Civil legal aid organizations provide critical front-line services for low-income and elderly people across the country facing debt collection activity. Debt collection is a pervasive part of life in the United States. In 2014, 12 million adults had non-mortgage debts reported as past due on their credit reports and 77 million consumers had nonmortgage debts in collections. Encore Capital Group, Inc., one of the nation’s largest
debt buyers, claims that 20% of US consumers either owe it money currently or have owed it money in the past.