You may have received a letter from Midland Funding, LLC and wonder what it’s all about. The more likely scenario, however, is that you received a summons and complaint, or court notice from Midland Credit Management (MCM), and you’re trying to figure out who they are and why they’re contacting you. They are two entities within the same company owned by Encore Capital Group.
Midland Funding, LLC is one of the nation’s largest buyers of unpaid debt. Debts from credit card companies, banks, or auto loans are bought for pennies on the dollar by Midland Funding, LLC. MCM is the debt collector that services those accounts. Midland probably bought an old debt of yours from a credit card company, cell phone company, or other loan company.
If you got a court letter from them, then they are probably trying to sue you and get a judgment so that they can garnish your paycheck or freeze your bank account. But don’t worry, you have lots of options to stop them from doing these things! One of the cheapest and easiest ways to resolve a lawsuit is by filing bankruptcy. If you want a free lawyer consultation to see if bankruptcy would work for you, then call Walker and Walker today at (612) 824-4357.
How Does It Work?
The original creditor usually makes a decision to sell an account that has gone past 180 days without payment, or with less than the minimum payment. That’s right, in the United States, a debt or loan can be sold to a new company without the borrower’s consent, and sometimes without even notifying the borrower. Companies usually sell their debts because it would cost more money to try and collect the debt than to sell it to a third-party company like Midland Funding, LLC.
Once Midland Funding, LLC has purchased the debt, it is now one of the creditors that appears on your credit report. The original creditor has the option of reporting your account as a charge-off. Midland Funding, LLC also gets a trade line on your credit reports in the collections section of the reports. The debt remains on your credit report for seven years from the date of the original delinquency, regardless of when it was sold to Midland Funding, LLC.
MCM enters the picture as the third-party debt collector. Once the balance has been transferred to Midland Funding, LLC, MCM owns and services the account. They are the entity that will continue to call and send correspondence in an attempt to collect. This can be very confusing when you call the original company to ask what happened to the debt or to make a payment on it. The original company won’t know anything, they might not even be able to find you in their system!
How Do I Handle Midland Funding, LLC and MCM?
Although the MCM website claims to pursue the repayment of debt ethically, their phone calls and letters are meant to intimidate you. In fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a Consent Order with Encore Capital and its subsidiaries, including Midland Funding, LLC and MCM in 2015 citing deceptive debt collection practices. Such practices included harassment, wage garnishment without notification, and attempting to collect a debt beyond the statute of limitations time period.
What MCM doesn’t want you to know is that, while Midland Funding, LLC might have purchased your information from the original creditor, it received little else. What that means is that they may have your name, address, phone number, and social security number, and some information about the debt, but the company may lack key legal documentation to prove you owe the debt. Sometimes they have the original contract and account history, but sometimes they don’t.
In other words, Midland Funding, LLC and MCM must have your originally signed contracts and verification of the amount due. They may attempt to file a lawsuit without your knowledge and without proper documentation of your alleged debt. You have rights that protect you against such practices in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If you reside in the Minneapolis St. Paul, MN area, contact Walker & Walker to review your options.
If you do know that you owe the debt, you may wish to settle with MCM. You could have the option of setting up a payment plan or settling the debt for up to 50% of the original amount. You may also be able to negotiate having the negative item removed from your credit report once a settlement is reached. It’s important to maintain all correspondence with this or any creditor in writing.
If you receive a summons, then it is in your best interest to file an answer within the allotted time frame. Your answer is filed with the court and a copy is sent to the law firm representing Midland Funding, LLC. It serves two purposes: first, it prevents a default judgment from being entered against you, which could result in wage garnishment; second, it forces the law firm to produce evidence that you owe the debt.
At this point, you have several options. You can wait and see if Midland Funding, LLC and their legal team can produce the required documentation. Third-party debt buyers and collectors sometimes don’t have access to proof that you owe the debt. You can wait it out and see it through to trial. On the other hand, if you are concerned that you don’t have a defense, you may opt to settle or file bankruptcy.
If you are seeking the advice of a knowledgeable attorney in the Minneapolis St. Paul area, contact Walker & Walker Law Offices, PLLC at 612-824-4357. It is the first step in relieving you of the anxiety caused by debt collection activity from MCM. If you decide to file for bankruptcy in Minnesota, our firm will work to recoup any wages that were garnished or funds deducted from your bank within the last 90 days. Your best interests are our top priority.