Debtors Anonymous - Development


In 1968 members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) who believed that their financial difficulties were caused by an addictive disease not unlike alcoholism founded an organization named Penny Pinchers, which they later renamed Capital Builders. The founding members believed their financial problems stemmed from an inability to save money, and they practiced making daily deposits to their savings accounts. Later they recognized their problems were not caused by an inability to save but rather an inability to stay solvent.

In early 1971 the group members came to believe that incurring unsecured debt was the threshold of their disease and committed to a rigorous twelve-step approach to prevent incurring further unsecured debt. The original group disbanded and meetings were not consistently held again until 1976, when a group of two or three people began meeting regularly on Wednesdays in the rectory of St. Stephen's Church in New York City. Within a year a second group formed and Debtors Anonymous continued to grow. The first General Service Conference was held in 1987 in the auditorium at Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center in Manhattan. As of 2009 there were 512 groups meeting worldwide.

DA assiduously adapted AA's format, making only five changes to AA's Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions: "D.A." and "Debtors Anonymous" replaces "A.A." and "Alcoholics Anonymous", "debt" replaces "alcoholism", "compulsive debtors" replaces "alcoholics", "incurring unsecured debt" replaces "drinking", and "debtor" replaces "alcoholic." In 2002 DA published a list of 12 promises similar to the 12 promises appearing on pages 83–84 of Alcoholics Anonymous. DA's original literature includes the Twelve Tools of Debtors Anonymous, a list of practices to recovery from compulsive debting.

Read more about this topic:  Debtors Anonymous

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