RMAI SUCCESSFUL IN CLARIFYING INDIANA COURT RULES

RMAI is pleased to inform its membership that the association’s efforts to clarify recently adopted Indiana court rules were a success! Today, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed into law House Bill 1136, which contains RMAI’s language to address concerns raised after the adoption of revised small claims and trial court rules by the Indiana Supreme Court in 2017.

These court rules indicated, among other things: “If a claim is based on credit card or other debt and no such signed writing evidencing the original debt ever existed, then copies of documents generated when the debt was incurred or the credit card was actually used shall be attached.” (Emphasis Added)

RMAI’s concern was that a literal reading of the highlighted language above could lead to a judicial interpretation requiring a point-of-sale credit card receipt. The new statutory language, which essentially codifies the intent of the court rules, clarifies “a copy of a charge off statement or the most recent monthly statement recording a purchase transaction, a last payment, or a balance transfer is sufficient to satisfy this requirement.”

The new law also clarifies that the chain of title starts with the “original charge off creditor” rather than the “original creditor.”

RMAI wishes to express its sincere appreciation to the membership for their generous contributions to the Legislative Fund which allowed RMAI to retain a top-tier Indiana lobbying firm to successfully complete this effort prior to the trial court rule’s January 1, 2020 effective date.

RMAI hired lobbyists in several other states this year to help advocate for our businesses.  We still need your support.  Please consider DONATING to the Legislative Fund today to help us continue these efforts.

Here is the new statutory language which appears on page 18 of the bill:

(a) If a debt buyer brings an action on a debt, or an arbitration proceeding requesting a judgment on a debt, the plaintiff debt buyer shall attach with the initial pleading the following:

(1) One (1) of the following:

  1. If a signed contract or other writing evidencing the debtor’s agreement to the debt exists, a copy of the contract or other writing.
  2. If a signed contract or other writing evidencing the debtor’s agreement to the debt does not exist, a copy of a document provided to the debtor while the account was active. However, for a revolving credit account, a copy of a charge off statement or the most recent monthly statement recording a purchase transaction, a last payment, or a balance transfer is sufficient to satisfy this requirement.

(2) A chronological list of the:

  1. Names of all previous owners of the debt and date of each transfer of ownership of the debt, beginning with the name of the original charge off creditor; and
  2. Documentation, or a bill of sale, evidencing the assignment of the debt to the plaintiff debt buyer.

(b) An initial pleading described in subsection (a) is sufficient if the plaintiff debt buyer complies with subsection (a)(1) and (a)(2)