D.A. has a long
history of co-operation, but not affiliation, with outside
organizations. D.A. has many members and an active Public Information
Committee available to provide professionals with experience of the
Debtors Anonymous program. We welcome your comments and suggestions.
D.A.'s primary purpose is to stop debting one day at a time and to help other compulsive debtors to stop incurring unsecured debt.
D.A. is a spiritual fellowship based on the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions as adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous. The essence of the D.A. program is one compulsive debtor helping another to refrain from incurring unsecured debt, one day at a time.
D.A. groups are self supporting through the contributions of members, and the fellowship is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization, or institution. D.A. service committees have a policy of "cooperation, not affiliation" with professionals who are interested in helping compulsive debtors recover.
How the Program Works
The only requirement
for D.A. membership is a desire to stop using any form of unsecured
debt. There are no dues or fees; we are self-supporting through our own
contributions. Members share their experiences in recovery from
compulsive indebtedness on a one-to-one basis, and introduce the
newcomer to D.A.'s Twelve Steps of personal recovery (based on the
Twelve Steps of A.A.) and its Twelve Traditions that sustain the
heart of the program are its meetings, which are conducted autonomously
by D.A. groups in cities and towns throughout the world. Anyone may
attend open meetings of D.A. These usually consist of talks by one or
more speakers who share impressions of their past and their present
recovery in D.A. Our beginners' meetings are open to anyone who believes
he or she may have this problem. Closed meetings are not open to the
general public or to the professional community. Debtors recovering in
D.A. generally attend several meetings each week.
helps the Fellowship govern itself by principles rather than
personalities; attraction rather than promotion. We openly share our
program of recovery, but not the names of individuals in the program of
What D.A. Does
not keep attendance records or case histories, engage in or sponsor
research, affiliate with "councils" or social agencies (although D.A.
members, groups and service officers cooperate with them), offer
religious services, provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money or
other social services, provide domestic or vocational counseling,
provide letters of reference to parole boards, lawyers, court officials
or social agencies.
Courts and Treatment Facilities
numerous D.A. members come to us from court programs and counseling
services. Some arrive voluntarily, others do not.
D.A. does not discriminate against any prospective member.
Who made the referral to D.A. is not what interests us...it is the
compulsive debtor who elicits our concern.
Proof of attendance at meetings
Sometimes a court asks for proof of attendance at D.A. meetings. Some
groups, with consent of the prospective member, have the D.A. group
secretary sign or initial a slip that has been furnished by the court
together with a self-addressed court envelope. The referred person
supplies identification and mails the slip back to the court as proof of
Other groups cooperate in different ways. There is no set
procedure. The nature and extent of any group's involvement in this
process is entirely up to the individual group.
Problems Other Than Debt
people are compulsive spenders or compulsive shoppers. Underearning is
another problem faced by many. These problems may exist separately from
the problem of compulsive debt. Our primary purpose is to “stop debting
one day at a time and to help other compulsive debtors to stop incurring
We service those who have a desire to stop using any form
of unsecured debt, which is any debt that is not secured with some form
of collateral such as a car, house, or other property.
After a member has gained some familiarity with the D.A.
program through attendance at meetings, he or she may take the following
-obtain a sponsor*
-work the Twelve Steps of D.A.
-read D.A. literature
-organize a pressure relief group and pressure
*You can look under “Recovery Tools” for explanations of
D.A.'s source of strength lies in our singleness of
purpose. We welcome the opportunity to provide professionals with
information on these issues.
How To Make Referrals to D.A.
Anonymous is listed in most telephone directories, if there are meetings
in your area. Some professionals call D.A. while the person is in their
office, thus giving the individual an immediate opportunity to obtain
help. In many areas, the D.A. phone number listed will give you an
answering service or machine that provides times and locations of
meetings in your area . Local intergroups (regional entities) may have
websites which provide D.A. information and a list of meetings and/or
you may refer the person to this national website. You may also contact
General Service Office of Debtors Anonymous for help and
Recommended D.A. Reading
Many helping professionals have found the following World Services,
Inc. publications helpful in their work with debtors. To obtain copies,
General Service Office or your local D.A. office/intergroup.
D.A. General Service Conference-Approved Literature
- A Currency of Hope
- "Pressure Relief Groups and Pressure Relief Meetings" pamphlet
- "Sponsorship" pamphlet, available as a free download under the "Literature" tab
- Ways & Means, D.A.'s Fellowship newsletter, available as a free download on the Debtors Anonymous home page