The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods Our first-of-its-kind analysis shows that the suits are far more common in black communities than white ones.

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The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods

Our first-of-its-kind analysis shows that the suits are far more common in black communities than white ones.

by Paul Kiel and Annie Waldman, ProPublica 
Reporter Paul Kiel will be featured this weekend on the radio show This American Life during a segment focused on this investigation. Find air times in your area. A podcast of the show will be available Monday.
On a recent Saturday afternoon, the mayor of Jennings, a St. Louis suburb of about 15,000, settled in before a computer in the empty city council chambers. Yolonda Fountain Henderson, 50, was elected last spring as the city’s first black mayor.
On the screen was a list of every debt collection lawsuit against a resident of her city, at least 4,500 in just five years. Henderson asked to see her own street. On her block of 16 modest ranch-style…

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