ADR News

By Nancy Cook, Newsweek.com

It takes about 10 minutes for Diane (not her actual name) to tell her story outside a Manhattan court room. Her husband was diagnosed with Stage III cancer three years ago and treatments left the couple with $60,000 in medical bills. Unable to work through his illness, her husband lost his job and the adjustable rate on their refinanced mortgage shot up. Now, the collection agencies and the credit companies are demanding their money. “I’m sorry to hear this,” says Jeff Thompson, a 30-year-old New York City police officer. “It sounds like you’ve been through a lot.”

Thompson isn’t about to arrest Diane, he’s showing up in court to try to help her navigate a way out of deep debt. Thompson works as volunteer mediator with
Safe Horizon, a New York nonprofit that’s perhaps best known for its work with victims of violent crimes. While that is the group’s main mission, it has recently branched out to help those who have become casualties of the economy, by mediating cases between consumers and their creditors….


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