Rebecca Vallas Opposes Imprisonment for Debtors

Former Skadden Fellow Rebecca Vallas (’09) was quoted in an article in the Philadelphia City Paper about a campaign by the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania to collect $1.5 billion in decades-old criminal debt, including forfeited bail, fees and fines (“Philly Courts Pursue Old Debt, Might Jail Debtors,” Oct. 4). According to the publication, the court appears to be making preparations to jail people for nonpayment. “Many people have been told by the debt collectors that they can ‘push a button and send you to jail,’” said Rebecca, a staff attorney at Philadelphia’s Community Legal Services who represents alleged debtors and is asking the city to reform collection efforts. “Now, the courts want to actually make good on that threat. Do we really want imprisonment to be a tool for debt collection in Philadelphia?”