Over a period of about three decades, the way state courts are used has fundamentally changed. In 1990, they typically fielded disputes between adversaries in contract disputes or other commercial matters, or in personal injury cases, and both sides had attorneys. Now the typical case involves a company suing an individual over a debt. Among the causes of this transformation are a rise in household debt and the emergence of a debt-buying industry. It’s primarily low and moderate-income people, often without attorneys, who are being hauled into these courts, mostly for such things as medical bills, credit card balances, or money owed on car or student loans. A study from The Pew Charitable Trusts takes an in-depth look at the issue and how some jurisdictions are attempting to address it.