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University Launches Consumer Defense Clinic

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					Legal Daily News Feature


University Launches Consumer Defense Clinic
By Christine Cristiano


To meet the legal needs of a growing segment of the population who are faced with debt collection troubles, The University of Detroit
Mercy Law School has launched a program in the 29th District Court in Wayne, Michigan, that will help defendants who are facing debt
collection proceedings.




                              01/06/10                                   collection appear in court without legal representation. Judge
                                                                         Mack expressed some concern that some defendants didn’t
                             Last year, 11% of the 14,475                have any outstanding debt or the outstanding debt was less
                             cases involved debt collection. The         than the collector alleged.
                             Consumer Defense Clinic offers
free legal assistance in court to selected defendants involved           Lyngklip’s program has shown some success and the students
in debt collection. The program will benefit second and third-           have ‘’won dismissals on 90% of their cases.” On December
year students who will have an opportunity to gain some real             2, two students, Samera Kadry, 27, of Dearborn and Mike
experience in the courtroom, and the school is hopeful that              Meltzer, 24, of Detroit, persuaded Judge Mack to dismiss a
the program can be used in other district courts.                        case against their client, Nicole Moten, 40, of Wayne, who
                                                                         was sued by a debt collector to recover a $645 balance that
According to Ian Lyngklip, a lawyer who teaches consumer                 Medicaid failed to pay regarding a surgical procedure at an
law at the school and runs the program, ‘’the defendants                 Oakland County hospital. The two students conversed with
get access to justice rather than being steamrolled by it.               Moten and determined that Medicaid reimbursed the hospital
You really need a lawyer if you’re going to effectively defend           and the debt was paid in full.
yourself against a debt collector.’’
                                                                         In Kadry’s first court appearance, she successful persuaded
Lyngklip, from Southfield, approached the university to create           Judge Mack to dismiss the suit because the debt collector’s
the program after learning from Wayne District Judge Laura               lawyer failed to appear in court.
Mack, that a number of defendants who are facing debt




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Description: To meet the legal needs of a growing segment of the population who are faced with debt collection troubles, The University of Detroit Mercy Law School has launched a program in the 29th District Court in Wayne, Michigan, that will help defendants who are facing debt collection proceedings.
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