On September 29, 2021, the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission sponsored a presentation for community advocates in Massachusetts about dealing with debt resulting from intimidation, bullying, and domestic violence - also known as coerced debt.
Kristen Bor-Zale, Equal Justice Works fellow at Greater Boston Legal Services, presented.
Moderated by Ben Golden, New England Law.
Topics addressed included
- Screening for financial abuse
- Credit reports
- Tips for defending a small claims action
Slides are attached.
Learn more about legal rights and debt in general at www.masslegalhelp.org/consumer/debt.
Resources for learning more about financial abuse and coerced debt:
- Littwin, Angela, Coerced Debt: The Role of Consumer Credit in Domestic Violence, 100 Calif. L. Rev. 951 (2012), available at https://lawcat.berkeley.edu/
- Shoener & Sussman. (2013). Economic Ripple Effect of IPV: Building Partnerships for Systemic Change. Domestic Violence Report. Aug/Sept, 83-95, available at https://csaj.org/library/view/
economic-ripple-effect-of-ipv- building-partnerships-for- systemic-change.
- Video: https://www.kxan.com/top-
stories/new-law-could-help- texans-forced-into-taking-on- debt/
Resources for protecting credit:
- Free credit reports: https://AnnualCreditReport.com
- Debt validation request form, dispute letter form, exempt income calculator: https://www.gbls.org/self-
- Disputing debt: https://www.masslegalhelp.org/
- Urban Edge: https://www.urbanedge.org/
- What debts to pay first: https://www.masslegalhelp.org/
Resources on identity theft:
- FTC Identity theft (create a report and recovery plan) https://www.identitytheft.gov/
- Credit freezes and fraud alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/
articles/what-know-about- credit-freezes-and-fraud- alerts
- Reporting ID theft to state agencies: https://www.mass.gov/service-