What is Extrinsic Evidence?

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Believe it or not, there’s more than one kind of evidence in legal cases. Familiarizing yourself with the different kinds of evidence--especially whether each type is admissible in court--could help you if you ever need to file any kind of claim.

Extrinsic Evidence Simplified

Extrinsic evidence is commonly referred to in contract law. It’s evidence that is related to the contract but isn’t actually housed within the language of the contract. For example, verbal negotiations that are related to the contract could be an example of extrinsic evidence.

Extrinsic evidence isn’t admissible in court because the legal system aims to protect the integrity of the written agreement. Introducing extrinsic evidence can undermine the written document, which is the most important piece at the heart of contract law.

Extrinsic Evidence and the FDCPA

Since FDCPA claims involve debt collection, there was probably some type of contract involved when the money was initially loaned out. Whether it was a loan agreement or a credit card agreement, you probably had to agree to a contract before your funds were dispersed.

Extrinsic evidence can come into play if a debt collector is insisting that you owe more money than you actually do based on the contract you agreed to. Even if you accidentally made some kind of verbal agreement, that verbal agreement could be extrinsic evidence, which means that it wouldn’t be admissible in court.

Here, the extrinsic evidence rule protects you by maintaining the stipulations of the contract. This can be complicated to deal with on your own, and an attorney can help address any questions you might have about what’s admissible in court.

If a debt collector is arguing that you agreed to a contract through extrinsic evidence, you should speak with an FDCPA attorney as soon as possible.