Back to the Black


New edition available from 21 January 2015.

Back to the Black: how to become debt-free and stay that way” is based on the personal debt recovery experiences of the author. Moreover it utilizes his experience of coaching and debt counselling to propose a structured approach to the problem. This approach reduces the inevitable stress of the situation and makes it easier to get back to the black.


‘Back To The Black: how to become debt-free and stay that way’ is a book about dealing with debt. It is a manual for the ever-increasing number of people facing debt problems.

Why have I written this book? Put simply: a few years ago I went through a severe debt crisis. I had turned a blind eye to the problem and came very close to bankruptcy. With the help and support of a friends and a few professionals I eventually came through the experience without permanent scars to my spirit and credit rating. After I managed to clear my debts and get back to the black, I decided to write a book from the perspective of someone who has been there, had the problem and found a way through it.

I want to share what I learned from my experiences. If what I write helps you to get out of debt, the experience will have served its purpose.

‘Back to the Black: how to become debt free and stay that way’ is primarily aimed at people going through what I went through. If you have debts that have reached, or are reaching, problem proportions – whether those debts are personal, business or a combination of both – then this book is for you.

Reading it will help you to …

  • Look at your debt problem in the same way a coach or counsellor would.
  • Learn the three main strategies to become debt-free.
  • Learn  many tactics for handling stress, formulating a plan, negotiating with creditors and much more.


Back to the Black is available as a Kindle eBook or paperback, through Amazon’s international site or through


What To Expect

You’ll read my story: where I went wrong and how my debts built up to the point of becoming unmanageable; how and where I found unbiased advice and support; and how I found the solutions that eventually got me out of debt.

Most importantly, though, you’ll learn what I hope you’ll find to be a logical and step-by-step process to decide what’s the best option in your situation.

You’ll find chapters on the stress caused by debt and how to deal with it; on how to formulate your debt management goals; on how best to evaluate your current situation; and on how to develop a list of options for how to get from where you are now to where you want to be. Then I deal with the main strategies for bridging that gap.

The book concludes with a comprehensive “Resources” section, including contact details for a wide range of organisations that can provide you with one-to-one assistance that’s tailored to your personal situation.

There are many reasons why we get into debt and debt problems often result from a combination of circumstances, rather than from a single cause. In my own case, the primary cause was the gradual failure of a business I had started a few years before; however that problem was made worse by the fact that I just expected things to improve, so I carried on spending. It is my contention, however, that whatever caused you to get into debt, the principles for getting out of debt are the same.


Praise for Back to the Black

This is a well-researched and practical guide to help you solve any debt problems that you may have. Although the book has been written in the UK, the principles apply to wherever you are in the world and the author does include some indication of the sums in dollars or euros.

The author is able to write at first hand experience about this problem as he was himself in debt some years ago, so he fully understands the stress and difficulties involved. In fact, some of the first advice in the book deals with how to deal with that stress before you start to tackle the issues of what to do about the debts. He offers a number of options to help you decide what course to take – eg. to go bankrupt or not to go bankrupt, or how to negotiate a deal for yourself. He includes a number of case studies to help illustrate the situations and sums up each chapter with a brief resume of the points covered. At the end of the book he has provided a list of useful resources that people may wish to call on for help – government bodies, websites, organisations and charities.

“Comprehensive and Practical This is a great book, well-written and enjoyable to read. Full of practical ways to get yourself out of debt – and then stay in the black. I loved the case studies – helps to know that people have managed to deal with worse situations! The author urges us to get clear about where we are financially, and to start doing something about it.

There is a comprehensive resource section at the back, and the sample letters at the back was a nice surprise – so often we don’t tackle problems because we don’t know where to start, having these templates makes it much easier. If you have issues with debt, aget this book and sort it out now.”

This book is impressive – the writing is so good.

It is very touching – Michael has been through a very tough situation, and he is open about it.

It is informative – it shows concrete ways to get out of a debt situation, in addition to the pitfalls one could easily run into.

And it is optimistic – Michael managed to free himself from debt. This shows that it is possible!

A useful handbook for living within your means. 

This is a been there, done that, got the T shirt book. In other words it’s written by someone who knows the issues and learned to deal with them. Worth the small change it costs to put it in your library and read it in a spare moment when you cannot afford to go down the pub.

This book details the author’s personal experience of managing escalating debt. Whilst telling his personal story he has woven a plan of action for those finding themselves in similar situations. A lot of excellent advice to avoid the pitfalls whilst in negotiation with creditors along with reference to self esteem and handling stress. Well worth a read.


Back to the Black is available as a Kindle eBook or paperback, through Amazon’s international site or through

PS: You don’t need a Kindle to read a Kindle book! Simply download one of Amazon’s free apps to read Kindle books on PCs, Macs or mobile devices of all kinds.

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