Debtors Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from compulsive debting.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop incurring unsecured debt. There are no dues or fees for D.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.
D.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes.
Our primary purpose is to stop debting one day at a time and to help other compulsive debtors to stop incurring unsecured debt.
1. Being unclear about your financial situation. Not knowing account balances, monthly expenses, loan interest rates, fees, fines, or contractual obligations.
2. Frequently “borrowing” items such as books, pens, or small amounts of money from friends and others, and failing to return them.
3. Poor saving habits. Not planning for taxes, retirement or other not-recurring but predictable items, and then feeling surprised when they come due a “live for today, don’t worry about tomorrow” attitude.
4. Compulsive shopping: Being unable to pass up a “good deal”; making impulsive purchases; leaving price tags on clothes so they can be returned; not using items you’ve purchased.
5. Difficulty in meeting basic financial or personal obligations, and/or an inordinate sense of accomplishment when such obligations are met.
6. A different feeling when buying things on credit than when paying cash, a feeling of being in the club, of being accepted, of being grown up.
7. Living in chaos and drama around money: Using one credit card to pay another; bouncing checks; always having a financial crises to contend with.
8. A tendency to live on the edge: Living paycheck to paycheck; taking risks with health and car insurance coverage; writing checks hoping money will appear to cover them.
9. Unwarranted inhibition and embarrassment in what should be a normal discussion of money.
10. Overworking or under earning: Working extra hours to earn money to pay creditors; using time inefficiently; taking jobs below your skill and education level.
11. An unwillingness to care for and value yourself: Living in self-imposed deprivation; denying your basic needs in order to pay your creditors.
12. A feeling or hope that someone will take care of you if necessary, so that you won’t really get into serious financial trouble, that there will always be someone you can turn to.
© 2002 Debtors Anonymous
1. We admitted we were powerless over debt—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive debtors, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
We practice abstinence by not incurring unsecured debt one day at a time. Unsecured debt is any debt that is not backed up by some form of collateral, such as a car, house, etc.
We attend meetings at which we can share our experience, strength and hope with one another. Unless we give to newcomers what we have received from D.A. we cannot keep it ourselves.
We maintain records of our daily income and expenses and of the retirement of any portions of our outstanding debts.
We practice anonymity, which allows us freedom of expression by assuring us that what we say at meetings or to other D.A. members at any time will not be repeated.
We maintain constant contact with other D.A. members by exchanging telephone numbers. We make a point of talking to other D.A. members before and after taking difficult steps in our recovery.
Pressure Relief Groups and Pressure Relief Meetings
After we have gained some familiarity with the D.A. program, we organize Pressure Relief Groups consisting of ourselves and two other persons from the group who have been abstinent for three (3) months, and who usually have more experience in the program. The group meets in a series of Pressure Relief Meetings to review our financial situation.
The Pressure Relief Meeting usually results in the formulation of a spending plan, which puts our needs first, and an action plan, for resolving our debts and taking the first steps toward solvency.
Many of us find it extremely helpful to select a sponsor. A sponsor is an abstinent member of D.A. who is usually more experienced in working the Twelve Steps. The sponsor aids us in implementing our action plan and in working the Steps.
We attend business meetings that are held monthly. Many of us have long harbored feelings that “business” was not a part of our lives, but for “others” more qualified. Yet participation in running our own program teaches us how our organization operates, and also helps us to become responsible for our own recovery.
We study the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous to strengthen our understanding of compulsive disease. We can identify with many of the situations described therein by substituting the words “compulsive debt” for “alcohol.”
We maintain awareness of the danger of compulsive debt by taking note of bank, loan company and credit card advertising and by reading news accounts of its effects.
We perform service at every level: personal, meeting, Intergroup and World Service. Service is vital to our recovery. Only through service can we give to others what has been so generously given to us.
Â© 2002 Debtors Anonymous