Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Maxed Out - a documentary film

On June 5, 2007 a documentary film called "Maxed Out" will be released. You can visit their official website to view the trailer and some small clips. I am hoping that Blockbuster and/or Hollywood Video will offer this movie, but Netflix users can already add it to their queue. Even if you disagree with some of the assumptions in this film, it should be an eye opening experience. I have yet to see it myself of course, but I believe it will be in the same style as "Who Killed the Electric Car?", a story about GM's EV1 in the late 90s.

Maxed Out interviews a variety of people involved in the industry, including banks, debt collectors, legal representatives and those individuals whose lives have been destroyed by debt.

It also speaks of the predatory solicitations of credit card companies, focusing their advertising on people who seem less likely to be able to pay or handle the card responsibly. A scene with an undercover investigator talking to a card salesman at a college campus should be worth watching.

If you go to a vocational school or if you have a job, they [the credit card companies] don't want you. Maybe it's because they think you know the value of a dollar. It's the college students who get the cards.

Expect some hard teary moments, including a woman selling her belongings to pay off her debt and stories of suicide. What factors lead to these situations? Is it entirely a lack of personal responsibility, financial education, predatory lending or out of control terms and rates? Hopefully this film will offer an objective look at this industry. We'll find out on June 5.

The film also features Dave Ramsey.


microman said...

May I recommend "In Debt We Trust"? I just watched it and it's great. Really inspired me to blog about credit cards at my site and to help anyone who has questions about personal finance.

Beyond the Consumer said...

In Debt We Trust has received fairly good reviews, though it does not offer objectivity. I plan on renting and watching it soon. Thanks for the tip!