The Debt Collection Lab

The Debt Collection Lab visualizes the increasingly uneven distribution of debt collection lawsuits in the US by neighborhood and race. People who already had trouble paying their bills saw those troubles multiply during the Covid-19 pandemic. Although there were some moratoriums on debt collection, thousands of lawsuits were still being filed in a single county court per month. Moreover, default judgements in the process of debt collection typically treat individuals as if they have no right to respect or to redress.
The Lab features a Debt Collection Lawsuit Tracker so that debtors and their advocates can monitor in real-time the monthly updates to the number of debt cases being filed across the United States. Live charts track the number of lawsuits and default judgements over time and maps plot the denser concentrations of lawsuits in certain neighborhoods.