Defending Junk Debt Buyer Lawsuits

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Defending Junk Debt Buyer Lawsuits

Defending Junk Debt Buyer Lawsuits

I sued you, you didn’t file an answer,
and you didn’t come to court.
What more do I need to prove?

— Remark made by an attorney for a junk-debt buyer

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Peter A. Holland

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

May 1, 2012

Clearinghouse Review, Vol. 46, No. 1-2, May-June 2012, p. 12+
U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-24

 

Abstract:     
Junk debt buyer lawsuits have overwhelmed the courts all across the United States. These lawsuits wreak havoc on consumers and their families. Often overlooked is the fact that judgments against consumers which are based on junk debt are part of a zero sum game, where every bogus judgment deprives a legitimate creditor of the chance to get paid from scarce resources. Thus, the legitimate creditor to whom money is owed is materially harmed by the junk debt buyer who extracts money based on an illegitimate claim, or who causes someone to declare bankruptcy. Providing representation to this otherwise unrepresented population will not only help individual consumers. It could improve the entire U.S. economy, by preserving precious resources to pay what is legitimately owed, and avoiding paying for what is not. This article surveys the landscape of the junk debt buyer industry and provides advice for consumer advocates engaged in the battle against unscrupulous junk debt buyers.

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