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October 23, 2011

What should I do now? You decide.

  Indecision

Six months have passed since my last post.  If this blog were a farm in the Old West, iconic tumble weeds that signify no man’s land would blow in the wind across barren fields. Unfortunately, my interest and will to continue in the fight against rogue banks have waned.  Likewise, the excitement and feedback from my supporters have equally diminished. My causes–to share my personal story, to take on the big banks, to educate consumers, and to change the financial system–are old news. So, what’s next?

Well, earlier this year, I worked on an outline for a book that would narrate my story, provide basic tips on how to manage personal credit, and describe the current industry and future trends. I got no further than the outline and a brief summary before I lost interest. I suppose it had something to do with Kickstarter, a popular crowd funding website, rejecting my project. Who can blame them, though?  The book I was hoping to fund would certainly be controversial and compromise the company’s relationships with none other than credit card companies. How could I be so naïve?

Since then, I have dithered on how to proceed. Should I shut down this blog? (If only TypePad didn’t charge a monthly fee!) Should I leave it online as an educational resource?  Should I publish a book? Should I disappear as if nothing happened?  How do I translate my efforts into a legacy that will help people time and time again?  These are the questions that gnaw at me. My biggest fear is to have labored in vain.      

I need your help. I have not made much progress in determining my next step, so I would love to hear what you think I should do at this point. Many of you have supported me and this blog, and I value with the highest regard your input. Thank you.

Comments

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Phyllis, thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement. It makes me so excited to hear that you took my advice and will join a credit union. That makes it all worth it. Keep in touch.

Kevin, this blog provides a valuable service, and it is a resource where I can find useful information not available elsewhere. I do hope you can and will keep it going even if your overall focus has shifted. As an example in reading your recent post about Debit Card Fees, I was prompted to search the internet and found out that BoA has dropped its plans for fee implementation. I'll probably still switch to a credit union (you make a good argument for that action), but I think the point I'm trying to make is that you provide useful timely information that inspires people to think and do research for information that can affect their lives and their wallets. All my best, Robert.

Kevin, you have provided a wonderful public service. I have read your work for probably a couple of years now, including when I was forced to sell my house to avoid foreclosure last year. The crisis is not over and in fact has become the new status quo. I think it would be a great loss if you shut down the blog.

May I suggest that you consider asking for a pooling of resources? Perhaps you would be willing to accept contributions from readers to cover the monthly cost of maintaining the blog and even articles to share occasionally.

Others have suggested here that you publish a book using the technology now available that would bypass traditional publishing, including its snail pace and gatekeeper mentality. I agree with that. I would go one step further and suggest that you self publish in chapter format rather than wait for the entire book to be completed (and possibly outdated).

More people are waking up to what the banks have done to take over our country. We need you to keep this information and your story available for those just now waking up!

Thanks for all your hard work. Please know that for each of us who post a comment, there are probably hundreds who feel the same way.

Dear Kevin,

I hope you can find a way to keep your website and Facebook page going. I think they are good resources. I own and operate a small business. American Express took my $30,000 line of credit away from me in 2008 very suddenly. It was a huge inconvenience as I was expecting to have access to that money to pay bills and promote my business for the next year. Having owned a small business for almost 25 years I have had many similar experiences and continue to have issues with the credit card industry to this day. However, I am limited in what I want to say publicly since I am in business and depend on the banks.

Anyway, I appreciate what you do and hope you can continue to do it. I look forward to your posts.

Take care and best wishes.

Kevin/Friend!

I, as a reader who was thrilled to discover what you were/are doing, would be really sorry to see you stop these mailings. I hope you continue these current updates, and decodings of the Scaliwags' doings.

Reason #1 - You write very well, clearly, and I enjoy it, whether a particular situation applies to me personally or not.

Reason #2 - Since you definitely are a seeker, and weeder-outer of financial nastiness, you are up-to-date in your info. And I do understand that the financial entities tend/want to keep us all in a constant state of "where are we now?" frustration.

Reason #3 - While I know you have the talent to write a book, I wonder if by the time it were published, it would be "old news." Things move so fast, and strangely, these days. Another problem could be that since there are so very many books out, and in process constantly, that you might be, good as you are, but one of very many already out there. It seems from here, that they are exercises in what is essentially a game of pointing fingers, making excuses for sins past concerning various situations. The problem of books is that they become outdated, or don't offer solutions which apply to current, and on-going issues, or recommendations for future planning. That awareness and ability to think ahead puts you in a unique position should you decide to take the plunge.

All that being said, and I apologise for my long-windedness, you must of course do what is right for you, in your life, intellectual and personal. For now, I, who have been really deleterious in keeping up due to "Life", have a lot of searching backwards for your writings. I know I will learn from all those I missed, and feel better for understanding more.

Thanks very much for all your hard work - I know many people are glad you're there for us, whether they are "lurkers" or are prone to sending feedback.

Sincerely,
Jenifer M.

Thanks so much for your gratitude and advice. It is great! I am always amazed at how supportive and encouraging everyone is. Please keep the ideas flowing.

Hi Kevin, Please don't shut the blog down. I learned so much from you which I shared with so many others. I think you should consider writing a book. There is a way you can publish it on Amazon so that they only print it when someone orders it. Or just do it as an ebook as almost everyone these days has an e-reader. But keep the information out there! We need more people like you!!!!!

I think you should keep your blog. You definitely helped spur changes in the credit card and lending industry. Know how creative financial companies are, your insight and exposure will more than likely still come in handy. So, your work will never really end.

Please don't shut down the blog. All your work, activism and comments from others will be lost for future reference. I realize that its difficult to maintain active interest in a landscape that is crowded with individual pursuits and single causes. But, your work toward educating the public needs to be in a documented electronic form for others to be inspired and educated to what they can do to push back. I think you need to pursue your book. Don't stop because you were turned down. Keep going.

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About Me

Greetings! I’m Kevin D. Johnson, a business owner who has recently assumed the role of consumer advocate and internet activist. Atlanta, Georgia is my home.

My Story

Upon returning from my wonderful honeymoon in Jamaica in October 2008, I received what I thought was an ordinary American Express bill, but to my surprise it was a disappointing letter informing me that my credit line was reduced by about 65% for a highly suspicious and discriminatory reason. Considering my excellent credit score and pristine payment history, it just didn’t make sense. However, what does make sense are the unfair and insidious policies that I have uncovered when asking why. It is time to change them.

Good Morning America tells my story.

The Goal

I created this web site to document and share my challenging journey to change what is wrong, unfair, and unjust in the credit card industry. The ultimate goal of this web site is to inform consumers of ways to stand up for themselves against treacherous business practices and to educate consumers about how to improve their credit. Finally, I hope to encourage a more open dialogue with credit card companies about their policies–good and bad.

Success

I am proud to say that this blog's unyielding demand for change led to an important amendment in the final Credit CARD Act signed by President Obama on May 22, 2009. Despite this major accomplishment, there is still more work to be done.

View video of bill hearing in Maryland

Testifying at a bill hearing in Annapolis, Maryland

Speaking Engagements

In an effort to educate as many people as possible about financial management, especially about how to manage the current credit crisis, I have begun to speak around the country at colleges, universities, corporations, chamber of commerce meetings, congressional hearings, trade organization meetings, etc. Having acquired a wealth of information that will help to empower people and to improve their financial future, I feel that sharing this information is the least I can do to make a positive impact. For information on my availability for speaking opportunities, please send an e-mail to Jennifer Silverman at [email protected].


Speaking at a university

Disclaimer

All information provided on NewCreditRules.com is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for professional financial advice. Information on NewCreditRules.com is subject to change without prior notice. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, NewCreditRules.com makes no guarantees of any kind. This web site may contain information that is created and maintained by a variety of sources both internal and external. These sites are unmoderated forums containing the personal opinions and other expressions of the persons who post the entries. NewCreditRules.com does not control, monitor or guarantee the information contained in these sites or information contained in links to other external web sites, and does not endorse any views expressed or products or services offered therein. In no event shall NewCreditRules.com be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any such content, goods, or services available on or through any such site or resource.

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