Introduction to the Debt Collection Lab’s Debt Collection Tracker Tool and the Need for a More Enabling Environment for Debt Collection Data

November 15, 2021

Watch Recording

November 15, 2021

Princeton’s Debt Collection Lab tracks debt collection court cases in real time and has begun doing so in five states. The DCL also uses the arts and storytelling to change the narrative about debt justice. Advocates may use the online debt collection tracker to examine which neighborhoods are hardest hit by debt collection cases, to identify neighborhoods with disparate impacts by race as well as socio-economic status, and to indicate how often debtors lack legal representation. The DCL will expand the number of states in which it operates and will include historical data, prior to the covid-19 pandemic in the coming year.

The webinar will outline the Lab’s strategy for automation of debt collection data and will discuss the need for creating local and national debt collection data systems, identifying the types of data needed across court systems in order to facilitate the tracking of disparate impacts. The webinar will also address why we developed this particular interface to ensure that the data would be apparent and useful for those suffering from debt as well as for those who care about social justice. The Debt Collection Lab grew out of a partnership between Princeton and the Social Science Research Council. January Advisors is primarily responsible for data collection; Hyperobjekt, the data visualizations.


Frederick “Fred” Wherry, Princeton University
Jeff Reichman, January Advisors