I recently had a trial against Midland Funding. It was your typical Midland Funding junk debt buyer trial – long on assumptions, short on admissible evidence.
This particular case was particularly bad as to the complete lack of evidence. The alleged debt had switched hands at least four times and not a single bill of sale identified a single account. The witness for Midland Funding testified that he was “positive” that my client’s account was part of the transfer even though none of the documents supported that.
Despite my objections and protests the judge entered judgment in favor of Midland Funding. In ruling against my client the judge stated that “while it would be ideal if Midland Funding had documents to support their case, the documents they have are adequate – this is just how business is done.”
Why some courts believe it is their job to sanction the shoddy record keeping and worse cases filed by junk debt buyers, I will never know.
It is one thing for a court to believe that a debt is owed, it is an entirely different thing to provide the court’s seal of approval in the form of a judgment. After all, a judgment should stand for the proposition that a party has come into court and proven its case based upon all of the evidentiary standards and rules of procedure that are there to safeguard defendants to civil lawsuits.
A creditor armed with a judgment can wreak havoc on a family. Wage garnishments and bank levies often result in missed rent payments, evictions, and bankruptcy.
The very least (seriously, the very least) that should be required is that the debt buyer be required to abide by the rules of evidence and the rules of civil procedure. If they can’t meet this standard, then they can try and collect on the debt through normal debt collection channels. If they want the power of the court behind their collections they should be required to meet the court’s standards.
And courts should not find itself feeling obligated to change the way it is required to conduct civil lawsuits simply because of how “business is done” in the debt buying world.
Photo Credit: winnifredxoxo
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