Unscrupulous collection lawyers are being “called on the carpet” by consumers and some judges to show proof that the amounts alleged in collection lawsuits and garnishments can be verified through extrinsic evidence. This was reported on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 in the New York Times ( link).
The article explains that “debt buyers” purchase old debts from other collection agencies and credit card companies after the preceding collector/creditor has given up on trying to collect. The new “debt buyer” then often proceeds to file suit with scant evidence supporting the allegations in the lawsuit. Many Judges are dismissing these suits for lack of reasonable extrinsic (outside) evidence of the origin and the composition of the debt. If a consumer will both (1) respond in writing to a collection lawsuit demanding verification of the origin and composition of the debt and (2) show up for Court, the Judge in the case might dismiss the suit if the suing “debt buyer” cannot produce at least copies of billing statements which verify the underlying transaction in which credit was extended or wherein goods and services were purchased with the credit. The NY Times article linked above is very interesting; one small law firm in New York files over 80,000 lawsuits per year, frequently without securing any paperwork to verify that there exists a valid underlying debt of which enforcement is sought. Each lawyer in the firm was filing 5,700 lawsuits per year utilizing computerized and automated software. Very intriguing.