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Credit Cards Hit Clients With 'Robo-Signed' Lawsuits

Courts flooded with cases based on slim or falsified evidence
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2012 8:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – Looks like mortgage foreclosures aren't the only things banks "robo-signed." A glut of credit card lawsuits is revealing that card issuers have the same tendency to use shoddy, incomplete, or erroneous documents against clients, the New York Times reports. Companies like American Express, Citigroup, and Discover have been filing lawsuits against clients to recoup unpaid bills, but dozens of judges, regulators, and lawyers say their evidence is atrocious, and includes mass-produced documents or flat-out falsified ones. (In one case, a document Discover says was from 2004 featured ads dated 2010 on it.)

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In many cases, lenders sue after piling on erroneous fees. "I would say that roughly 90% of the credit card lawsuits are flawed, and can't prove the person owes the debt," says one Brooklyn judge, who sees as many as 100 such cases a day. He recalls one witness giving identical testimony in a slew of cases—or, as he termed it, "robo-testimony." The Times notes that some credit card holders say they don't owe anything, but most don't agree with the amount the card issuers claim is outstanding. But because borrowers rarely show up to defend themselves, lenders win 95% of the time, their errors unnoticed. (Read more robo-signing stories.)

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