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Encore Capital Group Incorporated
A push for more proof in debt-collection lawsuits
A push for more proof in debt-collection lawsuits

Marquis Jones doesn't believe she owes money on a credit-card account that a debt-buying company sued to collect from her. More importantly, though, the firm never proved she did. But because the Severn woman wasn't given notice of the lawsuit — the company's process server claimed her nonexistent "wife" accepted the summons — she wasn't in court to point this out. So an Anne Arundel County judge approved a $992 judgment against her last fall. The scene has been repeated in courtrooms throughout Maryland and across the country. Companies that buy past-due consumer debts and sue to collect have won judgments against Marylanders even though,...