Midland Funding, LLC is a company that buys accounts in default (also known as bad debt). A consumer credit account typically goes into default and is charged off once it has been 180 days since a payment has been made. These accounts are typically consumer credit accounts such as credit cards and store cards. Midland purchases these accounts in groups and often only pays pennies on the dollar to get them. Midland Funding is what is called a 3rd party debt collector. This means that they never originally owned any of the accounts that they try to collect on and instead Midland relies solely on the portfolios of debt they purchase to turn a profit. Midland Funding files thousands of collection lawsuits each year against consumers.

Midland Funding typically uses a sister company called Midland Credit Management to begin collecting on the accounts purchased by Midland Funding. Both of these companies share the same parent company, Encore Capital Group. Midland Funding is one of the nation’s biggest buyers of unpaid debt.

Why is Midland Funding Suing Me?

They are suing because they claim that one of the many accounts they have purchased belongs to you and you therefore owe them now, not the original creditor. They are trying to get you to pay them the alleged amount or have a court enter a judgment against you for the alleged amount. When you boil it down, Midland is using the court system as a tool to ensure their return on investment for the account they claim is linked to you. They typically will also send letters offering to “settle” the alleged debt for 70-80% which is likely far more than what they paid for it. If you have been recently served with a Midland Funding, LLC lawsuit then you should take action to protect yourself.

How can I fight a Midland Funding Lawsuit?

Thoele | Drach can help you fight back against Midland Funding. Settling a case helps you avoid a judgment for the amount Midland is seeking and the costs involved in the filing of the lawsuit. If Midland obtains a judgment against you, they may be able to garnish your wages, bank accounts, and put liens on your property. Most of our settlement agreements do not involve our clients paying Midland Funding any money.  Thoele | Drach has also taken Midland Funding cases to trial to make them prove that they own the debt, and when they can’t, we win.

If you are being sued by Midland Funding or another third-party debt collector, you should consult an experienced debt defense attorney, like those at Thoele | Drach, to discuss your options and rights.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (more commonly called the FDCPA) is a federal law that protects consumers from harassment, abuse, and other predatory practices by debt collectors.

The FDCPA protects consumers in several ways.

  • Debt collectors must tell the truth.

Debt collectors cannot do or say anything false, deceptive or misleading to collect a debt.  This means they cannot misrepresent the amount of the alleged debt, whether the debt is past the statute of limitations, or the legal implications of not paying the debt.  Debt collectors also cannot pretend to be a law enforcement officer or use a name that is not their own.

  • Debt collectors cannot act unfairly.

More than just prohibiting debt collectors from being untruthful, the FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from acting unfairly.  Debt collectors cannot collect more than you own on a debt, cannot solicit postdated checks, cannot threaten to deposit or deposit a postdated check you may have provided before the intended date, and cannot threaten to take property or file a lawsuit when they do not have the right to do so (for example, if the alleged debt is past the statute of limitations).

  • Debt collectors cannot abuse or harass you.

Debt collectors cannot use profane or abusive language when speaking with you about your debt.  Debt collectors cannot threaten violence against you or call repeatedly in an attempt to annoy or harass you.  Additionally, when you speak to a debt collector, he or she cannot refuse to identify him or herself, by name and by the name of the company for which he or she works, and must also inform you that he or she is a debt collector.  Debt collectors also cannot tell others about your debt.  This includes family members or your employer.

  • Debt collectors have to validate your alleged debt.

If a debt collector contacts you, they need to prove that you owe the debt they are attempting to collect.  One important requirement of the FDCPA is that a debt collector must send you a letter within 5 days of their first communication with you.  That letter must provide the following information:

  1. How much they claim you owe;
  2. The name of the creditor seeking payment;
  3. A statement that unless you dispute the debt within 30 days, the debt collector will assume the debt to be valid;
  4. A statement that if you notify the debt collector in writing, within 30 days, that you dispute the debt, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt and mail that to you; and
  5. A statement that upon your written request, again within 30 days, the debt collector will provide you with the name and address of the original creditor, if it is different from the current creditor.
  • You have control over your communications with debt collectors.

You can set rules about how and when debt collectors can contact you.  Firstly, debt collectors cannot contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.  If you ask a debt collector not to call you at work, he or she must not do so.  If you are represented by an attorney and you or your attorney have informed the debt collector of that representation, the debt collector cannot continue to contact you directly.  Finally, debt collectors must stop calling if you ask them to do so.  You are within your rights to request that all contact be in writing.  You should make this request in writing.

If a debt collector violates the FDCPA, you have the right to file suit to seek actual damages, as well as statutory damages of up to $1,000, plus costs and attorneys’ fees.  Violations of the FDCPA happen more often than you might think.

If you have been contacted by a debt collector who has violated the FDCPA, you should contact an attorney, such as the attorneys at THOELE | DRACH, to see if you have a claim.  Many attorneys, including those at THOELE | DRACH, take these types of cases at no cost to you.