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

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 6, 2007 - Social Science - 256 pages
5 Reviews
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 due to poor grades; reports of debtor suicides proliferate in the media. In other words, it's a great time to be in the banking business.

Maxed Out takes us on a road trip that is sometimes hysterical and often horrifying: from Las Vegas to the Bible Belt, from the backwoods to inner cities, where the world's largest financial giants troll for their next victims. Welcome to 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, James 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).

At a time when the financial industry posts ever-higher profits even as its clients drown in the flood of easy credit, Scurlock exposes very real, potentially disastrous systems and policies that are consuming millions of Americans. Maxed Out takes readers on a wickedly smart and entertaining tour of what one interviewee calls "the last taboo."
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - schatzi - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

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Maxed Out will open your eyes to the deliberate attempts by credit card companies to take advantage of your financial hardships and/or desire of luxury. The message is empowering!
http://www.socialsciencemedley.com/2011/06/review-of-maxed-out.html

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
17
Section 3
41
Section 4
59
Section 5
75
Section 6
95
Section 7
117
Section 8
137
Section 9
155
Section 10
177
Section 11
191
Section 12
209
Section 13
227
Section 14
239
Section 15
247
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

James D. Scurlock studied at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania before dropping out to pursue an entrepreneurial venture and later a documentary film career. His first film, Parents of the Year, won numerous awards and was an official selection of more than twenty-five film festivals. His first feature-length documentary, Maxed Out, explored our culture of debt and won the Special Jury Prize at South by Southwest. His first book, a companion to the award-winning documentary, was nominated for the National MS Society's "Books for a Better Life" Award. He has written, primarily about the impending (and now realized) financial crisis, for Slate, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, and AARP Magazine, among others. He has also appeared on numerous programs, including Nightline, The Today Show, and CNBC’s Power Lunch. Scurlock lives in Santa Monica, California.

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