Pisgah Legal launches program to protect those deep in debt

A new Madison County Debtor Rights Project intends to help 100 local clients in the months ahead.

News Story (North Carolina)

Paul Eggers
Asheville Citizen-Times (NC)
February 12, 2018

Tags: Debt Collection

Organizations mentioned/involved: Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) (North Carolina)


“This is a special project born from my experience as a staff attorney with Pisgah Legal Services,” Bill Whalen said. “There is a regular flow of moderate- and low-income clients who live on funds exempt from claims from creditors, from credit card companies, finance companies, judgments, that type of thing. The income may be from Social Security, the VA or a disability benefit or workers comp, or income needed for the support of a family. Those incomes are shieldable from the claims of consumer lenders, and they never tell people that. Instead, they hound them to death.”

On a visit to The News-Record & Sentinel’s boxcar offices, Whalen brought along one of those clients. Martha, who he asked to be identified by her first name only to protect her from creditors, fell deep into debt after acting as a caregiver for her mother, who died in 2013.