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SCOTUS Leaves Minorities, the Poor Vulnerable to "Debt Buyer" Industry

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Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law issued the following statement regarding today’s Supreme Court decision in Henson v Santander Consumer USA Inc. finding "debt buyers" not subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act:

"Today's ruling by the Supreme Court leaves minority communities and poor people vulnerable to predatory and abusive behavior at the hands of a rapidly growing 'debt buying' industry", said Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law President and Executive Director, Kristen Clarke. "We know that minority communities and poor people are especially vulnerable to the abusive conduct of "debt buyers" and debt collectors generally. The Court's decision will incentivize the further expansion of a growing industry of companies that have been focused on the purchase of debt as a means to evading the important protections afforded by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Congress and states must act now to provide necessary protection for consumers."

About the Lawyers’ Committee

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Formed over 50 years ago, we continue our quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.”

The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and community development; economic justice; voting; education and criminal justice. For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit

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