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Credit Card Industry Scrutinized Over Claims Of Robo Practices

creditcardsMajor credit card companies are coming under scrutiny for poor recordkeeping related to bad debts that many observers compare to the “robo-signing” abuses that hit mortgage servicing industry two years ago.

Credit institutions have been filing large numbers of lawsuits against borrowers in effort to recover an estimated $18.7 billion in delinquent credit card debt. Judges, government regulators and consumer advocates in several states complain that card issuers often rely on mass-produced documents that are either incomplete or contain incorrect information — such as inflated account balances and improper fees, according to media reports.

Judges in a number of cases also are beginning to question the validity of affidavits filed by employees of credit card companies. One New York judge estimated that in 90 percent of the cases he has handled, the credit card company cannot prove the borrower owes the debt.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Trade Commission are looking into the card issuers’ practices.

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