FLAT BROKE: BEGGING AND BORROWING IN AMERICA
ABC News� �20/20� Reports on Debt, Friday, January 19 on ABC
Is it time to take responsibility for debt, take control of finances and live life without the anxiety that comes with being in debt? �20/20� looks at how families can find a way back from the seemingly bottomless pit of financial despair, as well as new cottage industry called �cyberbegging� and the old fashioned debt collector, on �20/20,� FRIDAY, JANUARY 19 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Reports include:
� Debt -- Is Being Cheap the Answer?: Just outside of Sacramento, CA, Matt and Suzie Peterson might seem to have it all� A gorgeous house, extravagant vacations. But the reality is that they are a family living well beyond their means. In fact, they�re so much in debt that they�re about to lose everything. On the flip side is the Economides family from Arizona who just might be the cheapest family in America. Elizabeth Vargas reports on debt -- how we got here, and whether there�s a way out.
� �Cyberbegging�: Martin Bashir reports on a new internet phenomenon called �cyberbegging� -- people who panhandle online for cash, asking strangers to help pay their debts. �20/20� talks to former �Saved By the Bell� child star Dustin Diamond who set up a website to �Save Screech�s House,� and to TV producer Karyn Bosnak who has received $13,000 to relieve her debt from visitors to her website, savekaryn.com.
� Debt Collectors: Brian Ross looks at third party debt collectors and the sometimes illegal tactics they use to get money back.
� Debt and Responsibility: Debt is often considered a four-letter word, but as John Stossel reports, the fact is America was built on debt. Business loans have allowed some our greatest entrepreneurs to take their ideas from vision to reality and to make life better for all of us. Home mortgages have allowed countless Americans to realize their dream of owning a home. But debt is not something to be toyed with� it should be handled with care and respect.
�20/20� is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and John Stossel. David Sloan is the executive producer.