On January 17th the Missouri Supreme Court issued an important ruling that extricated their state court system from being used as an extension of debt buyers collections department.
This decision requires debt owners (often a debt buyer who’s purchased the delinquent debt from a bank) to prove both that they own the account and how they calculated what was owed before a case can be tried. This is quite different from the “take our word for it” (or our internal record keepers word) that is the current, legally accepted norm.
From now on, in Missouri, debt buyers can’t just use the courts to bludgeon a payment or bankruptcy settlement for the debts they claim to own. First hand witnesses from the original lender (and all owners in the “food chain”) plus original documentation will need to be provided before a legal case can proceed. Given the shoddy record keeping and “robo-signing” that is rampant in the industry, this should greatly curtail the “sue ‘em all and let God sort them out” methodology debt-buyers have used to affect lucrative settlements for decades.
Let’s hope this precedent is soon be replicated throughout the country.