• Description

In this report, we examine lawsuits filed by debt buyers and their profound impact on low- and moderate-income New Yorkers, lower-income communities, and communities of color. We begin, in Part I, with background on the debt buying industry, including an analysis of the debt buyer business model and collection methods. Part II focuses on debt buyer lawsuits, particularly the systemic problems at the root of these lawsuits. In Part III, we highlight specific findings from a study of debt buyer lawsuits in New York City. We draw results from two data sets: (1) a 365-case sample of lawsuits brought by the 26 debt buyers who filed the greatest number of cases in New York City between January 2006 and July 2008 ("Court Sample"); and (2) a 451-case sample of callers to NEDAP's legal hotline who were sued by a creditor or debt buyer in 2008 ("Client Sample"). Finally, in Part IV, we recommend policy and legislative reforms to address the problems documented in this report