the Only condition of membership in the “fellowship of debtors anonymous” (BP) is the desire to stop to borrow without collateral, to borrow money, which obviously will not be able to give. Membership fees no group exists on donations. Average age was from 30 to 40.
in Addition to communicating via Skype, they meet every Friday in the heart of Moscow, in the Church of Cosmas and Damian. On the band’s explanation: “Right. First door on the right, the stairs to the third floor, last door, Svetlitsa”.
For members of the group anonymity is sacred, still, “domenichetti”, as they call their addiction a thing confidential. Sometimes even the closest people did not suspect, what can we say about the journalists? So with Sergei, one of those who stood at the origins of community in our country, we meet at a chain coffee shop. In conversation, he will carefully choose words and avoid any detail to his companions in misfortune did not recognize herself in newspaper material. Otherwise, he said, newcomers don’t come to group.
Sergei does not look like a person tortured unsolvable problems. On the contrary, he is the embodiment of calm and confidence. Perhaps this is misleading.
He says that the lesson begins with prayer and ends with prayer too. Someone turns to God, some to the Universe, someone- to the world reason.
Participants are represented in a circle, like in the American movies in the meetings of alcoholics anonymous. “My name is Valeria, and I’m counting on you”, “my name is Paul, and I’m a spender”. Here are 12 steps adapted for pathological borrowers.
— Calling himself a debtor or spender, man does not seek to brand themselves with shame that he is gone, — said Sergei. — The main thing is to say that the problem you work on, to admit their helplessness in the face of debt, and loss of control over their own lives.
the history of the emergence of the first group of debtors anonymous is very simple. Seven years ago Sira gay man was introduced to an American living in Russia who told him that in the USA there is the organization under the program “12 steps” that help people who find themselves in an unsolvable situation due to outstanding loans.
the American explained how to maintain records of money, not to take unrealistic financial obligations. These tips Sergei was very helpful: starting to record expenses and income, he stopped to get into debt. According to him, not everyone is able to engage in personal financial accounting. Some people put a cross on his “Ledger” after a couple of months.
— I’m a man with a high bottom, — says Sergey, — because they do not fell into the abyss. One of my biggest obstacles — I didn’t want to pay debts. Took and did not return. At the moment I have 5.5 thousand dollars. One debt was formed when peddling flat. Needed a fee, and funds are not enough. Then I needed the money for dentures. Debts are urgent, but they became a barrier in relations. It took me a long way to go to start thinking about how to return the money.
Lenders Sergey — the relatives and friends who came into his position. Seven years, these people wait patiently, without conditions, is not threatening the court. Although what court, if they even a receipt is not required. Ask Sergei, tortured whether its lingering debt?
— Absolutely not. I am! quietly he says, and explains that taking here and giving there. It’s like two different hands.
He considers himself to so-called “nudesarahpalin”. Such words in the Russian language there. It’s a calque from English. We are talking about people who earn less than they could, underestimate themselves and their abilities, afraid to ask for higher wages. They have an increased level of anxiety, they tend to eternal dissatisfaction. The life of the loan increases self-esteem, but only temporarily.
Is a serious disease, — says Sergey. — Now I’m educated, but can’t find practice. In fact, avoiding Tradostrojstva and don’t want to decide anything. Now I’m freelancing.
His debts is not the large. He tells about the people who borrowed tens of millions of rubles. Some have come to the last point when I lost the apartment and was out on the street. And the people were not poor, that modest intercepted to pay. Monitoring of Sergei, the more you earn, the greater the debt, because with new opportunities come new, quite exclusive needs.
Even now, when records are kept, sometimes it is unclear where certain amount. Have to make the effort to stay sober in the financial condition, — says Sergey. — It is work. Two hours of the morning spend the day on the 12 steps, prayer, meditation, reading. I know one thing: it’s a lifetime addiction, and I would not want to experiment, I recovered or not.
* * *
the Internet is a wealth of resources for the debtors who are in dire Straits. There are discussed topics: calls of collectors, size of debt and the ways out of it, up to the most extreme. The debts of a person driven into a corner where not everyone can get out. Read the confession — the soul is getting cold.
Here are a couple caught in the grip of the credit (the total debt is 20 million), is seriously considering the option of registration of child abandonment, the hanged debts, if the parents decide to commit the irreparable.
Another family managed without income pick up of credit in almost all banks of the city. No work for both. Mailbox is stuffed with letters from banks, at the door waiting for the bailiff collectors pluck the phone with an “innocent” question: “You love your children?”
the Girl, who cannot pay off his own credit, for some reason, becomes a surety of her fiance in a Bank. One favorite goes like cigarettes and disappears. Now she will have to take on and obligations to the Bank.
— People take hasty, impulsive loans. FLon psychological dependence requiring treatment. The creditomania can be attributed to the cluster of obsessive-compulsive and addictive disorders, like the other according to the type of gambling, — said Mikhail Popov, a clinical psychologist, Federal state budget scientific institution “Scientific center of mental health”. — Psychological dependence is not as well studied as, for example, drug abuse or alcoholism, their mechanism is less amenable to our understanding. They are not recognized as mental disorders.
But the disposition to creditmania, according to my interlocutor, is still there. Pathological borrowers do not know how to think through your moves in advance, have difficulty regulating their own financial life. Sometimes this feature is part of a mental illness for example, schizophrenia or bipolar affective disorder.
He recalls a recent case in St. Petersburg, when the call came to him the taxi driver, filled with delusions, saying that the money wrong, the eagle, judges have no necessary documents, and the Bank, in which he took a mortgage, has a credit license, and therefore the duty to pay is not necessary. Spring fever?
half the world lives on credit, and there is nothing wrong. For most this is the only opportunity to buy an apartment, a car, build a house. But when it is necessary to sound the alarm?
— If you have three obligations to the Bank: loans, mortgages and consumer credit, but you can afford it — then OK! — says Mikhail Popov. But if the payment is more than 60 percent of earnings, and loan arrears reach two months, that means you did not pull and become dependent. You can handle yourself, but with serious losses, both material and psychological.
* * *
Marina is the only person from the group debtors anonymous, which agreed to tell me his story. She’s 55 years in the program 4 years.
When I came in “Anonymous debtors”, fin fact he worked on the debt gave the entire salary to live was not for that, — in the tube agitated female voice. — Continuously something Presanella, because the debts to the banks exceeded two million rubles. Now have to pay about 600 thousand.
Debt disease at the Marina started back in Soviet times. Despite the fact that she well earned that money somehow is always not enough and had to borrow friends to paycheck then 20, then 30 rubles. But this obsession struck the Marina, when the opportunity came to repay the loans.
— what was missing? At all. I just don’t know how to manage money. They fly away, though I had a decent salary of about 80 thousand. A year only spend and spend, and want summer vacation — looking for some new credit card! Fortunately, I didn’t know what microloans.
Marina had loans to six banks, at least two: map and consumer. Every next opened in order to cover the previous one.
— the psychology of the debtor are so arranged that I always took a little bit more. Just in case. And it “just in case” increased snowball of overdue payments. These people, like me, be sure to have rent arrears. My duty for utilities is growing by leaps and bounds. Come down to the fact that the house already turned off the light. Threatened to evict us. It was very unpleasant.
Understanding that creditomania is a disease that develops according to its own rules, to the Marina came after she took another loan to finally pay off rent arrears.
— had to pay 270 thousand, and I, as always, just in case, we took 290. Told to Fund only 15 thousand. Only then I realized I was in a state of utter madness, because I couldn’t even recall, that he spent the money. Like an alcoholic, who after intoxication comes amnesia, and he can’t remember what they were doing before.
in order to close the debt for the rent, Marina dresidual was just to go into the next turn. But she immediately found a reason to just not pay: told myself that the cashier too many people, and decided to postpone for tomorrow.
— Remember only what came out of the Bank and across the road saw the linen store, — says Marina. — Just had a thought, why not go? I have not bought clothes, and a purse in excess of 20 thousand rubles. So why not spend it? In the store, I of course got a little out of the limit, and further all developed under the habitual scenario. A week from 270 thousand were only 15.
the Family Marina about the debts for communal found out, when the apartment turned off the light. It was like a bolt from the blue. Pets do not just chipping in for the rent and did not even know that Marina is the money simply was not made.
I was lying — she calls a spade a spade. — When the family learned the amount of the debt, are all very mad at me. And daughter just had a baby and we were without electricity. I’m still ashamed. To support the moment can not count.
She berated herself for squandering, but with the excuse that she’s not so bad compared to those, who because of debts lost his apartment and ended up on the street. She makes good money, wears only branded items and anything does not deny.
the amounts that ran loan interest, Marina tried not to think. At one Bank, she took out a loan at 49% interest! Signed the contract without questioning, and then wonder: where are the sums? Worse was to delay than to take on another loan. So Marina had to get out, from time to time to refinance the largest debt and occasionally ask for help from friends. She always had friends, usually men, willing to help out — just call!
— each dependent is around codependent people, who “fed” him the disease. It’s like with alcoholics. I was very resourceful, she mouthem your tricks. He could say to the man: “I don’t go in debt, even if I’m to ask!” — and I looked at him and thought: damn, I still you “divorce”! There was a case when I went to a big chain store where he spent all that was in the wallet, even the balance of the loan, when suddenly he saw something and realized that I really need it. Whether a jacket, or coat, I can’t remember, but then I thought that I would just die if I don’t buy it. I’m a spender! Call a friend: “Listen, just put me probably 10 Grand, I’ll explain!”. He throws me on the card 10 million, I buy this thing, then something else and another, popping up all these bags on the street and realize that I have no money even for bus and metro. Call another friend: “Pick me! I’ve been in the store with large bags, inconvenient public transport to go!”. As I enthusiastically lied.
Happened in her life situation when urgently needed money on designer clothes, and for emergency needs. Then Marina went to the Bank for new loans.
the pathological Psychology of the debtor is difficult to understand. It’s like another, twisted world where white is black. And Vice versa.
— Since it is a kind of addiction, a disease, you’re on an emotional seesaw — explains Marina. When I’m in the hands of a consumer loan, have some kind of unknown happiness. I don’t even know that it’s not my money. So spending it with great pleasure and space velocity. But when it comes time to give, become immediately unhappy, dead, depressing. This is similar to bipolar disorder. Already on the program discovered a strange thing: if I had credit, it seemed to me that it’s my money, and the salary — not mine, because they need to give somewhere. In the brain everything was inverted.
One day she realized with horror that the situation into which she plunged, happen that will hurt the family. Because then the debts will have to pay her kids. It was an honest confession, a difficult conversation and a promise to deal with the loans.
Now I slowly return the debt. In psychology, the debtor will pay off all debts, and in the program “12 steps”, I realized that it should be the opposite: the less you give, the better. Talk with all your creditors, found a compromise solution to reduce the monthly financial burden. First savings, according to Marina, she appeared in the program. Managed to create a small safety cushion for unforeseen circumstances. Last year even started cautious investments through banks. Three years ago she first made enough money to leave and since then is resting only on their.
I don’t know what I would be like in ten years, if we weren’t going to get better. I think I would become homeless.
Then I got a text from her: “I forgot to say the most important — about his financial sobriety (there is a term in HELL). I have 4 years and 4 months do not take a loan!”.