The Star Tribune just ran an in-depth story about the surge in debt buyer collection lawsuits. The article does a great job of highlighting the major problem with debt buyers’ lawsuits: their lack of information and evidence to prove that the consumer actually owes the debt. As the story explains, the problems created by this lack of information are magnified when combined with debt buyers’ aggressive litigation practices and the guilty-until-proven-innocent attitude that they treat consumers with.
To me, the important thing for people to take from this story is to understand that the debt buyer industry is built on the premise that consumers will not answer their lawsuits, which results in thousands of default judgments for them. By obtaining the overwhelming majority of their judgments by default, debt buyers can get away with not having sufficient–or any–evidence that the consumer owes the money. But as the story shows, if the consumer fights back, many debt buyers will either walk away from the case or get roundly defeated in court.
If you live in Minnesota and have been sued by a debt buyer, feel free to download and use my free Answer form and instructions. And if you would prefer to have an attorney defend you against a debt buyer lawsuit, feel free to contact me.
Phantom debts, real anguish | Star Tribune | June 30, 2010