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Fighting for the Right to Help

20 minutes

It’s illegal to advise someone who’s being sued for medical debt, unless you're a lawyer. Yep, really. Even in its most basic form (like helping people fill out a checklist) it’s considered the “unlicensed practice of law.” And it’s a crime. As in, you could go to jail.


So some New Yorkers are suing to get that changed. 


The non-profit Upsolve wants to help people represent themselves in court when they’re being sued over debt. Their plan is to train people like pastors, social workers, and librarians and others to help people others know their rights. And iIn the Bronx, Reverend John Udo-Okon is one of those volunteers, ready to help. 


We meet the CEO of Upsolve and Reverend John to talk about their work – and why they’re suing the state of New York. 


Here’s a transcript of the episode

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