State senators in California on May 24 unanimously passed legislation requiring debt collectors to have documented proof that they are pursuing the right party and to produce that paperwork upon request from the targeted consumer. Debt buyers that purchase charged-off consumer debt would have to know the full history of the debt, the contract that created it, and identifying information about the debtor -- such as address, name, and account number -- before sending a written collection notice. The aim is to block collection efforts on old debt or debt that has already been repaid and to stop collectors from seeking default judgments in court with robo-signed affidavits instead of real documentation. "The business model is that they just want to get you into court because it's likely you're not going to show up if you know it's not your debt," says Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). "They can take control of your life and make things miserable, and these are oftentimes innocent, if not in fact the wrong people altogether." According to him, banks and legitimate debt collection outfits are not opposing the bill, which is supported by Consumers Union and the Center for Responsible Lending, because they realize that bad actors are hurting the industry.