Debt Buyers: why they must prove they own the debt [illustration of Apple v Samsung]

Debt Buyers: why they must prove they own the debt [illustration of Apple v Samsung]A picture of a document with the words, "Debt Buyers: why they must prove they own the debt"

When I am representing clients in court who have been sued by debt collectors or debt buyers, I’m always trying to think of illustrations to help the judge understand why, even though we may have owed a credit card debt, why we don’t owe this particular company (Midland Funding, Portfolio Recovery, LVNV, etc.)

The legal answer is that the debt buyers have to prove they own the debt.

But how do we illustrate this?

Imagine that I file a lawsuit against Samsung and have this conversation with the judge.

I show up to court claiming that Samsung has violated all sorts of patents on the Apple iPhone. 

The Judge sees that I am not Apple and asks why I am filing this lawsuit.

I tell the judge not to worry because I have bought the patents and therefore have the right to bring the lawsuit.

The judge wants proof.  Pretty reasonable, right?!

I provide the judge with a single piece of paper claiming I have purchased the patents.

The judge looks over the paper and asks to see the contract for the purchase.

I then inform the judge that this is top secret information and NO ONE is allowed to see my contract. It would be devastating to my business if anyone were to see the contract.

He should just trust me. 

You can see that this would not sit well with the judge. The judge would have the case thrown out.

This is what debt buyers do.

They come in with a one-page bill of sale that says, “We bought the debts described and the purchase agreement.”

When asked to produce the purchase agreement, they respond, “It is secret, we can’t let you see it.”

This is a problem.

Just because you owed the original creditor (Synchrony Bank, Capital One, or other credit card companies) does not mean that you owe the company who has claimed to have bought the debt.

Sometimes it is helpful to be able to use illustrations so judges understand the point you are making.  If you do this in court, make sure you have practiced and rehearsed this beforehand!

We hope this is helpful to you!

If you live in Alabama and you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us.

We would be glad to help you in any way we can.

You can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447, or you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you quickly. 

Have a great day!

-John Watts

Here are some videos you might enjoy about this subject of ownership of debts by debt buyers:

What is a debt buyer and what do they have to prove about ownership when they sue me?

Is it true a debt buyer can never provide proof they own the debt?

Debt collection lawsuit: The difference between owing and owning a debt



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