You gotta love the good folks at Cavalry Investments, LLC , one of the many companies that buys old credit card debts for pennies on the dollar. I've defended many lawsuits brought by Cavalry and have one every one of them. Yesterday was a typical Cavalry case. As Cavalry's counsel and I were entering the Courtroom, the Judge, who I have always found to be fair and personable, commented that he expected this to be a short hearing. That comment was not said flippantly but had a more than reasonable basis. Debt buyers rarely have the documentary evidence needed to prove their case. They rely either on the consumer ignoring the lawsuit, in which case, they are often granted a default judgment or they count on the consumer showing up in court, without an attorney and either agreeing to a deal or just admitting that they owe money to a company they never even heard of before.
Most people wrongly assume that if someone is suing them, that they must owe the money. The unsuspecting consumer doesn't realize that the amounts claimed by the debt buyer are often wrong and that the debt buyers can't even prove it owns the account it is suing for. The debt buyer has the burden to prove to the Judge the accuracy of those numbers, which they try to do by getting the consumer to admit before a Judge, even though the consumer often has no idea of what if anything is owed.
In yesterday's case, I appeared without my client as is allowed under Pennsylvania's Rules of Civil Procedure. Cavalry was represented by Apothaker and Associates, a well-known debt collection law firm. The lawyer for Apothaker presented three documents, an unsigned contract, two five year old statements from Washington Mutual, (supposedly the original credit card company) and a printout of the alleged account history with no reference to my client. Astoundingly, Cavalry provided no proof it even owned the debt!
Needless to say, the venerable Judge entered a Judgment in favor of my client.