Freedom from Debt:
The New American Dream

January 2, 2013

In this short film, Strike Debt profiles one of millions of American families who are in states of crisis managing their debts to banks, hospitals, credit card companies and student loan providers.

Debtors are individuals, yet many are part of households through which various forms of debt flow. That’s why when individuals owe money to banks, hospitals, credit card companies and student loan providers, the whole family takes the hit.

According to Federal Reserve data, credit card debt totals approximately $860 billion. Student debt has skyrocketed past $1 trillion, as a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau details. Meanwhile, mortgage debt stands at $13 trillion, even after the real estate bubble brought that figure down by over $1 trillion, either because households paid down their debt or lenders wrote it off.

This is a short film about a typical American family under severe debtor duress. The 20th-century American dream was held aloft by a vast updraft of risky loans. The new American dream will be to live free of debt.