Even more significantly, the Fourth Department ordered that the defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment be granted and the complaint dismissed. A debt buyer at least in the Fourth Department will face loss of its case if it makes a motion for summary judgment that inadequately proves standing or inadequately authenticates creditor records.
Lower courts in many places hesitate to treat debt collection suits as real lawsuits to which the usual rules of evidence and procedure apply. There is often an assumption that the defendant owes the plaintiff money unless a defense of some kind can be marshaled. See John Skiba's blog post, Are Judges Biased Against Consumers? One hopes that Unifund helps change the culture in this respect.
The next step for the Fourth Department should be to address original creditors' evidentiary failings. With routine use of robo-signers original creditors' records affidavits are no more compliant with personal-knowledge requirements than debt buyers', and never make the required threshold showings required under the business records exception in more than utterly conclusory, and thus inadequate, terms.