You probably just received a letter in the mail from PO box 340 Waite Park MN, 56387-0340 or a call from an unknown number such as (858) 221-01951 or (877) 365-9616. You may have just been served.
Who is Midland Funding and why is it suing you? The purpose of this article is to explain what may be happening and your options.
Here are the first 3 things you can do RIGHT now:
Midland Funding is a litigious debt buyer in the United States. It is also one of the largest debt buyers. It's located at 227 W Trade St Ste 1610, Charlotte, NC 28202-1676, but we believe uses PO box 340 Waite Park MN for its mailers.
Midland Funding is a part of the Encore Group, which is a publicly traded debt collection law firm. The three most common entities are Midland Funding LLC, Midland Credit Management and Atlantic Credit and Finance. There are differences in how these firms operate.
Midland Funding LLC is a debt buyer of unpaid debt. It's one of the largest debt buyers in comparison to Portfolio Recovery Associates. You may have older, undpaid debt from firms such as Barclays, Synchrony, Citibank or Chase, which Midland Funding purchases. Your lawsuit may be from this branch, and we will discuss more how to work with them. The direct phone number for Midland Funding is (800) 296-2657.
Midland Credit Management appears to be a licensed debt collector that works with consumers on past due balances. MCM can offer payment plans to resolve past due balances and settle for less than is owed. The direct phone number for Midland Credit Management is 800-296-2656.
It's unlikely that they are suing you if you received a letter in the mail. With debt collection lawsuits, Midland may have someone serve you papers at your door.
That said, Midland can be VERY LITIGIOUS. As such we often tell people to consider Ascend's free calculator to help you understand your options.
If you have lapsed on your debt, your lenders or debt collection agencies may begin pursuing you to try and get you to make payments. This can happen in a progressively aggressive way. Typically, this begins with phone calls that happen frequently, but it can grow to in-person collection requests, wage garnishments, and can end in a lawsuit.
If it gets to this point, you may be feeling overwhelmed. Once legal action is taken, something will have to happen. In this article, we will try to answer all of the questions you may have about getting sued for your unpaid debt. We will look at how you can respond, what you should expect, and what your options are. Keep reading to learn more.
When you are served with your lawsuit, there are a few different ways you can respond, but your options change based on your situation. Your response can differ based on variables such as whether or not the entirety of the debt is yours, how delinquent you are on it, and whether or not you are able to pay back the debt. The important thing is, though, that you respond in some way. A lot of times, debt collection agencies will file lawsuits hoping that you won’t respond. This is because, if you don’t respond, the court can make a default judgment on your case, and the debt collection agency will be able to move forward with wage garnishments, liens on your property, and holds on your bank accounts. So, regardless of how you plan to respond, just make sure you do. A timeline may look as follows:
Let’s take a look at some of your response options with Midland Funding.
If the debt is correctly attributed to you, and you really do owe the debt, then the process will look slightly different. Because you do owe the debt, you won’t necessarily be able to have the lawsuit fully dismissed without any form of payment, but there are some things you can try.
When you are served with a lawsuit because of your delinquent debt, one of the most important things you need to do is respond. As mentioned earlier, not responding can lead to a default judgment against you, meaning they assume that you are admitting to the debt, and the collection agency can begin garnishing your wages, freezing your bank accounts, and putting liens on your property. In most cases, your response is expected within a time frame after being served. You will want to check your area’s regulations to find exactly how long you have to respond.
There are three ways that you can respond to the lawsuit:
You do have some other options that you could look into if you are being sued for debt that you owe. These could either help get rid of some of the debt, extend the amount of time the process takes — potentially giving you more time to pay off the debt, and it could mean that the lawsuit goes away entirely. Take a look at some of the options below:
If you have been served papers that outline debt you supposedly owe, but you have not ever taken out the debt they are suing for, you will want to respond quickly.
There are many reasons you may have debt under your name that shouldn’t be. If someone fraudulently opened an account under your name, the debt was inaccurately attributed to you, or you paid off the debt, but the payment was not rendered to the account are all reasons that you may have a debt lawsuit that erroneously demands repayment from you. When this happens, you will have to help prove that the debt is not yours.
Before you begin this process, try to verify that the lawsuit is legitimate, and now a scam. Some scammers will send out notices that claim to be debt collection agencies and threaten to file a lawsuit if you don’t make a payment within a certain amount of time. A legitimate company should have full contact information, should be able to provide you with the origin and correct amount of the debt, and should be able to tell you the debt’s history (i.e. what company initially held the debt, when it was sold to the company, and how much interest the debt has accrued over time. If you are certain that you don’t owe debt anywhere, but you received a letter threatening a lawsuit, make sure that the letter is legitimate with a little bit of deeper investigation. If it is real, continue with the following steps.
While, theoretically, the burden of proof lies on the agency that is suing you, you will want to play an active role in proving the debt isn’t yours. Also, keep in mind that, oftentimes, creditors will sell off their debt so that they are no longer responsible for collecting on it. Just because you have debt collection notices from a company you don’t recognize doesn't mean that you don’t owe that debt. Make sure you understand who owns your debt before deciding to ignore collection notices.
If you truly have no connection to the debt that is being collected on, you will want to dispute the debt. Disputing the debt forces the agency to produce documentation proving that you are the person that owes the debt. While this is happening, collection efforts have to cease until documentation is produced. You can send the dispute via physical mail, but make sure it is sent through a certified mail carrier (not just hand delivered) so that the postage is time and date stamped, which could later be necessary to help prove you responded in an appropriate time frame. If the company cannot find proof that the debt is yours, or if you have proof that it isn’t yours, the lawsuit will be dismissed.
Here is a link to a sample letter you can use to get you started on disputing the debt.
You will also want to check your credit report. If the debt is listed on your credit report, you will need to also dispute it to the credit bureau. Again, this is under the assumption that you are actually not connected to the debt. If this is true, then file a dispute to the three credit bureaus to ensure the faulty debt is completely removed from your account. Do keep in mind that, just because a debt doesn’t show up on your credit report, doesn’t mean that you don’t owe the debt. Credit reports will only show your debt if they report the delinquency, which some may not do until after pursuing the repayment to its fullest extent. It is still an important step in verifying that the debt does not belong to you.
Here is information on the three credit reporting agencies that you can use to collect your credit report:
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
P.O. Box 2104, Allen, TX 75013-0949
P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022
Let's cover your options if you are being pursued by Midland Credit Management.
Debt collection agencies have made a business out of collecting debt for lenders and creditors. They typically purchase debt from agencies in a variety of ways, and then begin collecting on it. There are multiple ways they make money from doing this. They can either buy the debt at a reduced cost, so any payment they get on that debt can go straight to them, or they can make an agreement with a creditor that they will handle the collection efforts as long as they get a percentage of the debt that is repaid. However they decide to do it, debt collection agencies are vicious, and they do whatever they can to make as much as they can. Here’s their process:
As mentioned above, it's critical for you to know what debt collection agencies can and cannot do to you while pursuing you for debt repayment. For instance, if Midland Funding is in possession of your debt, and they are trying to contact you, there are certain standards they have to work around. They cannot contact you at unreasonable hours, before 8 A.M. and after 9 P.M.
They cannot threaten you, lie to you, or try to hide who they are when speaking to you. If you ask them to not call you while you are at work, they can no longer attempt to contact you while you are at work. They also cannot send out notices of your debt delinquency to third parties, or try to get information from third parties more than once.
In short, the FCRA was created to help protect you from unfair and harmful debt collection practices. Make sure you are aware of your rights, and don’t be afraid to point out and document when a collections agent is acting outside of those rights.
Within five days of their initial contact, any debt collection agency is supposed to send you a validation of debt letter that shows the debt that you owe, who you owe it to (the creditor), and should also have information on how you can dispute the debt. After this letter is received, you have 30 days to dispute the debt. If, for whatever reason, you feel the debt being collected on is inaccurate, be sure to file a dispute as soon as possible. Once you file a dispute, all collection efforts are supposed to stop until the dispute is resolved.
One of two things will happen at this point. One is that they will come up with the documentation they need to prove that you owe the debt and that the amount listed is correct. At this time, they will continue collection efforts. On the other hand, the second option is that they will be unable to provide proof of your debt and what is owed, at which time, they will stop pursuing you. Here is a link to a template letter of debt validation. Feel free to use this to help you draft your own letter.
If you are being pursued for old debt, make sure you look at the statute of limitations for your area. In most places, collection agencies cannot take legal actions against you for debt you owe after a certain period of time. This changes state to state, but it's important to keep track of. The time period that is looked at for statute of limitations is from the day that you stopped being active on your payments (so the day after the last payment you made on the debt), to the day that legal action is taken. There are four different categories of debt, and each can have a different statute of limitation. The four categories are Oral Agreements, Written Contracts, Promissory Notes, and Open-Ended Accounts. Depending on what type of debt you owe, the statue of limitation may be longer or shorter. If you are being pursued for debt repayment, make sure to consider how close to the end of your statute of limitation you are before making a payment. You can also work with an attorney to see if they can give you any legal advice.
You can use the statutes of limitations calculator below to understand those in your state.
Living with a constant bombardment of calls, texts, emails, letters, and more can be overwhelming, especially when this is all added on top of your pile of debt. If you are being harassed in ways beyond what is allowed in the FCRA, filing a lawsuit against the collection agency will stop any more contact until the lawsuit is complete.
Make sure you are keeping a record of every encounter you have with a debt collector to help solidify your case if you think they may be harassing you. Similarly, you can dispute the debt, at which time the agency will have to pause on collection efforts until the debt is validated.
You have the option to tell the collection agency that you are unable to pay them. This may not stop them from calling, but if they think you aren’t able to pay, there may be less frequency in their attempts to pin you down. Make sure you speak in a way that does not admit to the debt, as this can be used against you if they decide to sue.
Simply state that you are unable to pay the amount that they are asking for. Let them know of any financial hardships that may be preventing you from being able to pay. At the very least, this may cause the collection agency to focus on other consumers for the time being before returning back to you.
You can demand that the collection agency no longer contact you, but, even if they do stop contacting you, this doesn’t mean that they will no longer try to collect. The agency may still file a lawsuit against you, at which time the court will be calling you, not the collections agency.
Dealing with large amounts of debt can be scary and intimidating, especially when national agencies begin calling, texting, emailing, and writing to you demanding payment and threatening legal action. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic. There are laws in place that were created to protect you.
Make sure you fully understand these laws, and don’t let debt collection agencies bully you into thinking you have no options. Ask for help, do your research, and, if it comes down to a lawsuit, make sure you have legal representation to help you navigate the tricky world of debt collection. If you have any questions, or you would like to learn more about your debt relief options , feel free to reach out. We look forward to hearing from you, and we hope this helps.