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Reinvestment Fund conducted analysis of Philadelphia Municipal Court records for debt collection cases that were filed in Small Claims court between January 2016 and April 2020. In total, 90,809 case records were obtained for analysis. The study estimated the racial and ethnic composition of defendants, enabling an examination of differences in filing patterns, case amounts, and outcomes by these characteristics. The efforts also included interviews with defendants, which shed light on events preceding debt cases, the court experience, and impacts beyond the case. The study was commissioned by Community Legal Services.

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