John E. Melton
John E. Melton, Criminal Defense Attorney - Saginaw, MI
Posted over 3 years ago.

With all due respect, this information is out dated. The debt buyers have started requiring cooperation from the original creditors and very often have statements, etc.
I'd be cautious about counting on getting out of paying back a valid loan in this way. The good news is that debt buyers are more willing to work with debtors and can accept lower payments and often reduce the balances. If you negotiate, you may be able to clear this debt without as much pain as you would have if you were dealing with the original creditor. Be skeptical of that advice that you should raise a frivolous defense and pretend that you didn't incur a valid debt. The court may dismiss the lawsuit if Midland cannot prove their case, but guess what- this may still show up on your credit report and hurt your credit. The court is not going to discharge the debt. You will need to go bankrupt to do that-which might be an option depending on your circumstances. Good luck and I hope that you can work this out.

Dani K. Liblang
Dani K. Liblang, Lemon Law Attorney - Birmingham, MI
Posted over 3 years ago.

With all due respect, I have not found that to be the case, despite having several current pending cases where I am representing consumers against debt buyers. Perhaps this will change in the future but, currently, it is rare that the debt buyer has the requisite proofs and it is rare that the debt buyer is able to obtain sufficient proofs from the creditor. Further, even if the debt buyer is able to obtain copies of documents from the original creditor, these documents must still be authenticated by the original creditor in order to be admissible -- the debt buyer saying that it got the documents from the creditor is simply not sufficient for purposes of admissibility. As a practical matter, the likelihood of the original creditor bringing someone in at trial to authenticate the documents in order for the debt buyer to prove its case is slim. That does not mean that I am advocating that consumers put up frivolous defenses. Often, the consumer really does not owe the debt or does not owe the amount claimed. Further, there is absolutely nothing improper, unethical or immoral in making debt buyers prove their case within the rules of evidence, just as any other plaintiff in any other case is required to do. Debt buyers reap huge profits - often by taking advantage of the consumer's lack of knowledge and/or consumer's inability to retain counsel - and sometimes by outright deceptive conduct such as false or misleading affidavits and/or falsified proofs of service of process. An experienced attorney can help level the playing field and make sure it is a fair and just fight.

Finally, as to your comment that the court cannot "discharge" the debt -- while that might be true in a technical sense, once a court has made a ruling that the consumer does not owe the debt, the consumer may well have recourse under the Fair Credit Reporting Act if the creditor continues to report the debt as outstanding on the consumer's credit report.