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Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the…

Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders

by James D. Scurlock

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This book provides an interesting look at the credit industry. Written in 2006 and published in 2007 before the economic implosion, Scurlock sounds a warning bell that the retail-driven American economy is on shaky ground. Middle class families were (and are) drowning in debt, the poor were (and are) being targeted for credit cards, and the housing boom is threatening to peter out (which happened spectacularly). Scurlock certainly hit the nail on the head, although it seems that we, as a nation, still have not learned the hard lessons about easy credit. Instead, we still fund our nation by loans proffered by countries that are, at best, lukewarm towards us.

The only real problem I had with this book was its anecdotal nature. There are few notes about sources, and most of the book is composed of stories about downtrodden Americans who have fallen into the "bear trap" and couldn't find a way out (at least a way that didn't involve suicide or homicide). Still, this is an interesting read, and it will likely have you wonder if you should really open that next solicitation from Bank of America. ( )
  schatzi | Jun 26, 2011 |
This one hit me home: Yolanda has never had a credit card in her life, though she could easily get one. The only debt she and her husband have ever allowed themselves is the mortgage, which she pays religiously, She doesnot by Suze Orman's books or listen to Dave Ramsey's radio show. If you told her that she could save money by spending, she would laugh at you. If you tried to convince her that a new Cadillac was an investment or that a Chevrolet pickup truck meant freedom, she would know you were one of the crazies. Yolanda knows what her children and what many of us do not know: that dreams are built upon sacrifice. They cannot be purchased on credit or with any softer currency.
To learn more about the history of lending, or about he organizations involved in AFFIL, to share your story or learn how to prtect yourself against predatory lending, I'd encourage a visit to www.americansfor fairnessinlending.org. You can also contact them at 77 Summer Street, 10th floor, Boston, MA 02110 ( )
  lldine | Aug 6, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 141653251X, Hardcover)

In this shocking and illuminating road trip through an America ravaged by debt, award-winning film director James Scurlock examines our multitrillion-dollar addiction to easy credit in all of its absurdities and contradictions.

Maxed Out ventures beyond the mind-numbing statistics to expose a financial industry spinning wildly out of control. From the gilded master-planned communities of Northern Las Vegas to the shotgun shacks of the Deep South, the world's largest financial institutions are trolling for customers, hooking the nouveau riche and the poor alike with promises of cheap and easy credit. Maxed Out exposes how Wall Street and Congress spawned the subprime mortgage crisis and reveals how credit card issuers form multimillion-dollar partnerships with universities -- paying them millions for access to their students' personal information, setting kids up for financial ruin before their first job. The industry's final frontier, "debt buying," is a veritable Wild West in which ambitious young men make quick fortunes off the misery and misfortune of others.

Hilarious, fascinating, and deeply disturbing, Maxed Out is one man's answer to modern America's most pressing question, "Why can't we get out of debt?"

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:34 -0400)

Foreclosures are hitting record highs; Americans are declaring bankruptcy at rates ten times that during the Great Depression; more college students drop out because of debts than poor grades; reports of debtor suicides proliferate. In other words, it's a great time to be in the banking business. Documentary filmmaker Scurlock takes us on a road trip around a country populated by debt pirates, corporate predators, human credit card billboards, debt evangelists, megamillion-dollar spec homes, and, of course, trillions of dollars of easy credit. Combining startling facts with even more startling examinations of individuals, institutions, the government, and modern religion, Scurlock separates the myths--there is "good debt" and "bad debt"--from the harsh reality--corporations partner with colleges to target today's youth; credit reports are riddled with errors that will never be fixed; and death, for many of those in trouble, is the only way out.--From publisher description.… (more)

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