The lawyer can show up on their behalf, and you have the right to request the original bill with your signature on it if they can not produce it they do not have a case! You should have done this with their first phone call to you. When they first sent you a letter from the court house stating that they were suing you should should have sent a copy denying the claim and asking for proof of debt, this should have been sent certified and filed the reciept and letter with the courts. If they have the original with your signature on it and proof that you made payments they will be awarded the amount. Most likely if the debt is really old the original copy of debt has been lost. If they bought the claim from another company it would not be false reporting...if you had a claim it would be against the one that sold it to the col. Agency that is suing you. Try to google sol/ or collection agency's on your state I am sure there is a website for it.