In 2017, the total US household debt hit an all-time high. Countless families are struggling, but when it comes to predatory lenders and debt collectors, communities of color are disproportionately targeted. Tzedek addresses the injustice, safeguarding the rights of low-income and working-class DC residents – primarily African American and Latino households – facing debt-related crises. Staff and partner lawyers provide free legal counsel and direct representation, helping to negotiate affordable payment plans, secure debt forgiveness, and obtain dismissals in cases of identity theft. Preventative education encourages residents to address financial problems head on instead of fearing the system. And in partnership with legal aid and anti-poverty groups, Tzedek fights systemic injustice, working to reform local policy. Your support can mean the difference between financial crisis and economic stability. A worthy investment indeed.
Tzedek DC immediately partnered with anti-poverty allies to get several COVID-19 emergency provisions passed by the DC Council that together have created breathing room for the client community. It also refocused its community outreach and education work to address the pandemic, especially through its Latino outreach project, "Sin Deudas, Sin Dudas" ("No Debts, No Doubts"). In both English and Spanish webinars, radio and print PSAs, short videos, and social media posts, Phase I highlighted issues of debt, debt collection, credit report protections, COVID-related scams and frauds, and the availability of Tzedek DC's free legal and financial counseling services.