By: Thomas R. Kendall, Esq.
Beginning next year, an affidavit of debt must be attached to all complaints on accounts filed in Indiana. The affidavit must include certain information, much of which is not currently included in client affidavits. This change stems from the Indiana Supreme Court’s recent order amending certain provisions of the Indiana Trial Rules and takes effect January 1, 2011.
Trial Rule 9.2, governing required attachments to a complaint, has been amended to include the following language: “When any pleading allowed by these rules is founded on an account, an Affidavit of Debt, in a form substantially similar to that which is provided in Appendix A-2 to these rules, shall be attached.” As a result of this rule change, credit card (and other account) Plaintiffs will be required to attach the affidavit as an exhibit to the Complaint, instead of supplying an affidavit of debt at the time of filing a judgment motion. In addition, the form of the affidavit of debt has been standardized. We anticipate that Indiana courts will systematically enforce the requirement, even in cases where the debtor has not appeared or answered.
Therefore, all creditors who refer claims for suit on credit card, medical, or other accounts, must comply with the amended rule. Accordingly, these creditors must be prepared to supply their counsel with the following data for each account:
- Whether they are the original creditor and, if not, the name of their assignor and the original creditor
- Debtor’s name
- Total account balance, as of a specified date
- Last 4 digits of the account number
- Date the account was opened
- Date the last payment was received
- Amount of the last payment received
- Type of account
- A breakdown of account fees and interest that comprise the total balance
- Whether or not the creditor is seeking attorney’s fees.
In most cases, an additional affidavit will not need to be filed with the judgment motion. Therefore, the two most significant aspects of the rule change are (1) the affidavit must be supplied to counsel before the suit can be filed; and (2) the affidavit must contain additional account information that creditors may not be accustomed to providing with their credit account referrals. For a copy of the Affidavit of Debt, go here.
WWR will immediately begin contacting clients individually, to establish procedures for preparation of the required affidavit prior to suit filing, to ensure compliance by the effective date of the rule change.
If you have any questions on this matter, please contact Mr. Thomas R. Kendall, Esq. Tom is an associate in Consumer Collections focused on general collections and subrogation located in the Cincinnati office of Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co. LPA. He can be reached directly at 513.723.6052 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.