Evidentiary issues plague Georgia credit card debt lawsuits (1)
Throughout the economic recession and its aftermath, much attention has been paid to mortgage fraud and the other issues that led to the foreclosure crisis. Lawmakers and advocates continue to work to identify those issues in order to ensure that innocent homeowners can no longer be harmed by fraud and other predatory practices.
However, there is one issue that, despite plaguing thousands of people in Georgia and throughout the country, has received significantly less attention. Today, more and more people are finding themselves defending against claims of unpaid credit card debt made by credit card companies and, more commonly, debt collection agencies. Often, these cases are filed with little to no evidence of the debtor’s failure to make payment or even of the debt itself, leaving the court and all parties involved thoroughly confused and uncertain of how to handle the case.
Much like the foreclosure mess, credit card debt often changes hands several times, going from the credit card company to what can be a long chain of debt buyers and collectors. Along the way, paperwork and details about the account and the amounts spent and paid are often lost or confused, leaving the collector with no real proof of the client’s debt.
According to Georgia court officials, many cases are filed with barely any documentation aside from an account number and a total amount owed. So when a debtor challenges a claim, the creditors are unable to provide more detailed statements and the judge presiding over the case has no choice but to throw it out for a lack of evidence.
Unfortunately, that scenario doesn’t take place too often. We will discuss why that is in our next blog post.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Credit card lawsuits replay foreclosure mess,” Craig Schneider, Aug. 24, 2012
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