NPR, in collaboration with ProPublica, is running a series of articles and radio segments this week focused on the practice of wage garnishment and bank account asset seizure by debt collectors.
The series, which began Monday, has featured two pieces so far: “Millions Of Americans’ Wages Seized Over Credit Card And Medical Debt” and “With Debt Collection, Your Bank Account Could Be At Risk.” The articles are running on both NPR’s and ProPublica’s sites and radio segments have been produced for both that air on NPR’s Morning Edition program.
NPR partnered with ProPublica, an investigative journalism organization, to explore legal wage garnishment in the U.S. The launching-off point, according to NPR, was the revelation that “One in 10 working Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 are getting their wages garnished.”
Rather than focusing on illegal tactics used by debt collectors, as with most media coverage, the series is highlighting practices that are entirely within the law. And the study’s authors note that the law changes fairly dramatically from state to state.
The articles have already generated hundreds of comments and thousands of social media mentions. So expect to be talking about it for a while.