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BYU law students create legal aid for debtors

Local News

PROVO (News4Utah) – The LawX lab at the BYU Law School looks for problems in the law, and tries to solve them. This year they tackled debt collection and created a website to help people being sued for debt collection take the first step forward. 

LawX Director Kimbal Parker explained, “We essentially built turbo-tax for responding to a debt collection lawsuit. In Utah over the last five years, there have been 330,000 debt collection lawsuits, people being sued for debts that they owe..” He said 99 percent of those people never get legal aid, and most never respond to the initial summons letter from the court. 

When you are sued for debt collection, you have 21 days to respond to the lawsuit or you automatically lose. You are then required to pay your debt as well as any court or legal fees through wage garnishment. 

Ryan Lewis is one of the students who worked on the project, he said, “At the end of the day, we had to figure out what’s going to be the most useful for the most number of people and in our research and feedback we found that people would go online and use a product that was simple and they could understand it and that walked them through.”

Solo Suit is their solution. It helps a person draft a response letter to the summons before the 21-day deadline. The project has been so successful, Parker says  they’ve seen almost double the traffic in the last two months that they were expecting to see in their first year. They will be expanding into five more states this year. 

Solo Suit provides step one in the process of a debt collection lawsuit; the students say it’s important that users know they will need more legal help down the line and provide information for some free or discounted legal assistance on SoloSuit.com.  

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