What Is "Intrinsic Evidence"?

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Evidence is the backbone of any legal case, and it’s also one of the case’s most complex components. Not all evidence is admissible or helpful, which is why differentiating between types of evidence is crucial for your case. Identifying intrinsic evidence is a good place to start.

Intrinsic Evidence Simplified

Intrinsic evidence mostly relates to contract law, and it’s the evidence that appears within a legal document. The actual words within a document would be considered intrinsic evidence.

Here’s a more detailed example. Imagine you have a written contract for a loan that you sign and agree to. After the fact, the creditor might attempt to come to another verbal agreement regarding your loan that differs from the text of the contract you signed.

The contract that you signed is the intrinsic evidence, and the attempted verbal agreement would be extrinsic evidence. Intrinsic evidence is admissible in court, but extrinsic evidence isn’t because admitting extrinsic evidence undermines the authority of the original document.

Intrinsic Evidence and the FDCPA

Intrinsic evidence may be helpful to you if you’re filing an FDCPA claim. For example, if a debt collector attempts to make a verbal agreement regarding your debt payment (perhaps by overcharging you) and then takes legal action based on the verbal exchange, you’ll most likely be protected by the fact that the original written agreement is the one that counts. The written agreement is intrinsic evidence, and the verbal one wouldn’t be.

Of course, there are going to be exceptions and loopholes in any legal case, which is why contacting an attorney for help will help illuminate this often confusing process.