Author Uses Cell Phone to Save Debtabetic Target Shopper

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According to an eyewitness account, a local author saved the life of a Target Christmas shopper, Lola Phoenix, 37, who apparently lapsed into a Debtabetic coma after her MasterCard was declined.

"When Ms Phoenix went down, everyone gasped," said Nesbitt Fabeetz, an employee of the Target Store in Columbus, Ohio. "Most people just swoon a bit and are embarrassed when their credit cards are rejected. This gal wilted like a daisy in a 100 degree heat wave. We see many Financial Flatliners this time of year, but this one was scary. Other shoppers began nervously palming their cards, wondering if they'd be next."

Luckily for Ms. Phoenix, Jon Hanson, spokesperson for the National Debtabetes Foundation and author of Good Debt Bad Debt (Penguin-Portfolio Jan. 2005) (http://www.gooddebt.com), was in a nearby checkout line, where he was waiting to pay for a copy of his own book and a 12-pack of yellow highlighters. Mr. Hanson identified himself and moved to the front of the line, where he knelt beside the stricken shopper and checked her financial pulse. "It was weak," Hanson noted.

Hanson pried the declined credit card from Ms. Phoenix's cold, sweaty hand, located the toll-free number on the back, and calmly placed a call on his cell phone to the issuing bank. Hanson explained the situation, and the bank approved an emergency credit line increase of $500.

Within seconds of the credit line increase taking effect, Ms Phoenix seemed to sense her new spending power and opened her eyes. With the help of employees and customers, she was able to walk to the waiting ambulance.

Mr. Hanson completed purchases for the dazed Phoenix, which consisted of green plaid pajamas, a Dale Earnhardt, Jr. cap, two eight-ounce tubes of Preparation H for her unemployed nephew, six four-packs of Slim Fast, and a 27-inch TV/DVD. The goods were loaded into the ambulance for the ride to Mt. Carmel Hospital. As Phoenix thanked Hanson, he advised her to see a financial planner within the next 24 hours. "This is the time of year is particularly dangerous for the debt-obese, temptations to overuse credit are everywhere." He cautioned. "Please, just say no to debt." (http://www.gooddebt.com/12daze)

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