Debt Story: Debtzilla Strikes Back to the Future

Note: The characters in this debt story are fictitious… but you might know them. They might be your siblings, your neighbours or your co-workers. They might even be you!

Part 1:

Lurking in the shadows of Gotham, a misshapen monster looks for its next victim. It sharpens its claws and teeth, knowing that once it gets ahold of a naïve Canadian it will try to never let go. This creature’s name is…DEBTZILLA.

Debtzilla is unique in that it cannot attack on its own. It waits until a person, motivated by a desire to live beyond their means, invites the monster into their life. Whether it’s a new car, fancy clothes or a bigger home than you can afford, Debtzilla will give you what you want. But, soon Debtzilla will stop giving and start taking. It will take your money, your time and your peace of mind until its satisfied. You can’t escape Debtzilla until you have fed the beast…


Jordan had an idyllic childhood growing up in rural Alberta. His dad was an accountant and his mother stayed home. He spent long summer evenings playing catch with his dad on the family’s front lawn where they would talk about sports, fishing, school and girls. Nothing was taboo…except for discussions about money.

Jordan’s father avoided discussions about his personal finances not just with Jordan, but with his wife as well. For all she knew, the bills were being paid and they had enough left over to take skiing trips to Banff and Jasper. She was thankful to her husband for their life but she didn’t realize that Debtzilla was the one responsible.

Jordan’s dad had given Debtzilla the strength to attack their family with each new credit card he signed up for. The allure of immediate gratification of purchasing things he neither needed nor could afford just fed the monster. Jordan’s dad overspent and under saved – which, like food and water for humans, are all that the monster needs to survive.

Debtzilla made his presence know innocently at first. It started with phone calls from the bank that Jordan’s father would take in the back den with the door closed. Jordan’s father would emerge after these calls with a nervous look on his face, but he’d soon start smiling and laughing like he always did. Nothing seemed to bother him too much. But Debtzilla was still there.

Soon, Debtzilla made his presence known more forcefully. There were more frequent phone calls that would leave Jordan’s dad shaken. There were also the stacks of unopened bills piling up on his Jordan’s dad’s desk. They sat there, screaming to be opened, but Jordan’s dad would ignore them.

Jordan’s father’s personality started to change. No longer was he the easy-going guy that would take Jordan and his friends for burgers and ice cream whenever the urge struck him. He seemed quieter now, more timid. He stayed home even though the phone calls from the bank and now the collection agencies kept coming. The only good thing about the phone ringing, Jordan thought, was that it stopped his parents from fighting.

Debtzilla was sinking its teeth into Jordan’s father deeper and deeper. The monster would clamp down tighter and tighter until it squeezed the life away. Jordan watched as his father was weakened emotionally and financially by the beast.

But then, one day shortly after a bare-bones Christmas devoid of happiness, Jordan’s dad made a fateful decision.

He decided to fight back.


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