Monday, June 23, 2008

Maxed Out

This past weekend I had the opportunity to watch the movie Maxed Out. Although I knew there was a lot of money to be made in the credit industry, the free reign given to the credit card companies is enough to make you nauseous. And you won't move an inch from your chair. It's that good of a documentary.

While it's certainly the responsibility of every individual to manage their credit properly and pay their bills on time, Maxed Out is not a movie about those trying to avoid paying their debts--it's a movie about people trapped by a credit system with no relief valve for extraordinary circumstances. Like one woman was wrongly reported "deceased" on her credit report, causing her to be interrogated for hours on end. Like two college students who hung themselves.

What galled me the most about the movie was the breathless vigor with which "credit collectors" or "credit buyers" would pursue debtors. One compared it to "pirates," setting people as far out on the plank as they could walk them before reeling them back in. Calling debtor's neighbors at home.

The picture painted by Maxed Out is one of corporations completely devoid of moral participants, governed by nothing but greed. Says the Washington Post:

"Maxed Out," often uses grim humor to deliver the bad news: that banks routinely seek out the young, poor and chronically late-paying. . .

Truly some of the practices by the credit industry are breathtaking.

One man was so enormously frustrated with Providian Financial--oh, they of the preapproved-lending-to-the-bedridden--that he started the website

I originally wanted to register but lo and behold our good friends at Providian Financial already own it. I suppose they bought it to prevent someone from doing what I am doing with I guess this pretty much proves that they know that they suck. Why else would they have registered the name

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