I have written in the past about debt collectors and their ever expanding role of using court resources. Just look at my past post on Unifund. Well, it is not unique to California.
Chicagoland courts are filled with 119,000 lawsuits from debt collectors according to the Chicago Tribune and the Consumerist. These include cases of paid off debts, mistaken identity and cases where consumers are trying to repay the debt.
Some of the reasons for this is the debtors lack of counsel, lack of understanding their rights and a lack of paperwork by the debt collector proving who the real party is. If you are contacted by a debt collector, immediately get a consultation from an attorney. If you can head this off before a lawsuit, everyone wins.