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Matthew Brooks

  • Hosted by Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Sponsored by Fidelity Investments, Mintz
  • Service location Boston, Massachusetts
  • Law school Boston College Law School
  • Issue area Consumer Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2016
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Matt helped low-income people fight debt collection abuses, and works towards a fresh start for all consumers.

Debt collectors are some of the heaviest users of state court systems nationwide. In Massachusetts, they file over half of all civil cases. Despite this, very few lawyers are working with consumers to fight for their rights against industry players who do not comply with the law. It is a common misconception that there are no defenses that consumers can raise in debt collection cases; but Matt worked with his clients to raise meritorious defenses and counterclaims that can often save consumers thousands of dollars.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Matt has:

  • Provided representation to over 400 individuals in debt collection actions.
  • Given presentations to numerous community groups on consumer’s fair debt collection rights.
  • Successfully advocated as a part of a coalition for changes to court rules for debt collection cases that are favorable to consumers.
  • Helped to form a statewide coalition of consumer advocates dedicated to reaching 100% access to justice for people with consumer debt issues.

What’s Next

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Matt plans to:

  • Continue representing consumers in debt collection lawyer for the day programs.
  • Serve as the Project manager for pilot programs focusing on assuring 100% access to justice for low-income consumers in Massachusetts.
  • Work as an attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services representing consumers in fair debt collection, auto fraud, student loans, bankruptcy, and other consumer matters.


The Lopsided Nature of Debt Collection Cases

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