LVNV FUNDING, LLC v. MASTAW
LVNV FUNDING, LLC AS ASSIGNEE OF SEARS GOLD MASTERCARD,
Court of Appeals of Tennessee, at Nashville.
December 14, 2011 Session.
Filed April 30, 2012.
James E. Kirby, Antioch, Tennessee for Defendant/Appellant Kevin Mastaw.
Byron C. Hamlett, Nashville, Tennessee for Plaintiff/Appellee LVNV Funding, LLC as assignee of Sears Gold MasterCard.
HOLLY M. KIRBY, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which DAVID R. FARMER, J., and J. STEVEN STAFFORD, J., joined.
HOLLY M. KIRBY, JUDGE.
This appeal concerns the collection of credit card debt. The plaintiff, a subsequent purchaser of the debt, filed this collection action against the appellant debtor. On appeal, the appellant debtor argues, inter alia, that the trial court erred in admitting into evidence various documents from a previous owner of the debt, pursuant to the hearsay exception for business records under Tenn. R. Evid. Rule 803(6). We hold that two of the exhibits were not appropriately admitted into evidence under the business records exception. Without those exhibits, we find that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's judgment in favor of the creditor, and reverse.FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS BELOW
In December 2009, Plaintiff/Appellee LVNV Funding, LLC, ("LVNV") as assignee of Sears Gold MasterCard, filed a civil warrant in the General Sessions Court of Davidson County against Kevin J. Mastaw ("Mastaw"). The warrant asserted that Mastaw owed $15,101.23 plus pre- and post-judgment interest on his MasterCard credit card. The General Sessions Court conducted a trial in June 2010 and a judgment in favor of LVNV was entered in the amount of $16,406,77.
Mastaw filed an appeal to the Circuit Court of Davidson County ("trial court"). The de novo trial was held on March 21,2011.1 The record does not contain a transcript of the trial, but the trial court entered an approved Statement of the Evidence. Our recitation of the facts is taken from this Statement.2 At the outset of the trial, Mastaw made an oral motion to bar LVNV from proceeding with the debt collection against him, arguing that LVNV is a purchaser of accounts and engaged in debt collection as defined under Section 62-20-101, et seq. As such, Mastaw contended, LVNV was required to be licensed as a collection agency before attempting to collect the alleged debt.3 The trial court reserved its ruling on the motion until it heard the evidence regarding this issue.