In many instances, debt collectors are even sloppier and more clueless than the robo-signers involved in Foreclosuregate.
The NY Times reports that debt-collection agencies have been robo-signing for years: One staffer who works at a debt-buying company said she “verified” the facts and signed 2,000 affidavits per day—one every 13 seconds or so. The result is that mistakes are made all the time, and that, because debt collectors are poorly informed and sloppy with paperwork, consumers can fight the claims and win. The Times writes:
In those instances when a consumer hires a lawyer, the consumer often prevails.
“I’ve lost four and I’ve taken about 5,000 cases,” said Jerry Jarzombek, a consumer lawyer in Fort Worth. “If the case goes to trial, I say to the judge, ‘Your honor, imagine if someone came in here to give eyewitness testimony in a traffic accident case and they didn’t actually see the crash. They just read about it somewhere. Well, this is the same thing.’ The debt buyers don’t know anything about the debt. They just read about it.”