Kristen Bor-Zale

  • Hosted by Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Sponsored by Fidelity Investments, Mintz
  • Service location Boston, Massachusetts
  • Law school Northeastern University School of Law
  • Issue area Consumer Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Kristen will promote economic justice for survivors of domestic violence and other vulnerable populations through direct representation and community trainings on debt collection.

Nearly every victim of domestic violence suffers from some form of financial abuse. The rise of easily accessible credit cards has rapidly increased financial abuse through consumer credit, also known as coerced debt. By knowing the victim’s personal information, an abuser can destroy a victim’s credit score by opening unauthorized credit cards in the victim’s name and then hiding the bills. Damaged credit scores impede a victim’s ability to access necessary resources for leaving an abusive relationship such as obtaining housing, a vehicle, and even employment.

Kristen’s experience as a teacher and organizer ground her commitment to advocating for economic justice for survivors of domestic violence and their families.

Fellowship Plans

During her Fellowship, Kristen will represent consumers in small claims court and develop a coerced debt defense. She will train volunteer attorneys and domestic violence advocates to help victims identify and address financial abuse. Through representation in debt collection proceedings, challenges to credit reporting issues, and community programming, this project will ensure that victims are not unjustly separated from the economic resources necessary to secure their independence.


Bor-Zale, Nawab and Warren Awarded Equal Justice Works Fellowships

I am honored to join the work of GBLS in helping survivors of domestic violence regain financial stability.

Kristen Bor-Zale /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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Andrew Neuhauser

Host: Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc.

Sponsor: Ohio Access to Justice Foundation

Erica Pun

Host: Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County

Sponsor: Pfizer Inc.

Michael Deemer

Host: Ohio State Legal Services Association

Sponsor: Ohio Access to Justice Foundation

Maria-Daniel Asturias

Host: Center for Responsible Lending

Sponsor: Friends and Family of Philip M. Stern