Leon I. Sny­der

Trained as an in­ves­ti­ga­tor dur­ing World War II, he went into col­lec­tions field, founded his own firm with his wife

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - OBITUARIES - By Jac­ques Kelly

Leon Isaac Sny­der, who owned a debt col­lec­tion busi­ness and was a na­tional of­fi­cial in his field, died of heart dis­ease Nov. 25 at Ar­ling­ton West Nurs­ing Cen­ter. The res­i­dent of North­west Bal­ti­more’s Glen neigh­bor­hood was 95.

Born in Bal­ti­more and raised on East Bal­ti­more Street, he was the son of Dr. Sa­muel Sny­der, a gen­eral prac­ti­tioner, and his wife, Ethel. He was a grad­u­ate of the Univer­sity of Bal­ti­more.

He mar­ried his high school sweet­heart, Beatrice Levin, whom he met when she was a West­ern High School stu­dent.

Mr. Sny­der served in the Army dur­ing World War II and was as­signed to San Fran­cisco, where he lived at the Pre­sidio.

“It turned out he could type, and his com­man­der took him out on a call one day. The com­man­der was im­pressed with my fa­ther and sent him to the Army in­ves­ti­ga­tors school,” said his son, Dr. Richard H. Sny­der, chair of in­ter­nal medicine at the More­house School of Medicine in Atlanta.

A sergeant, he was as­signed to the crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion divi­sion of the provost mar­shal in the West­ern Com­mand.

Af­ter his mil­i­tary ser­vice, he went into the debt col­lec­tions field in Bal­ti­more.

“My fa­ther was a nat­u­ral in­ves­ti­ga­tor and kept up his li­cense through­out most of his life,” said his son, who lives in Macon, Ge­or­gia. “As part of his busi­ness he would meet peo­ple at their homes. He called them credit ad­just­ment calls. He asked the right ques­tions, had an em­pa­thy for his clients and tried to get to the bot­tom of things.”

Mr. Sny­der be­came the as­sis­tant loan man­ager at Uni­ver­sal Fi­nance Com­pany and held the same post at the old Sch­leis­ner women’s ap­parel firm at Howard and Saratoga streets. He later joined Blum’s De­part­ment Store and be­came the credit op­er­a­tions man­ager of Bal­ti­more Credit Ser­vice.

In 1958, he founded the Credit Ad­just­ment Bureau of Bal­ti­more Inc. at his home.

“He founded it with my mother on the din­ing room ta­ble of our home on Pem­bridge Av­enue,” his son said. “He didn’t talk about his busi­ness much. He was se­ri­ous and worked long hours. It was his life. My mom worked along­side him and ran the of­fice. They were a great pair.”

Mr. Sny­der later bought a prop­erty on West Belvedere and Chal­grove av­enues to house his op­er­a­tion, which col­lected debts for Bal­ti­more de­part­ment stores, as well as banks and util­i­ties in the Mid­dle At­lantic area and the Ch­e­sa­peake and Po­tomac Tele­phone Co.

He worked as a col­lec­tion agency and did con­sumer ad­just­ments. He also in­ves­ti­gated credit fraud.

Mr. Sny­der worked un­til he was 82.

Mr. Sny­der was a past na­tional pres­i­dent of The Amer­i­can Col­lec­tors As­so­ci­a­tions Inc. and the past na­tional chair­man of the Amer­i­can Col­lec­tors As­so­ci­a­tion Ed­u­ca­tion Coun­cil. He was a past di­rec­tor of the Bal­ti­more Con­sumer Credit As­so­ci­a­tion.

He also ran col­lec­tion in­dus­try train­ing sem­i­nars and taught ac­counts re­cov­ery and man­age­ment sem­i­nars to own­ers, man­agers and em­ploy­ees of col­lec­tion agen­cies.

He worked on the cre­ation of the Mary­land Col­lec­tion Agency Li­cens­ing Law and met with Mary­land leg­is­la­tors to adopt a bill to li­cense col­lec­tion agen­cies. He was later ap­pointed to the Col­lec­tion Agency Li­cens­ing Board and served 24 years.

Mr. Sny­der par­tic­i­pated in the de­vel­op­ment of the Fair Debt Col­lec­tions Prac­tices Act, a fed­eral law.

He was the re­cip­i­ent of the Amer­i­can Col­lec­tors As­so­ci­a­tion’s Paul Bun­yan Award. He wrote ar­ti­cles in trade pub­li­ca­tions re­lat­ing to the col­lec­tions field.

Mr. Sny­der was a past com­man­der of Amer­i­can Le­gion Post Num­ber 32.

He was chair­man of the board and pres­i­dent of the Beth Ja­cob Con­gre­ga­tion and pre­pared and pre­sented pul­pit talks when clergy was away.

“He loved work­ing at Beth Ja­cob. He felt very close to the syn­a­gogue,” his son said.

In ad­di­tion to his son, sur­vivors in­clude four grand­chil­dren and four great-grand­chil­dren. His wife of nearly 70 years, Beatrice Levin, died in 2011. A daugh­ter, Elaine Aben­droth, died in 2001.

Ser­vices were held Nov. 26 at Ar­ling­ton Ceme­tery of Chizuk Amuno Con­gre­ga­tion.

Leon Sny­der and his wife founded the Credit Ad­just­ment Bureau of Bal­ti­more Inc.

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