Debt Buyers Fake Affidavits, Too

Last week, GMAC basically stopped evicting homeowners and foreclosing homes in 23 states when it got caught filing affidavits without any personal knowledge. That’s good news, but here’s what rubs me the wrong way: debt buyers do the same thing, and nobody seems to care.

For example, a custodian of records for Midland Funding recently admitted knowing nothing about the 200 and 400 affidavits he signed every day. But Midland Funding didn’t put a stop to its operations. In fact, I would be surprised if Midland Funding changed its procedures at all.

And Kevin Marciniak, who is an employee of Messerli & Kramer and custodian of records for (at least) Livingston Financial, North Star Capital, Dakota Bluff Financial, Bayfield Financial, Pipestone Financial, River City Financial, Pioneer Financial, ABL Financial, and Red Rock Lake Financial, does not know anything more than GMAC’s employee. At a recent deposition by our firm, he admitted that he knows little more than the date of last payment and the balance due—information he gets in a spreadsheet from the previous debt buyer. But the companies Marciniak works for are still filing thousands of lawsuits a year in Minnesota.

I suspect you would learn similar information from every debt buyer in the country.

There really are laws against this sort of thing, so why are debt collectors getting away with filing 70,000+ lawsuits a year in Minnesota? Do the courts sanction this behavior? Surely not, even though it sometimes seems like debt collectors have taken over the civil justice system.

The reason, I suppose, is that you can get away with pretty much anything until you get caught by a consumer rights attorney. Judges cannot do anything until they are asked to by a plaintiff. GMAC got caught, but the debt buyers remain at large.