News & Resources

Ruling forces debt buyers to provide more proof

Sep 14, 2011 Mike Garretson

In response to a Maryland court committee's June request to implement new debt buying rules, the state's Court of Appeals recently agreed to revise the Maryland Rules of Procedure to benefit consumers, the Baltimore Sun reports. Typically, when debt collectors purchase defaulted accounts from credit card companies or creditors, they must swear in affidavits that the information they provided about the debtor is accurate. However, companies rarely actually pay to acquire this proof, Credit & Collections Risk notes. According to Public Justice Center attorney Jonathan F. Harris, the revised rules will require companies that buy past-due consumer debts to provide proper evidence to defend their claims before being allowed to file a lawsuit. The Gazette reports that the lack of resources provided during a lawsuit results in defendants not showing up to court, many times because they're unaware they've been sued in the first place. Credit-buying firms typically win these cases because the legitimacy of their claims can't be questioned. The ruling will eventually balance the system for collecting legitimate debt in Maryland.