Kiah Collier is an investigative reporter for the ProPublica-Texas Tribune Investigative Initiative. She previously worked at the Tribune as a reporter and associate editor since 2015, covering energy and environment through the lens of state government and politics. She was a reporter on “Hell and High Water,” a Peabody Award–winning collaboration between ProPublica and the Tribune that explored the vulnerability of the Houston area to a large, devastating hurricane. In addition to the Peabody Award, she has been honored with the Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism, the National Edward R. Murrow Award for best investigation, and the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award.
Una investigación de meses reveló que Oportun, Inc., empresa fundada para ayudar a los inmigrantes latinos a establecer un historial de crédito, utiliza demandas judiciales rutinariamente, con el fin de intimidar a esta población vulnerable para que se mantengan al día con los pagos de sus préstamos de alto interés, incluso durante COVID-19.
Los juzgados de paz, donde se presenta la mayoría de las reclamaciones de adeudos en Texas, no tienen el requisito de documentar información a nivel de caso. Aquí presentamos cómo las reporteras de ProPublica y The Texas Tribune lograron revelar una de las tácticas más agresivas de la empresa.
Justice of the peace courts, where a majority of debt claims are filed in Texas, aren’t required to report case-level information. Here’s how ProPublica and Texas Tribune reporters got around it to reveal one company’s aggressive tactics.
A monthslong investigation revealed that Oportun Inc., which was founded to help Latino immigrants build credit, routinely uses lawsuits to intimidate a vulnerable population into keeping up with high-interest loan payments — even amid COVID-19.
A meses de haber comenzado la pandemia, un prestamista que se comercializa entre los inmigrantes latinos siguió demandando a sus prestatarios, a pesar de que estos perdieron sus empleos y se retrasaron con sus pagos. No obstante, la compañía dio marcha atrás cuando nosotros comenzamos a hacer preguntas.
Months into the pandemic, a lender that markets to Latino immigrants continued to sue borrowers after they lost jobs and missed payments. But they reversed course when we started asking questions.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Is Cracking Down on Cities’ Enforcement of COVID-19 Orders, but Many Already Took a Lax Approach
Texas cities and counties have dramatically different interpretations of the state’s COVID-19 emergency orders. Complaint data from a dozen cities shows disparate approaches to enforcement, particularly among businesses, have been incredibly common.
Kim Boatswain’s tax refund could have helped her get through the coronavirus slowdown. But debt collectors seized it. There are few options for Texans like Boatswain whose money was taken just before the state temporarily banned such garnishments.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide stay-at-home order, though he declined to refer to it as such, that also designated religious services as essential. Some religious groups in Texas — it’s unclear just how many — are still welcoming parishioners.