News & Resources

Maryland Court of Appeals weighs in on debt collection issue

Sep 29, 2011 Mike Garretson

The highest court in Maryland recently made it more difficult for debt collectors in the state to take customers to court over unpaid bills, the Washington Post reports. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that debt collectors, who often buy debts from the original creditor and chase after the person, must provide more information about the money in question. Because the owner of the debt changes hands so many times, the documentation can get lost in the shuffle. According to Maryland assistant attorney general W. Thomas Lawrie, companies need to get more proof before suing consumers. "We saw affidavits signed by employees of companies swearing they had personal knowledge of the debts, when the companies were the third or fourth owners of the debt and had never purchased any of the underlying documents (or media) from the original creditor," said Lawrie in an interview with the newspaper. There has been other news about the debt collection industry and the legal system. The Courthouse News Service reports that Roslyn Griffith and Jerret Cain both filed a federal lawsuit, alleging that Consumer Portfolio Services violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when they contacted them using an automatic dialing system.