TzedekDC ( is a new Jewish lawyers group dedicated to providing pro bono debt representation for the poor.

Whereas these disputes were once a matter of debtor vs. creditor, in recent decades the game has changed. Large companies write off their bad debt and sell the paper to third parties for pennies on the dollar. These big debt buyers then hire phalanxes of lawyers to sue thousands of people. The plaintiffs are knowledgeable and experienced, the defendants are often ignorant about the process. In the District of Columbia, more than 90 percent of poor people with debt collections never receive assistance, and a large percentage of those who receive summonses don’t appear in court — thus ensuring a default judgment.

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