Alert May 15, 2012

State Court Holds Affidavits in Debt Collection Suit Violate Hearsay Rule

A Tennessee appellate court reversed a lower court ruling that was based, in part, on affidavits submitted by a debt collector as proof of the debt. The debt collector was a subsequent purchaser of a credit card contract, and at trial sought to introduce evidence of the debtor’s alleged debt through testimony by the debt collector’s in-house attorney. In reversing the lower court, the Court found that two affidavits were “erroneously admitted” under the business records exception because the affiant had no personal knowledge of the facts and prepared them solely for litigation purposes.  The Court also noted that because the debt collector was not the original creditor, it had to establish that it was the owner of the debt. Click here for the order.