Martha Bergmark, Lauren Saunders
September 6, 2019
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Tags: Debt Collection
Organizations mentioned/involved: National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), Voices for Civil Justice
In 2018, consumers filed 620,800 complaints about debt collection with the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Many people complained that they didn’t owe the debt or had paid long ago, just like Terry.
A few large debt-buying corporations overload our civil courtsagainst powerless defendants who can’t afford the legal help to defend themselves. With fewer than 10% of consumersrepresented by an attorney, most debt buyers win default judgments, even if they don’t provide evidence the person owes the debt or the deadline to sue has not passed.
The results for consumers can be devastating, from wage garnishments to jail time. In a country that promises justice for all, the reality is our civil justice system has failed to mitigate this debt-collection crisis.
And things could soon get worse.