Do debt collectors have to prove the debt owed is your?

UPDATED: Feb 21, 2012

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Do debt collectors have to prove the debt owed is your?

A debt collector froze my joint bank account without even contacting me to let me know that they think I owe this bill. The company never even served me with court papers notifying me that there was going to be a judgement. When I called the debt collectors and asked for proof that this is my bill (which I have never had a such a credit card) they told me that they do not have to prove anything to me. What should I do as I cannot afford a lawyer to get my account unfrozen?

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states a plaintiff is required to prove all claims for liability and damages against a defendant. In your situation, the debt collector is required to serve you with a summons and complaint concerning a lawsuit and prove that you owe on the bill. This is required under this country's due process clause under our Constitution.

From what you have written, it seems that the claim against you may be the result of mistaken identity and the bank account frozen might have resulted from a lawsuit against a person who has the same name as you. I suggest that you consult with an attorney that practices debt collection defense work.


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