Martha Kunkle signed thousands of affidavits for a large debt collector … after her death in 1995. Portfolio Recovery Associates says her signature hasn’t been used since 2008, when its invalidity was first questioned—well, uh, except in one case last July that a rep claims was “inadvertent”—but Kunkle’s name now symbolizes the rash of robo-signing and sloppy documentation that plagues the debt collection business, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Robo-signing, according to some judges, is even more common in the debt collection industry than it is in foreclosures. "I've watched and wanted to tell defendants in these suits to demand proof of the underlying debt because that proof is so often flimsy," says one. At least one state attorney general is investigating a number of debt collectors for falsifying affidavits, and notes that the amount of corner-cutting is “alarming.” Click for more, including just how Kunkle’s signature got on all those documents. (Read more debt collection stories.)