Every state has a set of exemption laws, intended to prevent creditors from pushing families into destitution. But NCLC’s No Fresh Start 2021 report finds that few states’ exemption laws meet even the most basic standards. With weak exemption laws, families struggling to get back on their feet after the COVID-19 pandemic will face seizure of wages and essential property due to a wave of debt collector lawsuits. Weak exemption laws will impede economic recovery and exacerbate the racial wealth gap.

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