The language in this bill — primarily, but unofficially, known as the Credit Card Responsibility Bill — that pertains to collection agencies is this:
“In an uncontested court action in this state a creditor may establish the amount of the debt that is owed on a credit card account through a copy of the issuer’s final billing statement or by the electronic record pursuant to section 44-7007 that is maintained by the issuer and that represents the amount owed. In contested actions the court shall weigh the evidence of the parties as required by law.”
"Well yes, theoretically, the courts would weigh evidence. But as we saw in the Florida foreclosure courts, judges simply rubber-stamped the bank requests, no matter how egregious or poorly documented their claims. So I wouldn't count on it."
So Governor Brewer is making it easy for collection agencies to "prove" the amount that is owed. Now they don't have to go to the trouble of finding and digging through all the records of the original creditor to find out how much is really owed. They just offer the last billing statement.
follow up: If you would like to read why this is a bad idea, with a real-world example from Tennessee, check out law professor Bob Lawless' take on it at the blog Credit Slips. : "The documentation problems identified in LVNV Funding are pervasive throughout the debt collection industry. Because not every court is careful and because not every consumer has good representation, credit card debts undoubtedly are being collected without adequate evidence the debt is due and owing."