Human Rights Watch Still Right: Debt Buyers Rely On Our Courts

By far the largest users of Maryland’s civil courts are businesses collecting debts. Debt buyers are the largest plaintiffs of all. In 2016, a Human Rights Watch report noted that

Debt buyers . . . rely on tax-funded state institutions—namely the court system—to secure much of their income. Leading debt buyers rank among the heaviest individual users of state court systems across the US, and various legal actions and research, including that of Human Rights Watch, have identified repeated patterns of error and lack of legal compliance in their lawsuits. These problems are often discovered long after the debt buyers have already won court judgments against alleged debtors, a situation that arises because of the inability of alleged debtors to mount an effective defense even when they are on the right side of the law. Debt buyer lawsuits typically play out before the courts with a stark inequality of arms, pitting unrepresented defendants against seasoned collections attorneys.

This is still true. In 2017 the largest debt buyer in Maryland filed over 26,000 cases. That’s more than 71 cases every day. Nobody knows how many of those suits had problems: how many consumers were victims of sewer service, how many were victims of identity theft, how many debts included bogus fees or worthless add-on products.

If you have been sued by a debt buyer such as Midland Funding, CACH, Cavalry Portfolio Services, Portfolio Recovery Associates, feel free to contact us for a consultation.