The Twelve Concepts
Just as the Twelve Steps are guides for personal recovery and the Twelve Traditions are guides for group unity,
the Twelve Concepts are guides for World Service.
These Concepts serve as a path for Twelfth Step work on a
world service level, and show how the DA groups, the World Service Conference, and the Debtors Anonymous
General Service Board work together to carry recovery in DA to the still suffering debtor.
- The ultimate responsibility and authority for Debtors Anonymous World Services should always remain
with the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship as expressed through the DA groups.
- The D.A. groups have delegated complete administrative and operational authority to the General Service
Board. The groups have made the Conference the voice and conscience for the whole Fellowship, excepting
for any change in the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, and in Article 10, the General Warranties, of the
- As a traditional means of creating and maintaining a clearly defined working relationship between the
groups, the World Service Conference, and the Debtors Anonymous General Service Board, it is suggested
that we endow these elements of world service with a traditional “Right of Decision” in order to ensure
- Throughout our Conference structure, we maintain at all levels a traditional “Right of Participation,”
ensuring a voting representation.
- The traditional Rights of Appeal and Petition protect the minority opinion and ensure the consideration of
- The Conference acknowledges the primary administrative responsibility of the Debtors Anonymous General
- The Conference recognizes that the Charter and the Bylaws of the Debtors Anonymous General Service
Board serve as governing documents and that the Trustees have legal rights, while the rights of the
Conference are spiritual, rooted in the Twelve Traditions. The Concepts are not legal instruments.
- The Debtors Anonymous General Service Board of Trustees assumes primary leadership for larger matters
of overall policy, finance, and custodial oversight, and delegates authority for routine management of the
General Service Office.
- Good leaders, together with appropriate methods for choosing them at all levels, are necessary. At the world
service level, the Board of Trustees assumes primary leadership for DA as a whole.
- Every DA service responsibility should be equal to its service authority as defined by tradition, resolution, or
- While the Trustees hold final authority for DA World Service administration, they will be assisted by the
best possible staff members and consultants. Therefore, serious care and consideration will always be given
to the compensation, selection, induction to service, rotation, and assignments for special rights and duties
for all staff with a proper basis for determining financial compensation.
- The Conference of Debtors Anonymous will observe the spirit of the Traditions, taking care not to become
powerful and wealthy; having sufficient operating funds with a prudent reserve; having no authority over
any other members; making important decisions by discussing and voting on issues wherever possible by
substantial unanimity; not acting in a punitive way; not inciting public controversy; never performing any
acts of government; and finally, always remaining democratic in thought and action.
© 2005 Debtors Anonymous General Service Board, Inc.
Registered D.A. groups have permission to copy these for distribution to its members.
Rev. 8/2004 DA World Service Conference (Concept 12)
Rev. 8/2005 DA World Service Conference (Concept 2)
Rev. 8/2006 DA World Service Conference (Concepts 5 & 6)
The Twelve Tools
Recovery from compulsive debting begins when we stop incurring new, unsecured debt, one day at a time. (Unsecured debt is
any debt that is not backed up by some form of collateral, such as a house or other asset.) We attain a daily reprieve from
compulsive debting by practicing the Twelve Steps and by using the following Tools.
We attend meetings at which we share our experience,
strength, and hope with one another. Unless we give to
newcomers what we have received from D.A., we cannot
keep it ourselves.
- Record Maintenance
We maintain records of our daily income and expenses,
of our savings, and of the retirement of any portions of
our outstanding debts.
We have found it essential to our recovery to have a
sponsor and to be a sponsor. A sponsor is a recovering
debtor who guides us through the Twelve Steps and
shares his or her own experience, strength, and recovery.
- Pressure Relief Groups and
Pressure Relief Meetings
After we have gained some familiarity with the D.A.
program, we organize Pressure Relief Groups consisting
of ourselves and two other recovering debtors who have
not incurred unsecured debt for at least 90 days and who
usually have more experience in the program. The group
meets in a series of Pressure Relief Meetings to review
our financial situation. These meetings typically result in
the formulation of a spending plan and an action plan.
- Spending Plan
The spending plan puts our needs first and gives us
clarity and balance in our spending. It includes categories
for income, spending, debt payment, and savings (to help
us build cash reserves, however humble). The income
plan helps us focus on increasing our income. The debt
payment category guides us in making realistic payment
arrangements without depriving ourselves. Savings can
include prudent reserve, retirement, and special
- Action Plan
With the help of our Pressure Relief Group, we develop a
list of specific actions for resolving our debts, improving
our financial situation, and achieving our goals without
incurring unsecured debt.
- The Telephone and the Internet
We maintain frequent contact with other D.A. members
by using the telephone, e-mail, and other forms of
communication. We make a point of talking to other D.A.
members before and after taking difficult steps in our
- D.A. and A.A. Literature
We study the literature of Debtors Anonymous and
of Alcoholics Anonymous to strengthen our
understanding of compulsive disease and of recovery
from compulsive debting. In A.A. literature we can
identify with many of the situations described by
substituting the words “compulsive debt” for
We maintain awareness of the danger of compulsive
debt by taking note of bank, loan company, and
credit card advertising and their effects on us. We
also remain aware of our personal finances in order
to avoid vagueness, which can lead to compulsive
debting or spending.
- Business Meetings
We attend business meetings that are held monthly.
Many of us have long harbored feelings that
“business” was not a part of our lives but for others
more qualified. Yet participation in running our own
program teaches us how our organization operates,
and also helps us to become responsible for our own
We perform service at every level: personal,
meeting, Intergroup, and World Service. Service is
vital to our recovery. Only through service can we
give to others what so generously has been given to us.
We practice anonymity, which allows us freedom of
expression by assuring us that what we say at
meetings or to other DA members at any time will
not be repeated.
© 2005 Debtors Anonymous General Service
Board, Inc. Revised 2005
Registered D.A. groups have permission to
copy these Tools for distribution to their
The Twelve Promises
In the program of Debtors Anonymous, we come together to share our
experience, strength and hope so that we may recover from the disease
of compulsive debting. When we work D.A.’s Twelve Steps and use the D.A.
Tools, we begin to receive these gifts of the program:
- Where once we felt despair, we will experience a newfound hope.
- Clarity will replace vagueness; we will intuitively know how to handle situations
that used to baffle us.
- We will live within our means, yet our means will not define us.
- We will begin to live a prosperous life, unencumbered by fear, worry, resentment
- We will realize that we are enough; we will value ourselves and our contributions.
- Isolation will give way to fellowship; faith will replace fear.
- We will recognize that there is enough; our resources will be generous and we
will share them with others and with DA.
- We will cease to compare ourselves to others; jealousy and envy will fade.
- Acceptance and Gratitude will replace regret, self pity and longing.
- We will no longer fear the truth; we will move from hiding in denial to living in
- Honesty will guide our actions towards a rich life filled with meaning and purpose.
- We will recognize a Power Greater than ourselves as the source of our
abundance; we realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for
Are these extravagant promises? We think not; they are well within our means. When we
work this program with integrity and to the best of our ability, one day at a time, a life of
prosperity and serenity will be ours.
(Approved August 19, 2001, 15th Annual World Service Conference)
Registered D.A. groups have permission to copy this page for distribution to its
Debtors Anonymous General Service Office
PO Box 920888
email: firstname.lastname@example.org Debtors Anonymous.org