I recently had a trial against a junk debt buyer that had an interesting twist that I thought could be helpful to those facing debt collection lawsuits from debt buyers like Midland Funding, Unifund, Portfolio Recovery, or one of the other many companies out there.
In evaluating a case for trial I always take time to review all of the documents disclosed by the debt in support of their case. I check account numbers on each document and cross reference them with each of the other document. Are they the same? I also check things like balance owed, interest rates, addresses, and any other information that you would think should be consistent throughout the documents.
Reviewing the details in each document will often result in you finding that the information that the debt buyer has submitted in support of its case often does no such thing.
In one of my most recent cases the junk debt buyer had submitted an affidavit from an employee of the alleged original creditor. An affidavit is a written, sworn, notarized statement by a person that attests to some fact. In my particular case the affidavit was submitted from the original creditor for the purpose of verifying that the documents being submitted from the original creditor were true and accurate.
But in reviewing the affidavit I immediately noticed a big problem (for them). The name of the person who signed the affidavit was not the same as the person who was named in the affidavit. And to add to their troubles the document was actually notarized. When a notary signs and stamps a document they are stating that the person who signed the affidavit is who they say they are and are further the person referenced in the affidavit.
So, in this case we had an affidavit of Jane Doe (not the real name) that was signed by John Doe, and the notary had signed off on the entire thing.
Having a fraudulent affidavit causes big problems for the junk debt buyer trying to prove its case. Especially in light of the fact that the affidavit in this case was being submitted to attest to the accuracy of the documents. Hard to do when the affidavit itself has some huge errors.
The point of this post is to read over the documents carefully. The small details you find could impact your debt collection case in large ways.
Photo Credit: Steve Hanna