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Debtors Anonymous
Recovery from problems with debt

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the requirement for DA membership?

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop incurring unsecured debt.

2. Does it cost anything to join DA?

There are no dues or fees for DA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.

3. What happens at a DA meeting?

While formats vary from region to region and meeting to meeting, there are some common elements to all of them: a reading of the preamble, a member chairing the meeting, announcements, a collection for the meeting’s financial support, and sharing by others. Additionally, meeting may dedicate time to read the Twelve Steps, the Twelve Traditions, the Signs of Compulsive Debting, the Tools of DA and other literature. Usually meetings allocate time during or after a meeting on a monthly basis to hold a business meeting.

Why is it important for newcomers to attend meetings regularly? We gain a sense of hope. We identify with others. We meet people who can help.

4. What is compulsive debting?

Compulsive debting is a disease. We have found that it is a disease that never gets better, only worse, as time goes on. It is a disease, progressive in its nature, which can never be cured but can be arrested.

This disease affected our vision of ourselves and of the world around us. It led us to believe that we were "not enough" - at home, at work, in social situations, in love relationships. It also led us to believe that there is not enough out there in the world for us. The disease manufactured a sense of impoverishment in all that we did and saw. In reaction to this, we withdrew into a dream world, fretted over money, and avoided responsibilities.

5. What is compulsive spending?

Compulsive spending is one of the symptoms of the disease of debting, and begins to lose its hold on us only after we have stopped incurring any new unsecured debt one day at a time.

6. What is anonymity?

We respect the anonymity of others. The principle of anonymity means we do not take outside the meetings what we hear and see in the meetings. Most of us like our identities and stories to remain confidential. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

7. What are the 12 Steps of DA?

  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.

8. What is Solvency?

Solvency, the primary purpose of Debtors Anonymous, is the practice of not incurring any new unsecured debt one day at a time. Unsecured debt is any form of debt that is not backed up by collateral.

9. What are 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 recovering debtors who have not incurred unsecured debt for at least 90 days and who usually have more experience in the program. The group meets in a series of Pressure Relief Meetings to review our financial situation. These meetings typically result in the formulation of a spending plan and an action plan.

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