The Financial Anarchist’s Cookbook

Some of Steven Katz’s tips for driving creditors crazy.

Celine Nadeau

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


READ ALSO: “Credit terrorist” Steven Katz says you shouldn’t feel guilty about sticking it to Wall Street.

TAPE EVERYTHING. Record your calls with collection agents (if it’s legal in your state). When they say, “We can seize your car to repay a credit card bill,” you’ve caught them in a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Sue, and you could collect up to $1,000 plus damages.

GET IT IN WRITING. Under federal law, if debt collectors can’t provide written proof of a debt on request, they can’t collect it. If they try to collect anyway, sue them.

MAKE THEM BLEED. If you get sued, fight back. Countersue for something like loss of consortium (i.e. being too distressed to have sex with your spouse). Drive up creditors’ legal costs to the point where it’s cheaper to settle—or just leave you alone.

FLOOD THE SYSTEM. Hide from creditors by seeding their databases with bad data. Apply for 20 credit cards a month using different addresses.

MOVE YOUR MONEY. Transfer your assets to an out-of-state bank account, or buy money orders or traveler’s checks, which are harder to track down.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate