200,000 for every dollar raised before the end of 2021.
The second project was also designed to sure up the Homeless Coalition’s finances. The Coalition was missing a vital revenue stream for all non-profits, earned income. After three years of hard work and fundraising by a team of employees and volunteers, “Fabulous Finds Resale Shop” opened in 2018, providing additional financial support to help prevent hunger and homelessness in Charlotte County.
Mark Martella, Esq.’s Resume
Mark is licensed to practice in all state courts in the state of Florida as well as the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. He is also licensed in the State of New Jersey and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but is not actively practicing in those jurisdictions.
Mark began his career with a 60 attorney firm in Atlantic City, NJ, practicing in the areas of commercial transactions and casino law, where the first transaction he worked on was with the team representing Merv Griffin in his purchase of Resorts Casino from Donald Trump. Knowing that the big firm environment was not where he wanted to spend his career, he eventually moved back home to his roots in North Jersey and formed a partnership with his best friend and fraternity brother in Jersey City, where his practice focused on real estate, estate planning, business law and bankruptcy.
After a vacation on Sanibel Island in October 2003, Mark fell in love with Southwest Florida and decided to leave the cold and cramped confines of Jersey City for sunny Punta Gorda, Florida. However, four days after he closed on his house in August of 2004, he was greeted by Hurricane Charlie. At that point, the snow in Jersey didn’t seem too bad! Fortunately, he got through it relatively unscathed, and joined a title company to start to take advantage of his real estate skills and background. However, when the real estate market crashed, he took the Florida Bar in 2006. Since relocating to Southwest Florida, Mark has focused his practice on helping consumers and small businesses succeed. His areas of practice include, bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, debt negotiation, estate planning, business law and consulting.
Knowing no-one when he relocated to Florida, Mark got involved with the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, first as a member, then as a board member. He served as Vice President of Leadership Charlotte and eventually served as President. While serving as President in 2011-2012, Mark Chaired two programs which still exist and he continues to be a part of today. The first is the annual, all day Chamber Business Expo called “The Hottest Business Day in Paradise” which brings over 100 chamber business together at the Charlotte Harbor Event Center to display their services to the community. The second program is the “Leadership Charlotte Hall of Fame” which recognizes graduates of the program who after five years or more continued to demonstrate the spirit of being leaders in the community by giving back to both their community and career.
In addition to the boards of the Charlotte County Chamber and the Homeless Coalition, Mark has served on the board and as President of the Charlotte County Bar Association, on the board and as Chair of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee, and on the board of the United Way of Charlotte County.
In his over 30 years as an attorney both in New Jersey and Florida, Mark has helped thousands of clients facing business and personal financial challenges. He has written dozens of articles and filmed over 100 videos on these topics, and has published his first book: “Bankruptcy in Plain English: The Ultimate Layman’s Guide to Taking the Fear and Mystery out of the Bankruptcy Process”. Mark has been interviewed by CNN Money, local newspapers and radio stations, both in his areas of expertise and, as President of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce and the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition.
• Foreclosure Defense
• Debt Negotiation
• Estate Planning
• Business Law
• B.S., Villanova University, 1985
• J.D., Villanova University School of Law, 1988
• M.S., Rutgers University, 2003
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
• State of Florida
• United States District Court, Middle District of Florida
• State of New Jersey
• Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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