Law Center Enters Field of Consumer Debt ; Program Gives Assistance in Dealing with Court Cases
Epstein, Jonathan D., The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY)
The Western New York Law Center has launched a new program to provide legal help with consumer debt, offering consumers assistance with garnishments, credit default judgments and other issues.
The Law Center is offering the service because of what it called a "troubling trend" in consumer debt cases in court. In 2010, for instance, 15,201, or 90 percent of the 16,908 lawsuits in Buffalo City Court, were consumer credit matters, and 8,289 of those, or 55 percent, resulted in default judgments in favor of the creditors.
Statewide that year, outside of New York City, more than 90 percent of all civil lawsuit default judgments were consumer credit defaults, and most of the cases were filed by debt buyers - who purchase old debt for pennies on the dollar and then aggressively try to collect.
The service is staffed by volunteer lawyers, supervised law students from University at Buffalo Law School and an expert consumer law attorney, who will help people avoid "unfair default judgments" and represent themselves in City Court. …