Debt collection lawsuits swell in black neighborhoods

Debt collection lawsuits swell in black neighborhoods
Debt collection lawsuits swell in black neighborhoods

Debt collection lawsuits swell in black neighborhoods

It happens all the time for people who are working hard just to make ends meet: Hours get cut back, or you’re let go, an unexpected expense happens thanks to the house or the car, there’s an unforeseen medical emergency. Suddenly, this person’s got to make a choice on which bills to pay, and which ones to put off. Very quickly, it’s gone to a debt collector, there’s been a suit, and wages are being garnished, pushing this person further into debt. Paul Kiel of Pro Publica reported that it happens a lot more to African Americans than it does to whites. The piece is called “The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods,” and it focuses on three cities: St. Louis, Newark and Chicago. Paul Kiel joins us with the details.