The Debt Trap

The Debt Trap

A potent multimedia series about the surge in consumer debt and the lenders who made it possible, in the U.S. and around the world.

Economic issues pertaining to credit, debt, mortgage, foreclosure, and bankruptcy crowd headlines. This New York Times investigation begins its first installment of its multi-faceted series on the conundrum of debt in America with three different profiles of average citizens (young, middle-aged and old) who are struggling to make ends meet in an increasingly hostile economic climate. Taking a close look at outlandish credit card habits and unmanageable home mortgages, the producers of this film present a frighteningly sober look into how financial ruin can arise out of fairly common circumstances. The package proves highly ambitious in its interactivity, augmenting video coverage with written articles, myriad graphics, outstanding photography by Pulitzer Prize winner Todd Heisler and a debt calculator to complement the information peripheral to the video profiles. The timely issues and themes presented throughout this feature are likely to compel the viewer to avoid the adjacent credit card ads that ironically hover around the content.

Length: 3 Videos, each 5-8 minutes

Video: Matthew Orr and Emily Hagar

Photos: Todd Heisler