Sunday, September 18, 2011
Maryland will make it tougher to collect on "purchased debt" without proper documentation that debts are real
Michelle Singletary has an important column in the Sunday Washington Post, Business, “The Color of Money”, p. G1, “Maryland makes it tougher for debt collectors to sue consumers”, link here.
She is referring to the practice of buying debt, not just collecting debt under contract.
I once got caught in something like this. In 2000, I requested my credit report and found an old Visa card from Chemical Bank in NYC that I thought had been closed. A $125 bill had blossomed to $650 in ten years. I called National Credit Systems, and a woman called back and threatened to sue me. She would not accept a dispute. I wound up paying. It's possible that the card could have fallen through the cracks when I moved from New York to Texas at the beginning of 1979.
I went to work for RMA, a debt collector, in Minnesota for a while in 2003. It wasn’t until then that I learned that this charge probably had been wrong. There was nothing I could do.
Singletary reports that in many states, courts rubber stamp “robo signed” suits for bought debt without requiring due process or proof. Maryland is trying to tighten up the process.