Midland Funding LLC – Midland Credit Management – Encore Capital Group

I recently spoke with a woman who had just been sued by Midland Funding LLC for a debt they bought from Citi bank. The amount she is being sued for is a few thousand dollars. She is being sued by a debt collection attorney in her state after collection attempts by Midland Credit Management. I want to share the facts of her situation as they were shared with me in case my observations can help other readers.

The original debt was charged off by Citi bank then sold off to Midland Funding LLC.

Debts that go unpaid get sold off in the normal course of lending. Often the debts are packaged up in large portfolios. A bad debt portfolio being bought by debt buyers like Midland Funding may be bundled with your account and hundreds, or thousands, of other unpaid credit card bills. Having your credit card debt bought by a debt buyer like Midland Funding is not unusual. In fact, Midland Funding LLC is part of the Encore Capital Group brand. This brand, to my knowledge, is currently the largest debt buying and collection operation in the nation.

Midland Funding is part of the same corporate family as Midland Credit Management (MCM) and Encore Capital Group.

Midland Credit Management sent a debt collection letter to the woman I reference above. Receiving a debt collection letter from a collection company you don’t immediately recognize is a normal occurrence. Collection agency letters and phone calls are the 2 primary ways a debt buyer, or the debt collectors they hire, will try to get you to pay.

You have options for handling the collection efforts from debt buyers and the debt collectors that work for them. If you are in a position to work out a settlement for less than what is owed on the now purchased account, doing so after the first phone call or collection letter you open is something to consider. Understand that making arrangements to pay a debt buyer the full amount for a debt they bought is not going to go to your original creditor. The debt buyer is not a lender, but an investor. They are risking money to buy up bad debt to turn a profit. They are willing to accept less than the face value of your debt. How much less a debt collector like Midland Credit Management, or a debt buyer like Midland Funding will take as payment in full, will vary. You are welcome to comment below and start a conversation about what you might be able to do in your situation.

The woman sent a written validation of debt request to Midland Credit Management.

Sending a debt validation letter to debt collector is your right. If for any reason you question the nature of the debt being collected, requesting validation from a collection agency or debt buyer will accomplish a couple of things:

  • Triggers an obligation under federal (and state law) on the part of the debt collector.
  • A written response from the debt buyer should include solid details about the original creditor, the amount owed, and often some form of documentation to back up their claim (not simply a reference to their own spread sheet of debts they purchased).
  • Debt buyers and debt collectors do not always respond to your request for validation, or the response may not be sufficient to meet the standard that would allow them to continue to collect.
  • Debt buyers may never respond to a debt validation letter. The account may end up with a different collection agency, or sold off to a different debt buyer. It is not a stretch to assume that this occurs because of the inability to verify debts that are purchased.

Midland Credit Management did not respond to the validation request.

It is not uncommon for a debt buyer to ignore a validation request. The reason validation of debt requests are ignored by Midland Credit Management, and other debt collectors and debt buyers, is that sometimes no meaningful information was included when the debt was purchased. There are sometimes options to acquire detailed information from the original creditor at an additional cost, but that is not always the case.

When debt validation requests are ignored Midland Funding may assign to another debt collection agency or collection attorney.

Many years ago I came to the conclusion that sending debt validation requests to a debt collector like MCM, when you already recognize the debt as yours, and your goal is to resolve the debt by settling with the collector for the lowest amount possible, is counterproductive.  

Midland Funding sent the Citi account it bought to an in state attorney to collect. The attorney filed a lawsuit.

The woman who inspired this post next received a collection letter from a well known and very active debt collection law firm in her state. She sent a new validation request to the attorney debt collector hired by Midland Funding. The collection attorney responded to the validation request with some basic information about the original account including monthly billing statements from the original creditor.  Shortly after receiving the debt validation response in the mail from the Midland Funding attorney she was served with a lawsuit.

Debt buyers will target accounts they buy for aggressive collection. Midland Funding is part of the largest debt buying collection brand in the nation. Lawsuits to collect can play a big part in how a debt buyer like Midland Funding will look to turn a profit on their investment in defaulted credit card debts.

The debtor in this case shared with me that she knew the sister of the process server that showed up at her door to serve the lawsuit. With that connection, a friendly enough conversation took place. The process server shared the fact that she had a list of Midland Funding lawsuits to serve – about two hundred of them. She lives in a county with a small population. Two hundred or so lawsuits on debts bought by Midland Funding is not unremarkable.

What to do about Midland Funding collecting on debts you could not afford to pay.

If you are contacted by Midland funding, or by Midland Credit Management, or some other Encore Receivables debt collection brand, consider the following:

  • Are you able to come up with a plan to resolve the debt for about half of what is owed? If you can afford to settle with MCM or Midland Funding you can contact them and work toward getting a deal negotiated, a written agreement on the collectors letter head outlining the terms, and pay it off. While it is recommended to negotiate and settle with MCM or Midland Funding in a single lump sum payment whenever possible, you can also look to set up monthly payments that you are confident you can afford and follow through with to completion. Midland Credit Management and Midland Funding both offer different methods to resolve debts they are collecting while giving you time to pay.
  • If you are not familiar with the debt they allege you owe, or do not see how you could possibly owe the amount being alleged that you owe, request the debt be validated. Send your request in writing via certified mail return receipt requested. If you do not hear back from them do not assume they went away, that the debt cannot be sent to a different collector, or sold off to a different debt buyer.
  • Be certain you are aware of how long it has been since you last paid on the account and compare that to the SOL (statute of limitations) for being sued on your type of debt in your state. You may learn that you cannot legitimately be sued for the debt as it has passed the SOL. That does not mean the debt can no longer be collected, or that you should ignore it. The account is likely showing up on your credit report. If you have a goal of buying a home, or refinancing an existing home, you may find you are forced to settle collection accounts in order to qualify for a loan later on. And settling later on may come at a higher price.

Depending on your current financial situation, looking for affordable settlements and paying off debts with Midland Credit Management and Midland Funding will set you up for less stress and the ability to achieve later financial goals.

The woman who inspired this article was a CRN member from a few years ago. She was laid off from work and struggled to find a new job. She could no longer afford to make payments on her credit card debts and was referred to me by her accountant. I worked with her and her husband to develop a plan to settle her unpaid debts, rather than file bankruptcy (they had filed in the 90’s and did not want to go through that again). She was able to knock down her largest 6 credit card balances by settling with her original creditors using money she was able to borrow from a family member. Her husband’s hours were then cut back at his job, and it became impossible for her to follow through with the plan, leaving a couple of her smaller balance accounts unresolved, the Citibank account Midland Credit Management began collecting being one of them.

She did not reach out to me for feedback on dealing with the Midland Credit Management collection letter she received. Instead, she went to the internet and found what she said was the consistent advice to send a debt validation letter to MCM. She thought the collection account was behind her when she did not hear back from MCM. When she received the attorney collection notice in the mail for the same debt, she simply repeated her debt validation request again. She did not know how, or what to respond to the collection attorney with, once they mailed back evidence of a debt she already knew she owed. She only contacted me again after she was sued by Midland Funding.

Settling collections with MCM or Midland Funding LLC even when sued.

I suggested she connect with a local consumer attorney about her options to handle the lawsuit. After that consultation she decided to settle the lawsuit from Midland Funding. She got a good deal to be sure, but she was settling on a total balance that had increased by roughly a third of what MCM was originally collecting due to attorney costs. She could have settled directly with Midland Credit Management early on, and for a much better savings, and less stress.

You may be reading this and in a situation where you cannot possibly think of how you can resolve a debt being collected by MCM or Midland Funding. I understand that. The situation is what it is, and sometimes all you can do is wait for things to improve before tackling old debts. However, you may want to at least learn about the options any of the “Midlands” may make available to you to tackle debts they are collecting. You may be surprised by some of the flexibilities that are available. You may even be able to avoid being sued later.

If you have received collection notices from an attorney for Midland Funding, or have been sued by an attorney for collection, you will want to contact the attorney directly. You should also consider speaking with an experienced collection defense attorney of your own. Most offer free initial consultations.

If you are trying to resolve an existing judgment from Midland Funding, you have options for that as well.

There will be additional pressures on Midland Funding, Midland Credit Management, Encore Capital Group, and many other collectors and debt buyers, at the start of 2013 as a result of new federal regulatory supervision. The CFPB will begin its supervision and enforcement of debt collectors and debt buyers with revenue in excess of 10 million yearly. I will cover more of what the CFPB supervision of debt collectors and debt buyers may mean in an upcoming article.

If you have recently been contacted for collection by Midland Credit Management or Midland Funding, either with a collection call, a collection letter, or a collection lawsuit, and you have questions about your options, or what to do next, I welcome you to post them below in a comment. I will assist you with my feedback, suggestions and additional resources.

I edited this post 3/20/13 in order to provide a more fluid story that now includes how the woman referenced resolved her Midland collection experience.

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About Michael Bovee

Michael started CRN in 2004 with a mission to provide detailed debt and credit help and advice that encourages and allows people struggling with debt to solve their debt problems just like a pro - but without the high fees.

Comments

  1. This is a follow-up comment from my original left on the main page-To start from the beginning. I was issued a credit card from Amazon.com on behalf of Chase Bank USA, N.A, for $500.00 back in 2009 when I lived in Phoenix, AZ. The last payment to this was also in 2009. I have really not been in a position to pay on this until recently, and was going to contact them to work out some type of payment plan, but, they got me with a summons before I could do anything. I now live in Lincoln, NE and have since late 2010.

    I was served a summons at my door Sunday morning(Nov 11, 2012.) At the top, it says Midland Funding LLC V. me. ‘You have been sued y the following plaintiff(s): Midland Funding LLC. Plaintiff’s Attorney: Sara E. Miller from Brumbaugh & Quandahl, P.C., L.L.O in Omaha, Ne and gave her phone number and business address.

    There is a date stamp on the top corner of the page stating that this was e-filed on Nov 1st, 2012. I was served by Greiner Process Service..don’t know if that really makes a difference.

    It states “to defend this lawsuit, an appropriate response must be served on the parties and filed with the office of the clerk of the court within 30 days of service of the complaint/petition. If you fail to respond, the court may enter judgment for the relief demanded In the complaint/petition.” I really don’t know what this means; I am not familiar with legal jargon.

    On the 3rd page, it lists 7 different items about this case:
    1.Plaintiff is Midland funding, a Delaware limited liability company whose servicing agent is Midland Credit MGMT, Inc. Plaintiff is a legal entity and purchaser of the account which forms the basis for this suit.
    2.Defendant of Defendants, whether one or more hereinafter ‘defendant’ is, and at all pertinent times hereto was, a resident of Lancaster Country, Nebraska.
    3. Chase bank USA, N.A, hereafter referred to as ‘the bank’, issued a credit card account to defendant identified with Account number xxxx…3793 and defendant was extended credit
    4. Defendant used the credit card account, but failed to make payments and went into default. The account was charged off from an asset to a debit on June 30, 2010 with a balance of 1008.17.
    5. For good and valuable consideration, the account was transferred to the Plaintill herein and Plaintiff acquired all rights of the Bank.
    6. As of October 25th 2012, there is presently due and owing from the Defendant to the Plintiff the amount of $1008.17 plus accrued interest in the amount of $140.54 and interest continuing to accrue at the rate of 6%($.17 per diem).
    7. Defendant is not a member of the armed forces of the United States or Allies.

    Wherefore, Plaintiff prays for judgment against the defendant in the mount of $1,148.71, plus pre-judgment interest thereon as allowed by law, court costs, attorneys fees and post-judgment interest at the highest rate as allowed by law.”

    Dated October 25th, 2012 by Sara E. Miller #21303 Brumbaugh & Quandahl, P.C., L.L.O

    I really don’t know the first step to take. I have about $300 bucks I’m willing to fork over at the moment, and could potentially give about $400 a month from here on out to pay this off…but, Just don’t know if I need to send them something in writing, call the office tomorrow, or what.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Thanks for moving the Midland Funding lawsuit discussion over to this post Lauren.
      Given the goal you stated on the other post of no reason to contest the debt, and that you would prefer to settle the debt, or make payment arrangements, here are some things to consider:

      Calling Midland Funding to come to a payment agreement will probably result in your being referred to the attorney firm you mention above. Midland Funding contracted the account out to Brumbaugh & Quandahl.

      When calling the attorney for Midland Funding with the goal of settling for less than the balance owed, it would be best to have a lump sum ready to fund any offer they agree to. Given the amount being collected, I would target anywhere between a 60 and 80% pay off. You mentioned in the other post that you do not have enough to just pay off the collection. How much could you come up with? Trying to come up with the amount needed to settle, rather than offer payments is likely in your best interest depending on how Midland Funding will allow Brumbaugh & Quandahl to set up the payment agreement.

      If you want/need to set up a monthly payment arrangement, how much can you commit to pay each month? If it is something you can do in two payments, the following concern may not apply.

      Setting up payment arrangements when there is a court case going could mean signing a stipulation to judgment, or confession of judgment. Debt buyers like Midland Funding may require this as a condition for accepting your payment plan. This type of arrangement often leads to the judgment being filed with the court anyway. Sure, you can avoid garnishment and levy this way, but public court records are continually scanned by data brokers, which often then leads to a judgment showing up on the public records section of your credit report for 7 years.

      Look for a way to come up with a good portion of the debt and settle it straight out with one payment. If you need to split the payment in two that could work out too. If you have to pay this in installments be prepared for the stipulation.

      Get any agreement to settle for less, or any payment arrangement, in writing before remitting a penny in payment.

      If you wanted to buy yourself some time to come up with a lump sum, I would suggest filing an answer to Midland’s lawsuit. That could buy you a couple of months to save up to pay it off for less than the balance, or in full. If filing an answer you will have to meet the 30 day court deadline.

      • I am being sued by Midland funding for 10500.I filed my answer in court and we are in mediation talks. They are only willing to settle for 50% at 5200. I am trying to get them to go lower and they are saying no. I really can’t afford this and I have gotten them to agree to 175 a mth until its paid off which they say they normally don’t do. I want them to settle for 70% what should I do?

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Mary – Getting 70% off of a collection balance is not realistic with Midland Funding LLC, especially when being sued. If you are serious about settling, the 50% offer is a pretty consistent low end target in your situation. If I am reading your comment correctly, and you are able to settle for 30% of the 10,500.00, what are some creative options for you to come up with the rest of what you need to settle with Midland and put this behind you?

    • I have a charge off from Wells Fargo from march 2011. Last paid to Wells Fargo probably 6 months prior to charge off. $8000. I live in Colorado. I received a letter and calls from Mcm so I sent a debt validation letter in april of 2012. I have just now received a generic looking letter from mcm like one you had posted saying payment in full can be sent to them Etc I checked my credit report and it does not show mcm. Only a charge off to Wells Fargo. I have $2000 I could start a settlement with them. I wondering how much time I have to come up with more by delaying the process of them sending a lawyer my way. I have noticed from your site many have taken years before this happens or it is soon. What do you think my next step should be. Every once in awhile I see a private caller number or unknown on my caller id but have never been home to pick up a call. The longer I can delay the better and of course I want to settle for as less as possible. Thank you so much for your advice!

      • Michael Bovee says:

        S – Settlements with Midland, or any other debt buyer, debt collector, even creditors, are best done in a lump sum if you can manage it. I am not saying this because it makes it easier to settle with Midland Credit Management, or even that they will settle for less in a lump sum than they would in a settlement with term payments. I am saying this because “debt happens”. If you agree to pay a certain amount to MCM each month, but something comes up that leads to you not making a payment on time, you will in all likelihood lose the deal you negotiated, and have wasted money you paid in prior months. Having said that, it is also to get a deal locking in place to avoid escalated collections (being sued – and Midland does sue). If you are confident you can make the payment amount you agree to in a settlement with MCM that is broken up into several months, do it. Just make every payment on time.

        I cannot really say how much time you have at present without getting into a host of additional details with you. Midland can sue early, or sometimes not until the SOL in your state is close to expiring. When it comes to settling, quicker is better.

        There is a little bit more to the approach of settling than offering up 2k and setting up a monthly payment. You may want to consider calling in for a consult.

        • Also I did not send a debt validation letter and they are saying they are not going lower and that if we go to trial the judgment will be for the whole 10. This is frustrating cause I know they did not purchase the debt at face value so I know they can settle for 60-80% like you suggested they just wont

          • Michael Bovee says:

            Mary – Debts are bought and sold in the normal course of lending and collection. I know it can seem like profiteering when a debt buyer like Midland Funding refuses to settle for lower than the amount you have on the table, but you are looking at that from a single situation. When debt buyers buy up say 1000 accounts and are only able to collect on 200 of them, you can start to see why many of them set settlement targets in the way they do.

  2. Michael-

    I ended up calling the law firm representing Midlands. They are working with me, and giving me until the end of December to come up with the payments. Verbally, we agreed to a payment plan, and, I have them sending me a physical document, on their letterhead, with the payment amounts that we agreed to each month. Made the first payment to them this past Tuesday, and will be paying it off by December 28th. Surprisingly, they were fairly easy to work with-just needed to communicate what I could, and could not afford.

    Thank you so much for your direction!
    Lauren.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      That’s great Lauren. Working with a debt buyer like Midland Funding, or collection attorneys, does not have to be a confrontational thing.
      Thanks for posting the update. If you have any questions about the docs you are welcome to come back and post them.
      Good Job!

  3. Midlands contacted me about a debt some time ago, and didn’t respond to validation requests. I didn’t know about the debt, and I was caught completely off guard. I sent several letters, to no avail. Finally, I got a photocopy of the last bill. I didn’t get anything that I asked for, namely how interest was calculated. When I called, I was told that they did validate, and if I didn’t like it, to have my attorney call. I told them that I wanted to pay, but that I wanted an agreement in writing. I was told that my request was unreasonable, and that they will not do that.

    Suggestions?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Adam – I can offer my feedback and some suggestions. It would help if you could answer these questions in a comment reply first:

      Is the debt legitimately yours? If not, why not?
      Who was the original creditor and when was the last payment made (if you know)?
      What was the amount owed to the original creditor and what is the amount Midland Funding is trying to collect now?

      Midland Funding or their debt collector assignees put agreements to settle or pay in writing in the normal course of business. What is it you were requesting be part of the documented agreement? Was there a particular item(s) that you were told were unreasonable?

  4. I have a charge off debt from Wells Fargo that MCM is trying to collect. I sent them a letter in April 2012 asking for validation and a contract showing they did indeed purchase this debt before I started to pay them. I just today, jan 2 2013, received a letter from them. It was very generic an stated that they are providing me with the docs asked for and I am to pay balance in full. All that was included was my last statement from Wells Fargo. No docs regarding to them owning this acct. also included was a photocopy of fine print of Bill of Rights summary in English and Spanish with a change ofbaddressvform at the bottom. How do I know they are the ones I know owe this to and how do I proceed. I feel this is very vague and wonder what took them so long to find this if they are the legit collector? I’ve heard all negative things about them being shady. I would appreciate any advice you may have. Thank you!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Stacie – What is your goal with your old Wells Fargo credit card debt? You mentioned wanting validation before you start to pay Midland Credit Management. Are you looking to set up affordable monthly payments to resolve it? Would you prefer to settle with Midland Credit? What is the balance MCM is trying to collect? What was the balance of the account when Wells Fargo charged it off? When did you last make a payment to Wells Fargo? What state do you live in?

      You can verify ownership by calling Wells Fargo and asking who they sold the debt to. You will likely hear it was sold to Midland Funding or Encore Receivables. MCM is part of that group of companies. This will give you confidence you are working with the debt owner.

      If you can answer my questions in a comment reply I can share more detailed feedback and ways to proceed that you can consider.

      • Asset accep won a wage garnishment on me. I just got a letter Midland bought them, do i still owe a wage garnishment? They said i need to call should i call? :-( thks,

        • Michael Bovee says:

          eileen – Asset Acceptance was purchased by the Encore/Midland brand. Wage garnishment is the result of a court judgment. The judgment is not going anywhere, so yes, I would call them.

  5. Michael: The debt to the credit company is, but all that Midlands has provided me was a photocopy of the final bill. Not that they are indeed allowed to collect it, or anything about the interest accrued, even though I’ve asked. The original creditor was Credit One Bank, and the final amount was $700.00. I don’t know when the last payment was made, but I do suspect its within the statute of limitations. To date, Midlands is trying to collect eight hundred and ninety dollars.

    What I asked for was pretty simple; a document that says that the debt to Midlands and Credit One Bank is fulfilled in its entirety, and cannot be further collected on by anybody. This is apparently unreasonable.

    Any help would be fantastic.

    Adam

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Adam – If you are trying to settle with Midland Funding, I would not get too hung up on them providing you with proof of purchasing your debt from Credit One. There are not a whole lot of instances I can imagine where you would be able to demand that information outside of a court process. Midland does sue on debts they buy with balances as low as yours, so you can hold out for that to happen and demand strict proof of purchase and how the balance alleged owed has been calculated if that happens. 190.00 added to the original defaulted balance of 700.00 is nearly a 30% increase. If interest had been being charged as allowed by your original contract with Credit One, and depending on how long, I can see the balance inflating this much.

      I am not sure why Midland Funding would get hung up documenting your agreement to settle with them based on what you shared. It is standard procedure for them to provide a letter that contains all of the needed attributes outlined in this report: http://consumerrecoverynetwork.com/debt-settlement-letters-agreements

      Any statement about there being no further collection efforts by anybody may be what caused the pause in Midland sending you a settlement letter. That request is already met by their standard settlement agreement, though not expressly in the words you shared, but implied. If you settle a debt with Midland Funding, after the deal is documented and funded, were the debt to accidentally come back to life (as zombie debt can), the Midland letter and documentation of timely payment made would stop any additional collection 99.9% of the time.

      A statement from Midland Funding in their standard settlement letter about the debt being “fulfilled in its entirety” is implied as well. Just not expressly worded in that way.

  6. Hello
    Similar to Lauren who is a few posts before mine, I was served a civil summons on Dec. 28, 2012 for a debt I owed Washington Mutual which was bought out by Capital One, with 20 days to file an answer. The debt is about $2,500 after interest but I called the law firm that Midland Funding LLC hired to collect the debt/sue me for it. I know this debt is mine and I am not too particular about the amount as it sounds about right on what I owe, so I am willing to work on making a settlement. I cannot afford to pay the balance off but the agent I spoke to (it seems like it is a law firm call center by how much the agent could not tell me) said he is authorized to settle for $2000 flat. He said that once I send payment and it is cleared, that they would take care of the courts and I would not have to file anything or contact the courts that we settled. Of course this has to be done before my 20 days to file an answer are up that all this needs to be done.

    To get to some main points, I agreed to try to come up with that amount to settle and asked if he could send a letter stating that the debt will be listed as paid off and remove negative information relating to it. He mentioned that once it is agreed I can pay the $2000 he will send a letter and that he does not know if the account can be shown as paid off in full as he is not Midland, and they decide what it will be (but I am guessing Midland might just refer me to the law firm if I contacted them about this). Another thing, my wife was listed on the civil summons but this is premarital debt that she did not sign on to in any way. I asked if settling this debt will affect her in any way negatively as she should not have any connection to it, he replied with the same “I cannot say because I am not Midland funding…” answer, just gave me a “she is probably not included if you settle”. Once of the ways he mentioned I can settle is to send a money order or chasiers check but that there would be a 10 day holding period before it clears (this means it would not clear until after my 20 day period for filing an answer). This I imagine would cause some issues for me, sending a settlement and them being able to still get a judgment against me or something of the like. The agent told me that the only way to prevent this would be yo deliver the payment myself in person but I live in another city than where their office is located so it is not easy for me with work and all to just go on a weekday when they are open.

    Also, today 1/8/2013 my wife received a letter from this same law firm dated on 1/4/2013 a out my debt saying that she is financially obligated to pay this debt off. That is ridiculous on the account that she is not legally bound to this debt which she never signed anything on, I spoke to an agent on 12/31/2012 about settling, and also that when my wife called the person she spoke with informed her that my wife could not access any information or be verified on the account because only I can speak to them. How can she be held for the debt when they will not allow her to discuss it?

    Sorry for the wall of text but now that you have an idea of my situation, my main questions are:
    1) Do I have to file anything with the court to cover my own butt even though they say I do not have to?
    2)Will filing an answer ruin my chances of a settlement or can it be just positive?
    3)Can I get a settlement of a lower amount?
    4)Should I even deal with these people since they for some reason cannot give me more information they are not Midland?
    5)How do I find out if I can get a paid in full status and negative info related to this debt removed from my credit reports?
    6)Can they legally hold my wife responsible, and if so how can I make it so she is not affected?
    Any information is GREATLY appreciated.

    Carlo

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Carlo – WAMU was absorbed by Chase. A couple points of feedback before getting to your questions:

      It was not clear from what you wrote, but you MUST get the agreement documented to your satisfaction prior to funding the settlement. Here is a report on what to look for in a settlement letter or written agreement: http://consumerrecoverynetwork.com/debt-settlement-letters-agreements

      Your wife being a target for collection could be because you had her as an authorized user on the account and perhaps you live in a community property state. None of this would generally lead to her being targeted for being legally obligated to the debt. I would chalk this up to either an error, or a pressure tactic that I do not typically hear about. If you are settling with Midland Funding and moving on, it won’t matter.

      Your Questions:

      1. If you are settling the debt and that fact is documented it would protect you later if they failed to voluntarily dismiss the suit. You can monitor the court docket for several weeks to be certain they dismiss it.

      2. Filing an answer would mean you are raising defenses against the debt. It is not a bad idea, and is necessary to fight a debt, or even a strategy used to get a better resolution than may have been available otherwise. If you are settling now, I personally do not see much point to it. You should always look to speak with an experienced debt collection defense attorney on this type of concern.

      3. Getting a lower settlement amount given what little I know about your situation is not something I can respond to with confidence. I have settled Midland Funding files placed with attorneys, and where lawsuits were filed, for less than the savings you shared. There are also times where things unique to you suggest what you are being offered makes sense for them to hold fast to. I would need to know a great deal more about your financial hardships, what can be seen about both you and your wife by way of your credit report, assets, employment etc.

      4. If you are dealing with the law firm that filed the suit you are 99% of the time stuck with resolving this with them at the stage of the collection you are in.

      5. The original charge off credit reporting entry from WAMU/Chase will remain. There is nothing the collection firm or Midland Funding can do about that. Any concern about an entry to your credit report from the court action will be eliminated by your settling with Midland Funding before a judgment is entered. It really is not a big deal whether Midland reports the account, if they are currently, as paid in full or settled. The fact they have a trade line on the report at all creates most of the damage. Having the item show zero balance owed creates the moment in time where the credit report and credit score healing can begin.

      6. As mentioned above, I am not sure what legal theory they are working under in order to hold your wife legally responsible for a debt she is not a guarantor for. There may be no sound theory at all, just collection chicanery. Settling the debt will take this concern out of the picture. If you do not settle, and challenge the collection action instead, you would want to connect with an experienced attorney to advise you on this concern.

      • Thank you for your help on this issue. You gave me answers that I needed. I was able to settle for a lesser amount than what they owed and they gave me in writing that this account will be listed as settled in full. Interestingly enough, when I went down to the office to give the payment in person, the agent I spoke to was not dressed as professional as I would have imagined to be but the important thing is that this debt is done and over with. Thanks again!

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Carlo – My pleasure. I am glad you were able to get the Midland Funding debt settled.

          Get a copy of your credit report in 30 to 60 days and make sure that the information has been updated to reflect a zero balance owed.

  7. Old debt of 5 yrs haunting me in a MIDLAND FUNDING small claim suit. I am i Alabama and on disability and live in low income apts. They wre told this so why are they still suing? I am in bad health and do not recall the debt and do not want to go in court(oanic attacks) I scraped up $300 hired an atty he called them twice and they never replied he will send a letter next and thats it. I replied to summons DISPUTED AND PAST SOL IN ALABAMA…how can I be sure it is 3 yrs as the internet says-my atty doesnt even know. PLUS I am on a deed with 3 others-mama is 9 and gave us 4 her home she still lives in-can they get a lien/judgement with multiple owners on deed?Mom is crying as it is her home and she wanted grandkids to get it casue they are poor and may never have a home of their own…so sad she is tore up-/what can I do to stop this to save the homeplace? AND should I write NIDLAND asking fro validation since I have atty? They show on my cred rept also having 2 others-probably hit me with them next

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Raynelle – Midland Funding is part of a company structure that represents the largest debt buying operation in the country. When your that big, you really don’t review files individually in order to make decisions on files one by one. What you have shared in your comment points to a couple of things:

      1. Midland Funding is wasting time and resources to try and collect from you as you are likely judgment proof, unless they see the house as an asset that could someday… maybe… get them paid. That is a possibility.

      2. Midland may not have done their homework on this account of yours to know whether or not they can legitimately file a suit to collect as it appears your account may be past the statue of limitations to file a legitimate collection suit. More on this below.

      You have an attorney, and one who is assisting you at a fair price to boot. You should discuss with your attorney your question about requesting debt validation from Midland Funding. Generally, because Midland is already suing you, your debt validation request would not really be what is consistent with your right to request same under the fair debt collection practices act. You would be able to get this from them through the court process referred to as discovery. This process is more formal and provides even more nuances that advantage you. Your attorney will be able to advise further.

      Raising the SOL defense is good. Whether it is 3 years or 6 years in Alabama is a point of contention. Basically Midland’s attorney would argue your account is not a revolving consumer credit card debt, but an “account stated” debt. I am sure there are resources your attorney can tap to validate an argument that your credit card debt was indeed revolving consumer debt.

      Question: Who was the original creditor and when was the last payment made to them, or anyone else, on this account? What is Midland Funding showing as the date of last activity on the account in your credit report? What does the original creditor show as the last payment made on your credit report? Your answers here are important. Please post them in a comment reply below.

      You mentioned your concern about Midland having two other accounts showing as theirs now on your credit report. It would be good to answer my above questions about those accounts too.

      If Midland is trying to collect on debt that is past the SOL, I would encourage you to file a complaint with the CFPB. The CFPB began its supervision and regulation oversight of Midland Funding just last week. The CFPB cares about this issue. You can file a complaint here: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/
      Talk with your attorney about this too.

  8. I received a letter today from a group of attorneys that represent Midland Funding, LLC here in Georgia. I know at one time I had several credit cards, and this is one I’m sure I had. I don’t know the last time I used this card and I’m sure I never charged as muck as they are saying I owe. Do you think it would be to my advantage to check with an attorney? I am unemployed and live on my late husbands social security. I do have a home that is paid for after his death…Will they have to furnish me with copies of the credit card statements? I don’t know what to do. Help please with any suggestions.
    Mary

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Mary – It is always in your best interest to consult with your own attorney when you are receiving communication from a debt collection attorney hired to collect from you. You also have an asset to protect. Not any attorney will do in this type of situation. You should look to speak with one who has experience in debt collection defense.

      Let me know with a comment reply you would like for me to research for, and send attorney contact info to the email you use to post here, and I will send. Just include the name of a large city nearby.

      One way to determine the date you last made a payment is to look on your credit report and see what your original credit card lender shows as the date you last made a payment; or date of account charge off. You may also see an entry from Midland on your credit report. It would be good if you can tell me what date of last activity they are reporting.

      As far as Midland Funding showing you credit card statements, it depends. If you respond to the attorney collection letter with a debt validation request letter of your own (send certified mail return receipt requested if you do this), the attorney will have to go back to Midland Funding in order to obtain material responsive to your validation request. That response will often include at least one credit card statement.

      Additional questions:

      What is the amount the letter is trying to collect from you?
      Is there any indication on the letter that Midland is collecting on a debt originally owed to one of the banks you had a credit card with? Is there a name of some other entity than Midland Funding, or the collection attorney in the letter? If so, who?

      • midlands bought my junk debt opened in 2006 at citibank allegedly and closed in 11/2007. Amount on cred rept vs Midland doesnt match. The atty in my stae (Birmingham AL) is handling the suit fro the, She returns no calls to my atty. Her naem is Margaret Hammond. The other 2 acct are Tmobile from 2010 (somehow ballooned to $1000) I called Tmo they said they cant talk about it that they sold it to Midland. And I think the other acct is a paypal for like near $3,000 from 08 or 09=never heard about them either. They may be contracts rather than open end accounts–do u know? SOL’s are 6 yrs here for contracts, 3 for credit cards. I appreciate your help more than u know…I want to write the atty asking debt validation and mention a settlement that I can afford or bankrupt. As I am just on disabilty. What do u think. I’m just thinking of Moms house…wish I could give that back…

        • Michael Bovee says:

          rm – You can verify whether Midland Funding bought your debt by calling Citibank and asking Citi who they sold your credit card debt to.

          Is Midland Funding reporting a collection account on your credit report? Or is it that Midland is claiming you owe an amount through collection efforts that is larger than your Citibank balance was when they still owned the account?

          Your Tmobile account in not a revolving consumer account like a credit card debt is.

          I would need more information on the PayPal account you mention in order to give more feedback.

          The SOL for credit card debt in Alabama can be argued by the debt collector to be 6 years. If I read your comment correctly, you are working with your own attorney to assist you with your Midland debt sent to an attorney debt collector. Your attorney can best advise you on handling the SOL challenge, should it come to that.

          If you want to request validation of a debt from the attorney collecting for Midland Funding, you should. Be sure to send the request certified return receipt. If it were me, I would not send a written debt validation request to Midland mixed in with an offer to settle. I may send a validation request and follow that up with a phone call to negotiate a settlement.

          In addition to my questions above:

          What is the amount Midland is trying to collect on the old Citibank account?
          What amount are you prepared to offer as settlement to Midland?

          If you answer my questions in a follow up comment reply I can offer more feedback.

  9. My partner just received a call from Midland and they told her they were sending the bill to wage garnishment. They got her on the phone and this was a surprise.. She didn’t know about this judgement and she was completely caught off guard by it. It has been 5 years they told her since they got any payments. But when we looked at in her credit report last night, the owner of origin for the loan was Washington Mutual and to my partner’s knowledge, she never had any dealings with Washington Mutual. We are going to send a request for verification of debt per your advice. Anything else we should do?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Mel – Sending a debt validation request is situational. What you shared in your comment about there being a judgment in favor of Midland Funding already in place means the standard debt validation approach is not going to be of much help.

      If the basis of the judgment was a debt with WAMU; and there was never an account with WAMU; and where there was never proper service of a lawsuit that would have raised the alarm bells on a debt that may not even be legitimate; and where there is very real risk of additional harm caused if garnished or levied for a debt that is not legitimate – I would really suggest you speak with an experienced debt collection defense attorney. There are not enough attorneys experienced in this kind of thing, but they are sprinkled around the country. What state do you live in, and what is the nearest city of size? Let me know in a comment reply and I can send an email to the address you use to comment here with attorney information.

  10. Midland has the citibank acct in question that I have been sued for-they purchased the 5.5 yr old debt but on my cred rept the amount is $1200 then listed elsewhere as $978–seems they are playing with the amt. ALSO on my report I see 2 more collections that MIDLAND has on me thought they have not contacted me on those either-one is tnobile and is 2 yrs old and the other is a TRIBUTE MASTERCARD $766.00 that says opened 9-1-09 and that is all it says with no date of lasta ctivity. I do not recall the Mastercard or the citibank USA that I am bein sued on but I do the cell. What do I do about the 2 (cell and Tribute Mastercard) that they have not sent me anything on??Do I shut up and risk 2 more suits or go on and just send a money order with sizeable payments or call the atty doing the citicard suit and tell her I seen the other 2 and want to pay what I can monthly n pay off in 90 days– I also see 3 or 4 others from LVNV and National Recovery and Jeff Cap…they are 2010 and more current–are they as bad as MIDLAND??Thanks

    • Michael Bovee says:

      rm – Midland Funding is more collection lawsuit happy than any other debt buyer or debt collector, including the ones you listed. As far as whether LVNV, National Recovery, or Jeff Cap are easier to deal with and negotiate a settlement? Not really. But I should add that Midland Funding, Midland Credit Management, and Encore Capital Group are pretty easy to work with and come to a settlement or payment agreement, same as most buyers and collectors. Basically, they all want to get paid. Coming up with a plan that works for you and them is not complicated, but it can be a bit daunting the more debts you are dealing with. Add lawsuits, and accounts you do not even recognize as your own, things get frustrating.

      Ideally, you would want to sit down and map out a methodical strategy that allows you to resolve all of these accounts (that are yours), and use a priority of Midland Funding Citi account suit first, identify the second to resolve, third, etc. Your priority list would include which account is most likely to sue next, and so on.

      I am going to suggest you consider CRN membership as a tool to help you develop a plan, prioritize the debts, and resolve them. We are affordable. You may only need us for a month, or two, so that’s expert guidance for under 200.00.

      Call in for a consult and see if membership makes sense for you, and would provide value. Your consult with a CRN specialist is free: 800-939-8357 ext. 3

  11. I could settle the suit with Midland for Citibank bought out debt IF they would accept $400–amt sued for is $1050.80 Is that too cheap for a near 6 yr old debt they purchased cheap. And BTW the Tmo acct I see them also in charge of on my cred report was near $500 now is near $1000. That is 2 yrs old, maybe 3. Is there any way u can definitely tell me the SOL on cr cards in Alabama? I keep seeing 3 yrs but one online atty said 4 and others do not know…even my own atty does not know. I am so depressed I feel like I am in water surrounded by sharks. IF the SOL is 6 yr on cr cards I am screwed becasue all on my file is 5.5 yrs. and all re ced cards except tmobile and Columbia House. And by the way there are weird ones on my report also like a Paypal Buyer Credit that says revolving and last pais 6-08 and seems re aged by GECRB/Paypal Smart Con the amt ranges $175 to $848- I may deny that one-I need to think hard I do not recall that, THEN there is a paypal plus for $3,846/00!! says a cred card with 8/08 being last activity listed with GECRB/Paypal Extras MC…dont recognize that either and it sure is high==dont forget to research the SOL in my state for cred cards. I know contracts are 6 yrs

    • Michael Bovee says:

      rm – A cheap settlement is all relative. Midland Funding is the largest debt buyer in the nation. They regularly settle debts for less than what is owed. Your 400.00 target on a balance just over 1k may have been doable without any litigation going on, but with that element added, my experience would suggest that is too low.

      Yes, Midland Funding and other debt buyers buy up debts on the cheap. When you look at how all of this operates on an account by account basis, you (and most of us) end up thinking; “What the crap, I owed 1k to citi and lost my job and could not pay for a long time. Citi sold my debt for 90 bucks or less to Midland. If I pay Midland Funding 400 bucks, that’s like a 300% profit to them. Why wouldn’t they go for it?”

      Looked at on an individual account basis – that is a good profit!

      Midland Funding is looking at this differently. They apply their profit returns across their entire portfolios. If they collect only a percentage of the face value balances on say 3 out of 10 accounts, there profits do not look nearly as great.

      There is a bunch more to debt buyers collecting, of course, and each person really does not give a rip about much of this, you just want to see your way through this. It just helps to understand how this stuff clicks in order to get your debts cleared so you can move on with your life.

      As far as the SOL on credit card debts. Open ended revolving consumer debts are listed with an SOL in your state of 3 years. Collectors that sue will try to argue that it is an account stated, which has a different SOL, that is why they argue for it. If you are going to settle the Midland Funding collection lawsuit, arguing the SOL is not going to be useful, but would probably run up your attorney fees.

  12. I apprecaite all you are doing. So if $400 offer for the Citibank suit to be settles ($1050.80) may not be good enough for Midland–what amount do u suggest and as for the TMOBILE acct I do owe but the amounts between Midland and TMO differ what amt would u suggest IF the amounts owed is $978.oo/(this is 2 or 2.5 yrs old) and on the TRIBUTE Mastercard that says it is 3 yrs old and is $766.00? I need expert advice like yours on a starting point then if I fail, I will hang my head low and pray hard they do not file the. I do owe the cell; still do not recognize the other 2. And I am considering debt cons as lst as the disability SSI is not reliable income. It is monthly based and is on the chopping block I hear for future cuts Still no word fro my $350 atty/I need to go on and contact that atty myself about that suit-just discovered today that 94 yr old mom has lip cancer that is being removed that week of trial…gotta do something…then theres the possibility of the house jdgement……………

    • Michael Bovee says:

      rm – The amount I would target for settlement on the Midland Funding Citibank suit would be 50%, but it could hit 60. If your income is limited to SSDI, negotiations would lien to even better savings than that. When you mention a house judgment, I assume you mean if Midland Funding were to get a judgment, you are concerned that the judgment will lead to a lien on the property. This is a real concern. Settling prior to any judgment would remove the concern. Debt collectors can see assets held in your name in public records. It may be the home in your name that leads Midland to hold out for a higher settlement on the account they hired an attorney to collect on, where they would have settled for a lower amount when just considering you are on a fixed income.

      The TMobile account with Midland Funding I would target for settlement around 40% based on current trends.

      Tribute account with Midland I would target also at around 40%.

      I understand you need advice. I can only offer my feedback based on my experiences and knowledge.

      I am not sure what you meant about considering debt consolidation. But you are well past the point of traditional debt consolidation providing any true benefit.

      You can typically request a new court date when circumstances arise out of your control. Caring for your mother after a cancer treatment would certainly qualify. You would want to request a new date formally through the court, so check with your attorney about that.

      • Michael Bovee says:

        rm – Also consider:

        If your income is limited to SSDI, you should look for a low income legal aid office near you. If you qualify for assistance, it could prove to be a helpful resource.

  13. I called atty again today-the one I pod $350 to and once again he was not there his sec says but she did say that she asked him if I could go on with a letter req debt validation and he said yes I could. I have a neat letter to the atty whose nmae is on the lawsuit yet I feel a gut feeling o edit it. SO I cut out anything about settling and just disputed it and stated I live in HUD housing and was on SSI and wanted to avoid bankruptcy. I also mentioned my atty had called twice and to date she had not returned his calls. I stated that I knew my FDCPA and FCA right sand had been advised by atty gen office to file a complaint for this happening anyway to me–that I had never heard any communication from them at all and that Alabama’s SOL for cred cards exp after 3 yrs. I realize they are pushing the account stated for our 6 yr SOL which is up this Fall…bnut CITIBANK USA NA uis a credit card…does what I said in this letter seem bad…I have not mailed it yet–oh and I did ask for debt validation of what I allegedly owed and I said I wanted all dates and transactions including a copy of the credit card contract that I allegedly signed. On the other hand I did a similar one but included the other 2 accounts MIDLAND has on my cred report (Tmobile and Tribute Mastercard) that they have not bothered me with either)-this letter on the 2 accts plus lawsulit is being sent right to MIDLAND in SAn Diego-and there I did hint that if validation showed I owed them that I may consider a settlemnt that I can afford to avoid bankruptcy…Haven’t mailes either letter…what do u think of the wording in both. I am about to bust a gut waiting on my lawyer. He aint even cashed my week old $300 ck yet either…

    • Michael Bovee says:

      rm – You should really rely on your attorney for reviewing your validation request letter. Its a bit abnormal, what your sending, but has solid points in it too.

  14. my atty does not want to see it the sec says…so I need your opinion. I sure dont need to make things worse. Tell me what is abnormal or what u think I may should delete

    • Michael Bovee says:

      rm – My personal opinion of the contents of your validation request to Midland is:

      I like that you are communicating your limited income so that they are on notice there is nothing really to collect from you by way of wage garnishment, or a bank levy (if the only money deposited in your bank account is from SSI – it is protected from levy). This could make your settlement offer to avoid judgment more acceptable because it represents the only way they get paid. I normally do not encourage this communication be done in a letter, but over the phone.

      Sending a standard debt validation letter is your right under the fair debt collection practices act. On the account you are being sued on however, you are past that point. You would request account information, contracts, etc., through the court process. This is why I suggested speaking with your attorney.

      If it were me in your shoes trying to settle the Midland Funding lawsuit, that is what I would be working on, not a validation request that should be done through the court process anyway.

      • Michael Bovee says:

        rm – I should add that, in your earlier comment, you were raising the issue of defending or settling the collection suit. The standard validation request on the citi account is not an approach I would take to accomplish a defense, or settling with Midland Funding.

  15. ok u convinced me to not mail my letter to the atty but to call her-if she will talk–she refused the one time I did get an atty==she never called him back and he left a detailed voicemail. When debts are charged off and bought by junk debt people as this one–unknown by me or not—why doi they all seem to be coming out of the woodwork now that I have ben sued? Can they know??? AND by the way I was served Jan 2 2013 and the summons was dated Dec 18 2013 (u asked earlier). COULD there be the fact they will NOT setle out of court no matter what? ANd if yes is your anser then why would they do that when they know I am just on disabilty. Tis whole thing unnerves me;I am so sick. ANd WHY do they all insist that a cred crad debt is a contract which carried a 6 yr SOL which will be up 11/13–and not the states SOL cred card that was up after 3 yrs? Reckon how that can be argued/ Do newer judges (mine is) apt to say THIS IS A CONTRACT, THE SOL IS NOT UP ..YET__{PAT THE DEBT). Am asking casue I mentioned to u that more sit out there, and 2 with Midland-wen I call the atty shopuld I bringthem up or just the suit??? I hope u can anser all these questions–they are ones I failed to ask. And am I too late after charge off for debt settlement. You wil NEVR realize how u have helped me…God bless u(OH and Duham & DUrham called today and left a recording to call them)

    • Michael Bovee says:

      rm – Getting hit all at once with debt collection activity, when the calls and letters seemed to have stopped for a good amount of time, can be the result of:

      The debts are nearing the SOL to file legitimate suits to collect.
      You applied for a loan, or credit of some sort, and they get flagged through their software systems.
      The debts were resold to new buyers who will begin with fresh collection efforts.

      Yes, there are instances where a debt cannot be settled for less than what is owed, but that is not to say that you could not resolve it with affordable payments etc.
      If your only income is from disability they will be lucky to get paid at all.

      The debt collectors will argue the account stated issue because otherwise they are SOL.

      If it were me calling the attorney to try and reach a settlement I would not bring up the other debts. They do not care – except perhaps that Midland Funding has a few of them.

  16. Hi Michael,
    I have received letters from Midland Funding for a T-mobile account for $428. The credit bureaus list the account opened (by Midland) on 1/1/2012. So Midland has had the account since last year. Would it be worth my time to call them to see if they would do a pay for delete for this account? Have you seen any cases where they would do this? If I agree to pay it in full, but they report it as “paid collection”, instead of actually deleting the information, this lowers my score, correct? I would like to raise my credit score and this item is hurting me.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Grace – Pay for deletes are not quite an urban legend yet (they were always a less than 1% chance play), but soon will be, especially with larger debt buyers like Midland. There are a host of reasons for what I am saying that will be covered in our credit reporting series that will be up on the site next month. You may want to subscribe to the RSS feed so you get updates.

      Yes, the fact that Midland Funding has the item on your credit report is hurting you. But having it paid, whether settled for less, or in full, will allow your score to mend quicker than you may think. If you maintain all other efforts to maintain your credit, the paid Midland account will lose its potency incrementally over a 3, 6, 9, 12 month period of time.

      What is your credit score now?
      Are there any other items hurting your score (30 or longer day lates)?

      • Hi Michael,
        My scores were 700, 701s. But there is a new collection item that just posted from Dishnetwork (Enhance Recovery) for an $11 programming charge, which dropped my scores to 660, 670, 680. This irritates me because we had the service 3 years ago and NEITHER company ever sent me any letters stating there was a balance due. I paid dishnetwork over the phone yesterday and the rep said he would notify the collection agency to take it off my reports since I paid them and not the collection agency. He said it would take the agency about 6-10 weeks to remove it from my reports.
        My question is if it would it be worth it to go ahead and still file disputes with the bureaus stating that there is a $0 balance and to delete it? I don’t have a lot of faith in dishnetwork to communicate to their collection agency. I also don’t want the collection agency to put “paid collection” on my reports. They can’t do that, since I didn’t pay them, I paid dishnetwork, correct?

        Other than that, I have 2 unpaid medical collection items- one for $95 and the other is for $300 from 2009. The bureaus do have that these items are disputed by consumer. I have no idea what to do with these items, especially since they are 4 years old.

        So besides the dishnetwork and 2 unpaid collections, I just have 2 credit cards, which are in good standing (and I try to keep the balance 20% of the credit limit). My other credit card has a no preset limit, and I have no idea how that is effecting my credit. The high balance is the same as the actual balance, but it’s only $179. I don’t know how to use the card to my advantage to help my scores.
        My car and student loans are paid off, good payment history. However, one of the bureaus is still reporting a 60 day late payment for my student loan back in 2009! So I have all these on time payments, the loan has been paid off since 2011 and they still show a late payment from 4 years ago. I’m sorry this is so long. I am incredibly frustrated because we want to buy a house this summer. I have the money to pay off all the collection items right now, but I don’t want to destroy my rating either.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Grace – If it were me in your situation I would wait the roughly 60 days it could take to see if the account is removed. I too would not have a ton of faith in Dish Network, but I would also suspect that the credit reporting agencies would mark the Enhanced Recovery item as a paid collection account instead. After 60 days you could send a dispute the any credit bureau reporting it as not accurate as you do not have an unpaid balance with Dish Network – and that would be an accurate statement.

          If you filed a dispute, is it because you did not agree with the bills? would paying them go against the reason you disputed them in the first place? The fact that your scores were 700 plus with the 2 medical collections means they are not harming you a great deal at all.

          With 2 revolving consumer credit accounts you are fine. The third one that constantly reports your current balance owed as your high limit is going to have at least some impact on your credit utilization, but marginal. If you are concerned about this pay the card off each month a week or so early.

          The student loan late pay from 4 years ago is not dragging your score down much, if any at all, four years later. It has lost most or all of its potency.

          Paying or settling the Midland Funding debt now would be better than learning you need to this summer in order to qualify for a loan. The reason is because initially paying the account could lower your score for 30 to 90 days. You will want to have that out of the way. The medical debts are under dispute. If you wish to maintain that dispute I would completely understand. Just realize that it would be better to have a home loan underwriting software not score you with outstanding debts. But you may have the opportunity to have a manual loan underwriter review an understand the medical debts are disputed by you due to an overcharge/charge that you never received (or whatever the reason for your disputing the bill).

          If it were me, I would settle the Midland debt for as little as possible (40-ish% is a good target). Be sure to get any settlement or agreement in writing using the following report as a guide: http://consumerrecoverynetwork.com/debt-settlement-letters-agreements

          Hope this helps. Post additional questions and concerns.

          • Hi Michael,
            I just noticed today that Experian has the following information from Enhanced Recovery (Dishnetwork):
            “Paid, was a collection account, insurance claim or government claim or was terminated for default”.

            I received the following email from dishnetwork on Saturday:
            “Thank you for taking time to contact us. Please be advised that we already processed your request. Please note that the collections will take credit hit off the report within 6-10 weeks. We encourage you to call our Customer Service Hotline at 1-800-894-9131 for further assistance.”

            Would you recommend that I still wait 60 days and file disputes with the credit bureaus if this information has not been deleted? Equifax has also reported the collections with the balance of $11 and listed as “unpaid”. Thanks.

  17. Hi
    Midland Funding LLC is suing me for a debt that I did not incur. I asked them for a bill or any information that might show that the money was used by me, but they refused and hasn’t sent anything to me. I called them and told them that this must be a mistake and they said they understood. But then they continue to send me documentation asking for my sign about what we spoke on the phone. But all I read on the sent documents is a promise that I will pay back!!! So I refused and now they are going to charge my credit card $100 per month as an ‘agreement’ to pay back which I have never agreed to. I don’t even know if they know my credit card #s.
    Anyway, how can I get some justice?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Mike – I want to be sure I understand what you have shared correctly. Here is how I am interpreting this:

      Midland Funding has hired a debt collection attorney, who filed a lawsuit in court and served you with a summons and complaint, to collect a debt that is not yours. Confirm this is what has occurred in your comment reply.

      I also could read a little bit of a gray area into what you wrote – “debt that I did not incur” – as something where perhaps you were a cosigner, or authorized user on the account in question.
      If you can help me clearly understand the scenario surrounding the debt, I would be better able to provide more detailed feedback. If the debt is flat out not yours, and you have no idea whose it is, or how it came to be, that fact would change the direction of my feedback.

      Your reference to being sued, combined with your continuing to receive documentation in reference to phone conversations – Are these conversations you are having with the debt collection attorney suing you, or are they direct conversations with Midland Funding?

  18. Did I goof with the mdland time barred suit I may not owe? I comolained online to atty gen, and got letter today saying bthry contacted them with my comolaint and give them 15days to respond.issue is I never thought they woukd send my report complaint to midland,duh. In it I kept saying bi wasdx frantic and never had heard fromthem till lawsuit and that 94yr okd mom tore up cause I was one of many owners on her home deed and she n I were afraid they could get judgment…well if they didn’t knw iwas a part owner tey do jow. I’m on ssi and live in hud…advise please.debt is 5.5 yr old alabama solmis3on cred cards and six on signed contracrs which is what they are goin for…court in three wks

  19. Also I sent two letters to the midlnd aty suing me cause he has two addresses, I req return receipt. I got one today where soeone signed for him upon delivery, then thestates atty gen letter also…hoe I ain ruined all. Despite te lawsuit midland has charge of two more debts on my cred repr that are not sol expired, one I owe one not…what should I do about them

    • Michael Bovee says:

      rm – I am going to be blunt here:

      I do not know what you are doing. You hire an attorney to defend against Midland suit, but want to send a letter to the attorney Midland hired to sue you. Your attorneys secretary tells you to go ahead and send a letter to Midlands attorney without your own attorney reviewing it (which is not all that normal).

      You want to settle the debt with Midland, but want to raise defenses too, but that has to be done with your attorney and through the court process. You send a complaint to your states attorney general, who writes to Midland, the result of that may help, or harm you, given the different information you shared in the complaint. You will have to wait that out.

      I have shared about as much as I can with you at this point. If you want to settle this debt – do it. If you want to defend the lawsuit you really should be conversing with your attorney about this.

  20. Thanx.the atty was initially just. Making a call or two and did to no responses.that cost $300.so from that point on no atty, but he did say to his secretary for me to go ion and file a complaint with atty gen s o I did and to certify mail the midlndvaty myself as I just did. I have no atty anymore. He was going to include a letter with those two calls but did not. That also was costly as I just have disability. I value all u taught me. Sorry I bothered u today. I am noit contacting u any more but I do apreciate u teaching me a lot. God bless.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      rm – I am not discouraging you from posting. I can truly appreciate you are struggling your way through a tough financial time that is only made worse by struggling through an unfamiliar situation. I know that you are reaching out for answers.

      I was under the impression you had an attorney to see you through this. I now know that you no longer do.

      Did you file an answer to the lawsuit with the court?

      As far as the other debts with Midland, it may be best to wait until after the court hearing, or after the response you get from the AG (after Midland responds to them the AG will write to you).

  21. I did answet with the old sol defense..if that’s even accuraTe.bdt tbdyrgot more info from ag thN they expected.I’m so stupid thinking the ag wouldn’t srnd them my actual complaint.nos they sure know about my home ownership.im sick I’m beating myself up over that statement.they sure prob won’t settle now.

  22. Typos…just said bet they got more info outts me than i meant. Mom so mad at me

    • Michael Bovee says:

      rm – Don’t get discouraged. Wait and see the result of the Midland Funding complaint with the AG.

      You can get through this. Too much fretting is not good for you.

  23. I need some help for next step. I have not recieved a law suit yet, but I got a letter that one was filed from Midland, I live in alabama, I have only had credit cards in the past. when I reviewed my credit report Midland is showing up as date opened 12/2008, major del 2/2009 and 1st del 7/2007. I am assuming that since it was a revolving debt I am out of the SOL of 3 years for my state. I am trying to be proactive. What steps should I take?? I am not sure if I should validate the debt or what. Thank you for your help.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Alli – Who was the original creditor for the debt Midland Funding is now collecting on? Credit reports are a good indicator to base your SOL calculations from, but can you recall without relying on what the credit report says when you last made a payment on the account?

      Requesting validation prior to being served is not a bad idea. I can offer more direct feedback once you post a comment reply to my questions.

      • Michael,
        There is not a debt that matches up to the amount, the closest one in Cap 1, and yes, it has been since at least mid 2007 since I paid, that is when I was laid off. That makes it almost 6 years, all of my closed end debt was paid as promised. Thoughts??

        • Michael,
          Should I try and validate the debt?? that will not be an admission of owing, will it?? Advice please.

          • Michael Bovee says:

            Alli – Requesting debt validation from Midland Funding, or the collection firm they have hired, is typically viewed as the opposite of an admission. You send one because you want clarity of whether the debt they are trying to collect is yours, the amount alleged as owing etc.

            With your situation, Midland Funding has already filed a lawsuit. You just have not been served yet. I would suggest talking with an experienced debt collection defense attorney first, before doing anything. The type of attorney you would want to talk with generally offer a free consultation, so reaching out just makes sense as part of your search for what to do next. You may learn of some options to resolve this you would otherwise not have considered.

            Post a reply with the name of the nearest larger city and I can email you some contact information for the type of attorney you should look to connect with.

  24. I have a midland credit on my cr listed as a factoring company account and
    the status is placed for collections.

    What is a factoring company account and how can midland place accounts for
    collections? I thought midland was the one doing the collections.The notice
    I got in the mail said midland is servicing on a HSBC card that was charged
    off and has a $0 balance on my cr.what is the policy for charged off
    accounts and factoring company accounts?how does that all work.it seems
    midland really put some harsh marks on my credit file.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      E – Midland Funding is part of the Encore brand and acts as the debt purchaser. Midland Credit Management is also under the Encore brand and it operates more as a traditional collection agency. When Midland sues, it does so as Midland Funding, the owner of the debt.

      In your case, it sounds like Midland Funding bought your unpaid debt with HSBC. This is common.

      A factoring company is just another term used to describe a debt buyer.

      When your HSBC account gets sold, HSBC can no longer legitimately claim any money is owed to them. HSBC must then report a zero balance due, because you do not owe them anymore. The rights to the debt have been transferred over to Midland Funding.

      Midland Funding showing on your credit report will report a balance owed to them. Be sure that the Midland entry in your credit report is not showing a date of last activity, or date of last payment, that is newer than the date of last payment being reported by HSBC. It is common for a collector or debt buyer to report a new entry on your credit report and use a fresher date. The harm that occurs when they do this is the account will stay on your credit report longer than is allowed.

      Negative items stay on your credit report for 7.5 years from the date of your missing the first payment to HSBC. The Midland Funding entry is related to the HSBC account. You would want to monitor your credit report to make certain both entries are removed after 7.5 years.

      Did this answer your questions?

  25. michael…things to me are from bad to worse-first the suit Midland Funding LLC has is still on for court in a few weeks and the atty still will not send me debt validation-recall I do not recognize the debt and NEVER have heard from Midland. But onb my credit report today it says that MCM had inquired–that is Midland and I wonder why-I disputed the Midland thing 3 wks ago on my Experian report. also the atty that helped me that one time called me after me paying $300 and said he needed more becasue of the hassel making the 2 calls back then (that were never returned that I told u of). I am in a oity party state of mind-on disabilty borrowed that initial $300 and he aon;t getting anymore. I also was told by a paralegal at daughters class that the US code overrode Alabamas SOl and that I needed that one and to getthe supposed contract I signed when Citicard USa wasopened-I cannot do that-I do not recall it–people just don’t get it. ONe good thing a Cap one dispute with Portfolio was removed by them and they sent me a letter. I have drafted Citibank USA to see if they can help me with a request for that alleged contrac(that Midland is caiming Breech of contract, acct stated) for—that willl help me see if it was an open end or contract

    • Michael Bovee says:

      r – I am sending you an email with a some input and a question that I would like you to reply to via email.

  26. from what I am reading, appears to me that these guys are real sharks, almost 3 years ago I was diagnosed with leukemia, then 2 months later, stage 3 kidney cancer. needless to say I could not pay my bills. at one point even considered filing bankruptcy, but due to the way I was raised, once back on my feet, I contacted everyone that I thought I owed money to, and settled everyone ( still working on a discover account ) there were two charge offs, one company went out of business and no longer exists, the other was target. now I have received 2 letters from midland threatening me. I have read the fair debt law, and from what I glean there, they cant come after me for buying bad debt,….. or can they ? with what I make, and what my monthly expenses are, even with 2 roommates, I am barely getting by. there is nothing left after the end of the month for anything so I sit here every night watching TV or on the net. per a couple of previous posts are these people generally willing to work for a lesser amount to get rid of the alleged debt and is 40% the norm, I settled a couple of other credit cards at 25%

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Don – Yes, Midland Funding can come after you for bad debt. I understand there is a ton of information on the internet about how debt can be invalidated (even when it is legitimate), or how Midland Funding can be beat. There is something to that. There is also a fair amount of incomplete and straight up wacky information about beating back collection efforts.

      If settling with Midland Funding is your goal, yes, 40% is a good target. With medical hardships such as yours, perhaps even better.

      If Midland does come after you before you are able to get that done, I would recommend an attorney to you as an alternative to trying to beat them back on your own.

      How much is the debt they are collecting? Do they have both of the accounts (you mentioned 2 letters)? Who was the original creditor that went out of business? What are the amounts being collected?

      • they are asking for @ 9K, what bothers me is that target charged off back in 2009, and not a peep out of them since, now this ?? both letter are referring to this old account. how can it possibly be legal for a creditor like target to charge off & take a loss on their taxes, and 3 yrs later say ” oh my bad you still owe ? in my business when I write something off, I can’t come back later…..it is bad enough that I used to enjoy high 700′s / low 800′s fico and just because I got sick ( and per drs., almost died) now down around low to mid 500′s, yeah I decided to not file BK, and chose to try to work my way out, conventional wisdom to me would be that my fico should be higher by now

        • Michael Bovee says:

          don – Target charges the account off and applies strict GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) when they do that, same as Chase, Wells Fargo, or Bank of America would treat credit card charge offs. The may sell the debt immediately after charge off, or even a year or more down the road. Any thing they are able to collect after charge off would create a new accounting event. Selling the debt later on to Midland Funding, for say 8 cents on the dollar, would create a different type of accounting event. Of course, we assume they are doing all of that in the manner they are required to.

          Here is some light reading on charge off and what it means to you:
          http://consumerrecoverynetwork.com/charge-off-and-credit-card-debt-what-it-means-to-you/

          How close are you to the SOL expiring in your state?
          Can you come up with 3500.00 to settle with Midland?

          Your credit score being in the dungeon can be because of several factors. Are the only unresolved accounts on your credit report the one with Midland Funding and the other account you referenced? Do you have other active and positive trade lines reporting?

          • dont have any way to come up with $3500, ( maybe over several months— up to a year ? ) my business closed out the year in a negative, am upside down on the house, and of course the gov’t just increased everyone’s taxes. got 10 months left on the SOL, everything else is current, as I settled several other bills for less than owed, and then closed the accounts.

            • Michael Bovee says:

              don – you may want to just keep saving up until you are in a position to settle in a lump sum. Don’t get me wrong, Midland Funding does settle debts for less AND with longer term payments to fund the lower settlement amount, but you are struggling, and agreeing to a payment that you are not confident you could come up with every month and complete can lead to wasted money if you miss a payment.

              If they do get froggy and leap to sue for collection, your probably better working with an attorney to defend the suit and get potentially get it dismissed. What state do you live in?

  27. Hello- I am in Southern California and currently being sued by Midland Funding. I filed a response with the court and the case management conference is tomorrow at 1:30pm . I spoke with someone from their attorney’s office whom offered me a settlement of $1,993 on what they are saying will be a $4,000 judgement if they win. The original debt is around $2,200 but definitely no more than 2,500 from Credit One Bank. I stopped payment in Aug 09 so it’s still barely within the SOL. Anyways, I counter offered with $500 cash at the advice of an attorney. They called backtoday  offering $1500. I countered again at $1000 in a 3 mo payment plan. The lady immediately said that $1500 is their final offer and I responded “Ok I guess I’ll see you in court”. Now I’m anxious about it because I really don’t know if I can handle this whole court process on my own, but no economically sensible to hire an attorney to deal with $2000 debt. So I guess I’m worried that if I don’t take this dealtoday  (call her back and accept) that they will not offer it at the meeting tomorrow and I will be stuck trying to fight this lawsuit and potentially have to pay over $4,000 in the end. I’m a grad student with no job or assets, so I can’t imagine they would be getting that kind of money from me anytime soon, but it will linger on my credit for a long time and I think maybe it’s better to settle at their offer rather than risking the alternative outcome.  Thank You in advance for any advice/insight that can be offered.
    Why won’t they at least entertain my $1,000 offer? is it likely I could negotiate closer to the $1,000 range eventually? or in your experience is this offer too low? is this the best opportunity I have to settle?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      AF – Now is the best opportunity to settle with Midland Funding in order to eliminate the risk a judgment is entered into the court record that will end up on the public records section of your credit profile for 7 years. But the fact that you may have to make payments on any settlement with the attorney Midland hired most often means signing a consent to judgment, which gets filed with the court anyway. So, if you cannot raise the funds to settle in less than 30 days, its often a catch 22.

      Settling with Midland Funding is common. Often at a little less than 50%. The attorney that Midland hired to sue, if getting paid on a contingency, has some skin in the game too. 1500 is not a bad deal on a 4k judgment, but just an average Midland settlement if you take out attorney fees and court costs. You are at a point where taking the 1500.00 may be as good as it gets.

      You can also consider that when you show up in court tomorrow you can still offer to settle at the 1k you held firm to. You may even consider bumping it to say 1200.00. Here again though, if you are not able to raise the money PDQ, you know that they will likely ask you to sign off on consent paperwork.

      These are the realities as I see them. You can also stick to the arguments and defenses you have obviously already raised, and if things go south in court, tell the judge you have done your best to prepare without an attorney cause money is tight, but that you now know you need one and would like a continuance so you can go consult with one in order to protect your rights. If that does occur, post an update. I can send you contact info for an experienced collection defense attorney in southern CA. Some of these types of collection lawsuits can be beat back and dismissed, so rather than looking at the money to settle, you are only looking at the money to defend.

      • Hi Michael- Thank You for responding.
        After I read your advice I tried to call them back just now to take the offer and no answer, it just keeps ringing and ringing, no opportunity to even leave a message. Which is weird bc usually it goes straight to a menu of options and I have to enter the ext #. So I guess at this point I will just have to talk to them tomorrow. I will try to negotiate the $1500 in maybe 3 payments…I could probably borrow the money in that amount of time. But I absolutely do not want to sign consent to judgement, not having that on my record is the whole point of wanting to settle so I think that would be a deal breaker for me. Is it possible to make this kind of arrangement without signing that consent form? 3 months should be better than 1 year in their perspective right? Or I could possibly agree to pay within a month to avoid continuing court procedures and then see if I can do it, if not then I’ll call them and work out getting it paid asap….is that an advisable strategy? What would happen if I made an agreement to pay it in 30 days and then failed to do so? would I get an automatic judgement? Last question, when I show up tomorrow is there any possibility of them getting a judgement right then and there? I didn’t file my case management response paper because I didn’t know about this requirement until recently and I didn’t know if I would fill it out correctly and then they called to settle so I just didn’t do it. So now is it advisable that I show up with that document completed and ready to submit? what could happen if I don’t have that paperwork available to hand in?

        • Michael Bovee says:

          AF – You should have time to connect with them before the hearing tomorrow. No matter the outcome of any phone call, go to the hearing too. I know… sounds really redundant and unnecessary, but there are examples of deals being set up and another attorney being at court getting summary judgment because you did not show.

          The best way to avoid the consent is to fund the agreed settlement amount in one payment to Midland Funding. Probably not going to be an option if you need more than 30 days to pull your resources together. The way to buy the time you need would be to be at court and ask for a delay to consult an attorney. The calendar is probably jammed enough that you will buy at least 30 days, though some courts can reschedule this type of thing pretty fast. Regardless, you at least would not be stuck in the 11th hour situation you are now.

          If it were me, I would not agree to a payment date for the settlement with Midland if I was not certain I could fund the offer by then. I would rather get an experienced attorney involved at that point, because my goal, like you, would be to avoid the judgment entry.

          If you told the judge that you have taken this as far as you can without an attorney; You do not agree that you owe the debt; and you want to protect your rights while being sued by a company who just recently settled with the MN attorney general (who sued Midland Funding for myriad of concerns), that the judge would balk at your request for a delay. I could be surprised, but put the way I just did, I suspect most any judge would give you the time you need. If the judge asks you how much time you need, suggest 60 days.

          The case management doc is a good point. If things progress in a way you are not comfortable, that is just another example of telling the judge you are in over your head.

          I am serious by the way… about consulting with an attorney. You may be surprised by what you learn about taking this from here.

          • Hi Again- Thanks for all your advice, it’s really helped me thus far. I went to the CMC and when I went up there the attorney for Midland immediately replied that the matter had been settled and asked for 60 days for something..continuance I guess. The guy looked at me kinda weird like trying to intimidate me or something. I said “Your Honor I’m not aware of any settlement between us.” He found it amusing and joked a bit about it and granted my request for 60 day continuance to seek legal counsel. I efiled my CM statement late the nt before, so I’ll have to send a copy of that to midland I guess. So that whole thing confused me a little bit and I can interpret that as meaning one of two things, either they don’t keep very good track of their cases and have no idea what’s going on and just assume everyone is settling, or they are really intent on settling and that was their way of telling me that? I don’t know. Anyways, you mentioned you had some contacts in Southern California I could talk to. I just want to consult someone and see what my options are and how much an attorney would cost for this sort of thing. Maybe even just for the purpose of calling them and negotiating a deal for me. I’m thinking if a lawyer does this they might take it more seriously. I’m in Orange County so if you know anyone in that area great, or I can talk to someone in LA too.
            Thank You!

            • Michael Bovee says:

              AF – Thanks for the update. I am also of the opinion that collection attorneys do not have great case management. The collection firms Midland Funding, and other debt buyers work with, are often playing the numbers. More than 90% of cases filed end up with default or summary judgment. With odds like that you can afford to cut corners and costs, lose track of where a case or five is at….

              I sent you an email with contact info to an attorney with the experience you need. Make that connection and go from there. It would be great if you post an update about your progress. Other people reading this page will benefit.

              • Hi Michael- I am coming up to the very end of my case and wanted to give an update and thank you again very much for your help. I was very stressed out and worried and am very grateful to have had this help available. Some shady stuff (in my opinion) has happened since but I am no longer worried about it but might be helpful info for others, warning signs to look out for if you settle with this company. ALWAYS FOLLOW UP and keep bugging then until you get your settlement in writing from MIDLAND themselves.

                Well, after the continuance I appeared again and a trial date was set for Aug. 7th. Within that time I was able to come up with the money and settled the debt for $1500 through their representative attorney. I have a copy of the contract of everything settled signed by the lawyer. Well, a couple months go by and I hear nothing from anyone about the case being dismissed so I called the attorney and they said the account is no longer with them and to call MCM directly. I called them and they asked me to fax a copy of the contract and proof of payment. So it seems as though that they were backed up on updating the accounts or whatever, this annoyed me because it cost me $10 to fax stuff they should have already had.
                So 3 weeks later I call back and they say I have a balance of so and so amount (the amount that would be left over after the $1500 I paid) hmm so they have record of receiving my money but not of the account settlement, sounds weird to me. So I told them I already paid, this should be settled and they should have my faxed paperwork. At first they say they don’t have it please fax it again and then after me insisting they keep checking all the sudden they had it. So I wait more weeks and nothing. Then I get a letter from the court informing me that they have filed a change of attorney for my case. I call back and same exact thing, they don’t have, oh wait yes they do. I left a message for the legal assistant handling the department and finally just last week received a letter from them stating the account is settled, paid and will be reflected on my credit report shortly.
                Well that’s all great and that’s why I’m not worried about it at this point, except I still have a court date this Wednesday that has never been canceled or dismissed. I am absolutely planing on showing up on Wednesday with all my documentation in hand to finish this up once in for all. I find it a little shady, odd, weird etc that they would have such poor accounting management and would want to pay an attorney to show up for a case that is settled (however, I am glad if they do because that will cost them more money and means less profit from me).
                So my suspicion is that in someway, somehow, maybe they were thinking of changing attorney and showing up for court, hoping I wouldn’t show up (thinking the trial was cancelled) and that they could get a judgement on me for the remainder. This is a really tricky thing that I think they are totally capable of doing and can blame it on “poor accounting” as in the account didn’t get updated in time so they didn’t know that they weren’t supposed to keep pursuing judgement on me. I think that even though they sent me the letter, they still plan on doing this hoping I won’t show up. This of course is also me being bitter and not very trusting in a situation like this.
                Ever heard of shady stuff like that happening? or are they really just that negligent with managing their cases? If they show up on Wednesday I hope this whole things costs them $1500 just in attorney fees.

                I’ll leave a brief update on how it turns out, I’m confident that if I show up with my evidence that it will be fine.

                • Hi there again-
                  Well, after I wrote the above update I decided to check the case again on the courts website (I looked just a couple days ago and it was still on trial) I am happy to say that it has just been “dismissed with prejudice” which means everything is final and done and I cannot be sued again by them for this account. I am very happy about this and glad they fulfilled their end of the negotiation, finally. So since I won’t be going to court after all this will be my final update on the situation.
                  But I still feel like the way they acted towards the end was shady and if I had not been very prudent in following up with them and kept on them about clearing up my account, I could have very well still been facing a trial on Wednesday, having to show proof that I paid and settled the case. So I would still advise/warn not to trust them too much and make sure you tie up any loose ends, because THEY obviously aren’t very proactive about it. They didn’t even know my case was settled, I had to call them and send them evidence and keep calling just to get them to realize this fact.
                  Thanks again!

                  • Michael Bovee says:

                    AF – Glad this all got resolved and thank you for posting the updates. This site is about people helping people. Your experiences and warnings about being diligent on following up will help others.

                    I do not think this was anything shady. If I took a guess at what happened it would be the attorney that had your file first did not do a thorough job and the records just were not complete. Due to the CFPB’s hyper attention to the debt collection industry right now, any debt collector, and especially a large one like Midland Funding, is making adjustments to new regulatory and supervision realities. Now would be the wrong time to purposefully use collection tricks. Resolving debts like this will also get a bit more streamlined in California with the new Fair Debt Buyers Practices Act set to go into effect January 2014.

                    Congratulations and best of success!

  28. Hi Michael,

    I am currently dealing with Midland….here is the situation.

    I had an account with Chase and I gave a family member a secondary card for emergencies. They racked up a huge debt. They were paying the bill however, so there were no issues. During this time, I got married and moved to England. While in England, they stopped paying and it has been charged off and sent to Midland.

    I am in the process of moving back to the states and trying to sort out my credit. I have no physical letters from them, and knew to contact them based on info from my credit report (which they put a collections notice on twice – I here they like to do that a lot!). The mail they sent has gone to my last physical address that I had in the states; I have family that live there, but they have just thrown out mail addressed to me assuming it’s junk–helpful, I know!

    The latest is that I have Midland and tried to reach an agreement. I owe them $12,000 & change. They agreed $250 a month for 4 years. I asked if they was some sort of settlement or a lower monthly payment and they won’t budge. They have had the account since Sept 2001. They are saying its going to an attorney and that they’ve sent a letter as such on Sept 10, 2012. I told them I haven’t received the letter, could they send it again, and they’re reluctant to do so. According to them. they haven’t decided to send it to a lawyer yet, but it’s next on the cards. I’ve been reading various things and I’m trying to figure out the best course of action. I’m not pressing charges against my family member…mistakes happen and we can sort that out, I just need to sort it and move on.

    I’ve been reading about the statues of limitation which is 5 years in the state of Florida. Because of the amount owed, I would imagine it’s not an empty threat that they will take me to court. Is that a good idea? If that happens, will I be able to negotiate the debt? Should I just pay them the $250 a month for 4 years? Any advice would be much appreciated.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Mel – I have some questions to ask before offering the meat of my feedback. If you can answer my questions in a comment reply that would be helpful.

      Do you know when the last payment to Chase was made?
      What does the date of last payment or activity entry by Chase show on your credit report?
      When you say Midland Funding is reporting 2 trade lines on your credit, what do you mean by that? Are there 2 Midland entries using the same account #, or 2 different account numbers with the same balance owed? Either one is a problem that can be fixed, I just want to know what you see there.

      Are you in England now? If so, for how much longer?

  29. I had a Providian credit card account. The card was opened in 2000 and the last payment was 2006. On 10/10/12 I sent a certified letter requesting validation of the debt. Dynamic Recovery Service recceived the letter on 10/18/12 and today 2/6/13 I received a call requesting payemnt on the account. I proceed to tell the woman that I had sent the validation letter and that they did not respond, that the statute of limitations had run out and that they could basically pound sand. She stated that they would mark on the account that I refused to pay and that Providian to move forward against me. If I am not mistaken since the statute of limitations to sue has passed for not only the original creditor but also the debt collector that this matter should be concluded. I feel like creditors sell off the debt to a debt collector and that one sells it to someone else and so on and so on. What do you suggest I do if anything?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Barbara – From what you shared, there may be some fair debt collection violation if your validation request was never responded to. Post a reply with what state you live in if you want me to email you contact info for an experienced collection violation attorney.

      Your observation about debts getting passed from one debt buyer to the next, well after the SOL expires, is correct. This type of debt is often referred to as zombie debt. It cannot be killed per say, but sending a cease communication letter to a zombie debt collector will stop the calls and letters. If they persist, that is where the collection violation attorney steps into the picture.

      A caution to other readers: Sending a cease communication letter to a debt collector when the debt has not past your states SOL to legitimately sue for a debt is not a good idea. It means leaving the owner of the debt no other way to contact you, but through the courts.

  30. Interesting so far– I have heard that if you dispute a claim on your credit report, and the creditor can not back it up or provide critical information regarding the account. It will be deleted from the CR. Is there any truth to this? If so, does the debt just get chalked up? Or sold off again and again to haunt your report forever? I owe chase, now midland $8500 and tried to settle for $3500. The guy came back after talking to his “attorney” and would only take 5k. I told them I have other debt to pay take it or leave it and he wouldn’t budge. Anyhow, I guess my question is– last night I ended up disputing this account because looking back I never received any statements, bills, correspondence etc from Midland. Only reason I know they are handling the account is bc when I called chase to take care of my debt 2 months ago they gave me midlands info. And I looked on my credit report and they have been reporting me for 6 months as KD. Dont we have a right to know? Let me know your thoughts. This is the last debt I have to start my credit life over–not quite the freshest start but we allnhave to start somewhere.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      T – Yes, you can dispute an entry in your credit report from a company like Midland Funding, or Midland Credit Management. The investigation into your dispute may result in the item being removed if the credit reporting agency does their job and contacts the furnisher of the negative info, and the furnisher does not respond. There is not now, or has there ever been much to claims about “critical information” not available to back up the reporting. If you want to get some good circulation going from increased blood pressure, watch this video from yesterday on 60 Minutes: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50140748n

      Yes, debts can, and often are, past from one debt buyer to the next, or one debt collector to the next. Midland Funding can sell debts to another debt buyer, and they can also buy debts that have already been sold.

      You do not get bills and statements from a debt buyer like Midland Funding, or others like Midland. Unfortunately you do not currently have a right to know who your creditors sell your debt to.

      Midland Funding does settle debts as low as your offer, but mostly only when there are document-able hardships. You may need to up your offer to put this Chase account to rest.

      When you spoke to Midland, was it directly with their office, or was this assigned out to a debt collection outfit? If so, what is the name of the debt collection agency, or law firm?

      • Initially,I spoke to Midland directly. I believe I offered them 2500. They said they won’t process it bc they are sure it’s too low for my 8500 balance. I said I’m sorry that’s all I can borrow. That was the end of the convo. That was in early dec. about 45 days later they called me and that’s when I said I could maybe get 3500 right now–after I insisted– He said let me ask the attorney –put me on hold and came back with 5k. I don’t have 5k — so he said the only thing they could do is send out a hardship letter. Which I received on 1/29. It came from midland funding. I had 3 missed calls from a number I am assuming was mcm a few days ago. Am I correct in assuming the whole attorney spiel is to scare me?
        Should I fill out this hardship form and provide a bank statement?
        Thanks for all your response.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          T – I want to be certain I know where you are at with this issue. I need you to answer a couple of questions in a comment reply.

          What is the phone number you are calling when you say you spoke with Midland Funding directly? The reason this is important is because reaching Midland Funding, or MCM direct, does not commonly result in one of their reps referring to have to check with an attorney, unless they have already placed your account with an attorney debt collector, and in that case they would just provide you the contact info you need to reach who they assigned the debt to for collection, or they may transfer the call live.

          Should you fill out their hardship paperwork? If it were me, I would not. If the account was being collected by an attorney the placed the account with, I may reconsider this type of ploy, but only if my income were limited to sources that could not be garnished, or where I know I met other exemptions in my state.

          Let me know that number in a comment reply and I will verify a couple of concerns I have. I will have more feedback after that.

          • Initially,The number that I called was the 800 number off of my credit report. Actually i believe i called chase who then referred me to midland. That was when I initially offered the 2500 and they refused to even ” submit the settlement” now 45ish days later I had a number call me and If I recall it was a 640/642 area code but the number the rep gave me to contact him directly was 877-867-6697 with an extension. This is the number the rep gave me when he put me on hold to “speak to the attorney assigned to my file”. Once he came back an attorney said they can only take 5k unless I fill out hardship paper. They were pretty pushy about the hardship and he proceeded to send me out hardship papers and gave me that number I provided you with to follow up and ask any questions.
            I felt like the attorney statement was a total scare tactic. He just asked a supervisor but that’s just my opinion. Please advise. Sorry it’s taking me so long to respond I’m not getting email notifications of my comments only others.
            Thanks again.

            • Michael Bovee says:

              T – Sorry you are not getting the email notifications when there is a reply to your comment. I will look into that and see what can be fixed. I looked up the number in our collection data base and the number is associated with Midland Credit Management.

              My 2 follow up questions are:

              When did you last make a payment to the Chase credit card?
              What state do you live in?

              Once I know the answers to those questions I will be better able to provide feedback about targets for settling with Midland Credit Management. I now also consider the ploy used by the MCM debt collector rep about checking with the attorney, as just that, a debt collection ploy.

              Your goal is to start to improve your credit. Can you tell me what the date of last payment, or date of last activity is showing for the both the Chase entry, and for the Midland Credit management entry on your credit report?

              • I live in Ohio. Last payment to chase according to my cr is feb 10. March of 10 shows 30 days late. It reports until march of 2012 as 180 and then in April 2012 reports cls.

                Midland shows up on 5/2012 until 10/2012. Reporting as c. My cr report is dated on 12/8/12.

                Anyhow, status shows up on midland as : collection account 8523 past due as of 10/12. Account history states: collection as of July 2012 to Oct 2012, may 2012.

                I hope I answered your questions.

                • Michael Bovee says:

                  Thanks T – Yes, that helps. Midland Funding and Midland Credit Management obviously regularly settle debts. The percentage MCM targets can vary on several factors. One of the ways they may evaluate the amount they will settle with you for is what is going on with your other debts at the time. If your credit report shows you making current payments to debts other than a home loan or car loan, they may target a higher percentage. Based on trends today, if I were working your file I would be targeting a 45% settlement with MCM. That makes the math really close to what you prepared to do at 3500.00. If you can, sweeten the offer by about 350.00 and see where you get with that.

                  Filling out their paperwork, unless your situation on paper looks terrible, is not a good idea. If you cannot get them to settle at an amount you can afford without the paperwork I would suggest you call in us for a consult in order to help you more directly. If you are being targeted for a higher settlement floor, there is a reason for it, but we can dig into that later if necessary.

                  • Also, if I were to settle. Don’t I have a right to make the payments of the settlement in 3 months ? Or 3 different payments? I recall something of that nature.

                    • Michael Bovee says:

                      T – No. There is no “right” to settle with Midland Credit Management at all, nor over several payments. Payment options for settling a debt are often made available by creditors and debt collectors, but that is done in order to get paid, not because they have to.

                      You may have read somewhere, even on this site, where settling a credit card debt direct with your credit card bank before they charge the account off, can be done in 3 monthly payments. When an original creditor agrees to this with an account that they have not charged off, the OCC guidance for banks is to not extend payments on the debts settled beyond 94 days. This regulatory guidance does not apply to creditors if settling after charge off. No part of this guidance would apply to Midland Funding or MCM.

  31. I would never pay a junk debt buyer like midland a penny. Usually filing a simple motion to dismiss is sufficient to get these guys out of court.

    Remember that paying these JDBs will not improve your credit;
    Junk debt buyers pays, on average .03-.04 cents on the dollar, on average to buy your account.

    Even if you owe the money, remember, that you do not owe the money to the junk debt buyers. If they could prove it, they would offer something substantive in the dv response, or offer evidence with the complaint. In most jurisdictions, copies of the contract must be attached to the complaint, or it is grounds for dismissal.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      JDB – I understand and appreciate your position about paying/not paying a collection account when it was purchased by a debt buyer. It is actually a position I have shared at different times. After many years of working with people to resolve debts, I have found that the vast majority just want to recover from a rough financial patch and move on. It is the minority of people that want to willingly dance to the tune of the “debt validation boogey”, or that would willingly take on defending a debt buyer lawsuit, unless their back was against the wall and it made more financial sense to fight, than to reach a settlement.

      You made a couple of points that I want to add clarity to based on my experiences.

      Paying an outstanding debt on your credit report and having it updated to reflect zero balance owed does indeed help your debt to income ratio, which is an element of how underwriters view approving you for credit. Also, in today’s increased risk adverse lending environment, I have many examples of people being declined for a home purchase due to unresolved debts (even when with a debt buyer), once the debts are resolved and zero amount due reflected on the credit report, underwriting approves. I expect there will be a whole other element to this that will be introduced as a result of the CFPB qualified mortgage rule that will go into affect in 2014 (sooner really as lenders start to prepare and adapt to the qualified mortgage rules). With the 43% debt to income ratio required for qualified mortgages, credit reports with debt buyers reporting balances owed will impair the ability to purchase a home, or even refinance. Taking a stance on settling with a debt buyer now, and thinking of buying a home during the 7.5 year negative credit reporting time line, should be weighed.

      Just because a debt buyer pays an average of 4 cents on the dollar (based on the 3 year study into debt buying released by the the FTC last week), the average amount debt buyers pay does not have any real impact on what or how someone deals with resolving debts placed with a debt buyer. It’s good to know, but its not a leverage point to use unless being sued, and even then it is not a real useful leverage point. There are better ones.

      While people did not contract with a debt buyer, there was a credit card agreement with the original lender. That agreement nearly always contains the provision that rights to the debt can be transferred or sold. Sure, there are arguments for bringing forward that agreement, and it is VERY difficult for a debt buyer to do that. But that is something to deal with in court for the most part. Most people do not want to be sued, and there is a cost benefit to settling instead of fighting, even if you do not mind taking the fight to court.

      Debt buyers do have the option of getting material better evidencing the debts they purchase, but that is not how the debt collection and debt buyer industry rolls. There are costs to acquiring the docs they need, and they have had no reason to change their “volume game” business model to cover the higher costs of collecting when nothing has forced significant change to date. I expect that to change, but change is slow.

      I completely disagree that most jurisdictions require a contract be attached to a complaint when it is filed at the instigation of suing someone. Sure, there are a couple of states that have adopted this type of requirement. Maryland and North Carolina come to mind. But that movement is slow with the states, and it is a far cry from most jurisdictions at this time.

  32. Hello Michael,
    Thanks very much for an informative site. MCM put to TLs on my credit reports in 2011. They were for:
    Tmobile ($400) and a Verizon ($400) accounts. They were for accounts dating back to 2008/2009 and therefore within SOL. I asked for validation as soon as I became aware of the accounts in 2012.

    For the Tmobile account, MCM sent me a computer generated/print out of details of the account, including how the balance was calculated. Even though it was not a final bill / statement directly from Tmobile, the items (unpaid bill + early termination fee) appear legit, although I doubt the unpaid bill part, but I have no way of proving it since I lost the receipts and Tmobile no longer owns the account and keep directing me to MCM.

    For the Verizon account, all MCM sent me was that the balance and the name of the OC. They have not been able to indicate how the balance was calculated, despite my repeated attempts requesting them to do so, and despite the fact they keep verifying the TL as accurate, despite my disputes. Is this validation adequate?

    MCM ha sent me their usual settlement offers (of about 60% of the debt) which I have not accepted. At any rate, since I plan getting a home in the near future, I want to settle these accounts. and hopefully get them removed from my reports:

    – Should I try a PFD first, even though it appears they are not so amenable to it. OR
    – Should I try to settle the account, and then depend on GW to get it removed from my credit reports?
    – How much should I offer – 30% to 40% of the balance?

    I will appreciate any thoughts…. Rgds, Johnny

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Johnny – I am going to start my feedback by defining some of the abbreviations you used so that other readers can follow along.

      TL’s means trade lines on a credit report. Midland Credit Management reports a collection account on the credit report. That entry is a trade line.

      OC refers to the original creditor. The entity that extended a loan or service.

      PFD means Pay For Delete. This refers to negotiations for payment that include the agreement to delete the trade line from credit reports in return for said payment.

      GW means Good Will. This is where you settle the account and are counting on the furnisher of the negative information on the credit report to follow through with a verbal commitment to remove the trade line, or where payment is made followed by sending a good will request letter for the trade line to be removed, or other variations of hoping the debt collector or debt buyer will perform in an uncustomary fashion.

      Pay for deletes with collection accounts are a rare animal only seen or heard from in the rarest of instances. Personal accounts of successful pay for delete sightings on the internet are suspect. I am not saying on a level with UFO’s or Sasquatch, but I just do not have a great deal of trust in anonymous internet posts that hit the pay for delete topic. They just do not happen with an frequency and focusing on them is often counterproductive. With a collector like Midland Credit Management, you are unlikely in the extreme to get a written agreement from them that states, in return for payment, they will stop reporting to the credit reporting bureaus. This would leave good will.

      Midland Credit Management, or Midland Funding, are not companies known for good will. They are part of the largest debt collecting and debt buying apparatus in the nation. If by chance you are able to negotiate a settlement with MCM, or even payment in full, with a good will expectation that they verbally agreed to not respond to a credit reporting dispute you might file, or where they verbally committed to pull the reporting, you would have a big win. But here again, you do not become the monster size in the debt collection industry by operating with good will. That would leave sending in a good will letter.

      A good will letter is a waste of time with MCM.

      As far as your repeated attempts to get the debt validated, and sending in credit reporting disputes that all come back as verified: If you truly believe their reporting is in error and would like to take the next logical step, I would suggest filing complaints with the CFPB.

      When it comes to your stated goal of buying a home: What is your time line for home ownership? Is it within the next year? If not, settling both accounts for as little as possible, and getting the balances to reflect a zero balance owed, will put you in a good position to qualify for FHA type of underwriting within a year (all other healthy credit reporting attributes and debt to income qualification being observed).

      Settlements with Midland Credit Management tend to average around 40 to 45%. Smaller balance accounts such as what you are dealing with may settle at higher percentages.

  33. Need advice and not sure what to do I was served with a civil warrant last night from Midland Credit for 3677.81. I believe it is from an old TMobile account last paid on in 2008 but opened in 2007. Not sure if I should try to settle, go to court or what. Never been in this situation before so don’t really know what to do. Doing the student loan dance right now and can not make a huge lump sum. I am just lost advice please.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Pamela – You certainly have the option of settling with Midland Credit. The settlement may be higher than it would have been if you had done so prior to being sued, but perhaps not.

      What state do you live in? What is the name of the attorney debt collector Midland Credit hired to sue?

      Answer those questions in a comment reply and I may have some more detailed feedback.

  34. Thanks very much, Michael. I do plan to enter the mortgage market in the summer months, so I will try and send them an offer of about 40%.

    cheers, Johnny

  35. Greetings Michael,
    I have an old T-Mobile bill from 2008 (1160$)sent to midland then to an attorney. The attorney had yet to contact me but I contacted him today. The last activity was 3/12/08 but on my credit report it says opened last year. I surely did not pay or promise to pay since 08. I have called Midland, T-mobile, The attorney once each to ask questions. I disputed the date with Experian today. My credit was pretty bad but it is in the “upswing” now (100pts up since august 2012). I cant figure out if paying (before it drops off in 2 years) will lower my score or raise it. The one credit agency that does not see this debt reports me at 730, the other 2 who see it report me at 602. Will the “newness” of me paying the 5 year old debt lower my score? I want to raise my score as much as possible, quickly as possible. What should I do?

  36. PS: That is the only negative on my report other then a paid in full 3000$ tax bill.
    The only other item is a current secured credit card (meticulously managed for credit repair).

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Tony – Did you dispute on line? If so, credit report disputes on line are a convenience, but a dispute letter sent certified mail return receipt is a preferred method in case the credit reporting bureaus, or the furnisher of the incorrect information do not make the corrections. Getting this corrected to show the date of last activity to be 2008 will likely improve your score.

      Paying off a collection account with Midland Funding to improve your score is not all its cracked up to be with a debt this old. Your concern about the fresh update to an old collection item actually lowering the score instead of raising it. I do not see that happen every time, but enough to make it a legitimate concern. Especially with a credit file as thin as yours.

      There are other reasons to pay off Midland Funding and get the creditor report entry to show zero balance owed. What is the credit report goal you are working toward? Car, home, other? You mention wanting to make improvements to your credit score as quickly as possible. What is the timeline for you to accomplish your credit score goals?

      If you answer my questions in a comment reply, I can offer more feedback.

      • Thank you for the fast reply,
        I disputed online however I am prepared to send the letter if they do not fix it quickly. My reason for fixing my credit is general but I may want to apply for a mortgage 2 years or so from now. I just want a nice score for now. I read that they will HAVE to be paid before I get a mortgage so I may just bite the bullet. I just would hate to see it go down after paying 1160$.

  37. PS: the timeline is less of a concern. Best score and looking good on paper is the goal.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Tony – With your goal being a couple years out, settling with Midland Funding, and any slight credit score dip you might experience from that, will have ample time to recover and improve. It will not take as long as you may be thinking.

      I also want to encourage you to have one other revolving consumer account than the one you have now.

  38. Hi Michael I have more than 130,000 on several credit card debt which is from 2008, i went through a divorce and lost my job and still doesnt have staedy job. i dont own any properties, i own one car that worth around 4,000 dollars. i want to settle my credit card accounts but i dont have that kind of money to pay. do u think i should wait out few more years so it will wipe out from my credit or do i need to settle with mcm. MCM send me an offer to settle bank of america card which is around 37000 for 70% off in full.
    any suggestions would be greatfull.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      M – Taking on 130k of unresolved credit card debt and looking to settle them is going to require several tens of thousands of dollars. Settling your old Bank of America account that is now with Midland Credit Management can be targeted for 30 percent of the balance, and that is a good deal, but what about the other debts? Settling with one debt collector, if you are unable to settle with the rest, may be an exercise in futility, or a waste of money. I have several questions for you. Once you answer them I will be in a better position to provide detailed feedback.

      Were all of these credit card debts last paid in 2008?
      What state do you live in?
      What amount of cash resources can you pull together, and over what period of time, in order to settle not just with MCM, but your other debts too.
      What are the balances on your other accounts, who were the accounts originally owed to, and who is collecting on them now (if you know)?

      My first impression is to suggest you speak with a bankruptcy attorney about filing chapter 7. But first impressions can be wrong. That is why I am asking the questions above. Let me know the answers and let’s take it from there.

  39. i made the payments till jan 2008 for all the creditors, I live in alabama, I dont have much of cash available may be 4 or 5,000 in total my balances on the other accounts are 12000 chase and 47000 amex, citi 27,Account Name Account Number Date Opened Balance Date Reported Past Due Status Credit Limit

    • AMERICAN EXPRESS
      Show Details – 10/09/2001 $17000 10/29/2012 $18,506 CHARGE-OFF $17,000
    • AMERICAN EXPRESS
      Show Details -11/20/2001 $32000 09/15/2012 $31,743 CHARGE-OFF $30,000
    • ASSET ACCEPTANCE COR
      Show Details CITIBANK- 07/30/2010 $50,224 02/10/2013 $50,224
    • BANK OF AMERICA
      Show Details 09/01/2003 $0 07/01/2009 CHARGE-OFF $0
    • CHASE BANK USA, NA
      Show Details 05/01/2007 $0 01/01/2011 CHARGE-OFF
    • CHASE BANK USA, NA
      Show Details 05/01/2008 $0 08/01/2009 CHARGE-OFF $12,145
    • COMPASS BANK-CREDIT
      Show Details 06/01/2001 $8,326 07/01/2009 $965 120+ DAYS PAST DUE $9,000
    • DISCOVER FINANCIAL S
      Show Details04/17/2008 $7,704 01/15/2013 $7,704 CHARGE-OFF $7,000
    • GECRB/BELK
      Show Details 08/01/2000 $0 06/01/2010 CHARGE-OFF
    • GECRB/BELK
      Show Details 08/01/2000 $2,251 07/01/2009 $699 CHARGE-OFF $1,950
    • HSBC BEST BUY
      Show Details04/01/2008 $0 07/01/2009 120+ DAYS PAST DUE $0
    • LVNV FUNDING LLC
      Show Details 05/26/2010 $3,827 01/15/2013 $3,827
    • LVNV FUNDING LLC
      Show Details07/14/2009 $7,474 01/15/2013 $7,474
    • MIDLAND FUNDING LLC
      Show Details07/10/2009 $36,471 01/17/2013 $36,471
    • MIDLAND FUNDING LLC
      Show Details 06/10/2011 $15,759 01/17/2013 $15,759
    • Michael Bovee says:

      Thanks M. You are looking at needing roughly 45k to settle all of these debts (give or take 5k). What are your options for coming up with this amount of money? How long would it take?

      If you have no assets, and no steady income, it is highly likely you would qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy. This would mean discharging all of these debts. The cost of filing bankruptcy may be as high as 2k. Unless there are reasons you need to avoid bankruptcy, or compelling reasons you want to avoid it, I would suggest consulting with at least 2 bankruptcy attorneys.

      You mentioned waiting a couple of more years to have this fall off of your credit. There are reasons to wait for something like that to happen, and hold off from bankruptcy. There will be many collection attempts between here and there. About the same time all of these charge offs and collections will be falling off of your creditor report, your credit will have recovered well from a chapter 7 bankruptcy, so there is that to consider as well.

      What are your inclinations? Am I correct in assuming your primary interest is rebuilding and recovering your credit?

  40. MCM is collecting BOamerica and asset is collecting FOR citibank, and lvnv is collecting for HSBC, American express and discover no clue. I send the chart that shows my total negative and closed account. my credit score is 624. and i have not used my credit at all in the last 5 years.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      M – Your score is not all that bad off with this many accounts in the negative. There are reasons for that, and ways to rebuild right now, if settling with MCM, Chase, Amex, Discover, etc., and ways to bounce back after bankruptcy.

  41. Hi Michael,

    I have two collection accounts with MCM and they are currently offering 40% off to settle on each one:
    1) balance $1158.76 will settle in full for $695.26
    2) balance $4103.99 will settle in full for $2,462.39

    I’ve asked them to settle for 50% off (and will) but they did not reply. Is there a good way to word this request so that they might be more willing to accept?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Liz – I read your comment to say you are writing and sending settlement offers to Midland Credit Management. I would recommend calling in to negotiate the rest of the way with MCM. You will want them to send you a letter outlining the settlement you are agreeing to before paying it. Here is a debt relief program report outlining debt settlement letters: http://consumerrecoverynetwork.com/debt-settlement-letters-agreements

      When it comes to what to say to the collection rep at MCM, just focus on your inability to pay even the 50% settlement offer you are making. That you have to cobble together that amount. You have other bills that are late and this is simply all you can offer. If you run into trouble, or something is said that is uncomfortable for you to respond to, it is okay to excuse yourself from the call. Post a comment reply in this string if that happens, and lets go from there.

  42. I just received a summons for a lawsuit over a credit card debt by Midland Funding LLC. I was not “served” the summons, instead a deputy at our sheriff’s dept. (small town) just called and let me know that there was some paperwork for me to pick up. When I arrived, the deputy was out and the dispatcher just handed me three pages that said “conformed copy” on the top. I was not required to sign anything verifying that I was receiving the paperwork. The date at the top under “District Court Filed” is Dec. 13 2012; today is Feb. 25 2013. The summons says that I have 20 days to respond or a default judgement will be filed against me. Do I have any options? Is it too late to file a debt validation letter (I didn’t know about that until today.) I have a car that is not paid for, we lost our house in foreclosure a year ago, and we do not have any savings. Thanks for any advice.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Carol – There really is nothing to having not signed for the Midland Funding lawsuit. You can set that concern aside. Yes, you do have options. I have a few questions for you before I give some general feedback. Post your answers in a comment reply and I can be more direct with feedback:

      Who was the original credit card lender?
      When was the last time you made a payment to the card?
      What is the amount Midland Funding is suing for?
      What state do you live in?

      Your options to deal with being sued by Midland Funding can expand, or contract, based on your answers to those questions.

      Sending off the typical debt validation letter to the attorney suing you, or to Midland Funding, is something to have done prior to being sued. A debt validation request at this point serves no purpose. Having said that, you can accomplish the same thing you would with requesting the debt be validated from Midland Funding, only through a formal court setting. In fact, you can do more “validating” now that you have been sued, than you could have before hand.

      I will have more to share once you post your reply to the questions above.

  43. Michael Bovee says:

    Reader RA posted the following comment about options for responding to Midland Credit Management on a different page of the site. I am moving and replying to that comment here.

    RA said:

    I received a letter from Midland Credit Management giving me 3 options to settle a debt of over $4,000. The first option is 40% off ($2600), the 2nd option is 20% off (almost $300 a mo for 12 mos). The 3rd option is to call and speak to their account managers for more options. In the letter is a section under the heading, “Benefits of Paying” and the following bullet points:

    - Save up to $1700 if I choose option 1
    - Offer expires on a certain date
    - Your credit report will be updated with each payment made, and once you’ve made your agreed-upon payments to settle the account, your credit will be updated as ‘Paid in Full’!

    This last sentence is where my question stems from.

    I am willing to go with option 1 as I have that now. I can also do option 2, but will they truly report it as “Paid in Full” to the credit bureaus? If not, I’d rather start paying the entire debt so that my credit report shows constant, steady repayment & is appealing to future potential lenders–even if it will take longer to pay & cost me more. But if I can settle the debt now & MCM will report it not as a settlement but paid in full, I’m willing to pay the $2600 now. I’ve settled a loan in the past and it was reported on my credit as “Zero. Account Settled”. I don’t like having that on my credit for charged-off accounts as I understand that it can be viewed negatively.

    So my question in a nutshell is, what is the likelihood that I’ll be allowed to settle this debt & MCM reporting it the debt as “Paid in Full” as opposed to “Account Settled” (or something similar)? Have you ever seen such a situation?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      RA – Setting up a long term payment arrangement with a debt collector like Midland Credit Management is not going to afford you a better payment history for your credit report. It is far better to settle with Midland Credit Management and get any account information they are sending to the credit reporting agencies to show a zero balance owed.

      The damage to your credit was created by your debt being reported several months late, followed by the account being charged off by the original lender. The addition of Midland Credit Management reporting a collection account has a credit damage factor, but mostly because its there and showing a balance due. Having it there and showing no balance due to MCM is the goal. The sooner that balance is brought to zero, no matter how it got there (settled for less or paid in full), the sooner your credit report and credit score can recover.

      What are your credit goals in the next 12 to 24 months? Do you have additional unpaid debts beside the one Midland Credit Management is collecting?

      • Thanks for the reply. If it won’t make much of a difference credit-wise, then I’ll go ahead and settle. I am just trying to do as much damage control as I can to my already-damaged credit. I am a recent law grad & most of the debt I have is school loans (which I’ve consolidated), the Chase credit card that I’ve used for survival to get me through college and through law school (which is now the MCM debt) & another $2k loan from a bank that helped me move and settle in for school (which was also charged off & sold to a debt collecting agency). I struggled paying these debts while I was a full-time student but now that I’m done with school I’d like to repair my credit.  My long-term goal is to pay off these debts (not the school loan any time soon because that is in the 6-figure range) & to try to buy a home in a couple years. 

        • Michael Bovee says:

          RA – If you settle with Midland Credit Management, get the credit report showing zero due (look at your credit reports to make sure that occurred 30 days after payment clears), and the other account that went to collections is settled and showing zero due, you are on your way to improving your credit. The school loans will count for some diversity of credit, but you should look to add a couple of accounts and let them season a while (12 months seasoning will be good). Credit.com has a good free matching tool to apply for revolving consumer credit you are most likely to get approved for given your current score and blemishes: https://www.credit.com/best-credit-card/. Look to establish 2 revolving balance accounts, even starting out with a secure card now will help. You should not look to establish new credit using that tool until you are a couple months past settling the MCM account.

          With a 2 year horizon for a home loan, following through with settling the MCM account will put you in good shape!

  44. I am being robocalled by Midland funding llc, over a 3,000 chase credit card debt they say I owe, but I’m not sure I do? I do not know why they are still calling because I have been to court and set a date for march to meet with them. Still, they don’t leave me alone. This stems from late 2009, beginning 2010 when they more than doubled my monthly min. Payment! I told them Icouldnt afford but they told me only option was to raise apr! I was then sent letters on the class action suits due to them doing this to so many people! Decided to pay all other things off that I could afford at the time as I was only between 20 yrs of age when I was given the cc. and haven’t used a credit card since paying others off. This is now my only problem and I am going to court and don’t know what to expect?? :(

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Gina – It sounds like you recognize the debt that Midland Funding is collecting as the credit card debt that Chase rate jacked you on back in 2009. It also sounds like Midland Funding is suing you to collect on it. Did the attorney Midland Funding hired to sue you not list the original creditor as Chase in the lawsuit?

      What part of the debt Midland Funding is collecting on are you not sure about? Is it the amount they say is owed?

      It is not very common to be getting robo-called by a collection agency or debt buyer when the account is part of a court proceeding to collect. You could contact the attorney that Midland hired and let them know that those calls are harassing and unnecessary, as there is an ongoing court case. You could even consider calling Midland Funding directly to put a stop to those calls.

      You say you are headed to court next month on this and are not sure what to expect. I can offer some feedback, but I would be better able to do that if I knew what you are wanting to accomplish? What is your current goal for handling this Midland collection account?

  45. Michael:
    U recall me having a suit by Zarzaur & Sxhwartz in Alabama for a Midland Funding debt I do not owe from 2007? u and I posted several back and forth emails…I accidentally sent one the other day to your porivat email thinking it was this one–sorry about that. But I never heard back from u and I want to update u. The court date in Feb was put off till April for my illness and the AG complaint I filed for lack of debt validity got a response from a legal person at MCM stating a lot but mainly that “there would be no more colelction activity on this account” BUT I took it that the suit would be dropped and it is still on the docket…what do u think/ ALSO now the same law firm has sent me 2 other letters stating I owe LVNV for 2 other credit cards they bought from 2007-I have never heard from them either and one of the letetrs does not even list the original creditirs name…also I went on and sent 2 certified letters on those 2 from LVNV and Midland (again) to that atty firm in Alabama askling for copies of my alleged signatures and all debt validation including date of last trans from original creditor-THEY NEVR ANSWERED ME ON ANY OF THE 3! I did get return receipts I am saving. Should I send out 2nd attempts? SHould I call them? Reckon those other LVNV they have will turn into suits? I told them I am just on SSI and live in HUD. I am so disgusted I am diabtetic and my health is declining fast due to stress. I need to get this solved before my 95 yr old Mom dies-she is bad and she needs my full attention PLUS me part owning her home ainthelping her feelings…Also Portfolio sent me a letter for the first time. I have disputed everything also on EXPERIAN twice since Dec 2012 and they keep responding with UPDATED-but I do see that the Midland suit (Citibank USA) has been removed…reckon why? Sorry for so many questions but I need opinions. I cannot afford an atty

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Hello again. I do receive email alerts to new comments on the site. If you respond to one of those via email (these do not show up in the back end management side of the website), instead of as a comment posted to the site, they get overlooked because I have grown more accustomed to logging into the website to see comments. In other words, commenting to the site is the best way to assure I see additional feedback and questions from non members (member communication is tagged differently).

      If Midland Funding indicated there will be no more collection activity on the account, but the suit is still active with the court, you may want to inquire about that with the law firm that filed the suit. It can take some time for them to file any paperwork to voluntarily dismiss the suit. This is not to say you should not be on top of it to make sure the suit does not progress. You should meet any scheduled court timelines and appear at any scheduled hearings, while the case is open, just in case.

      If you have requested validation on the other debts from the other debt collectors like LVNV, or the debt collectors they have hired (the attorney collection firm), than you have to wait for them to respond. They may not. If they file suit instead of responding to your validation request, it may be a violation of fair debt collection laws. If this were to occur you would want to call one of the attorneys I sent you contact information for in an email a few weeks ago. That type of attorney will consult with you about collection violations at no cost. If they offer to represent you in a debt collection violation case, they mostly do so at no cost to you.

      If the debts that are being reported on your credit report are legitimate debts you had, that went without payment long enough to go out to debt collectors and debt buyers, who then also report entries on your credit report, that is normal. Even if the statute of limitations has expired in order to sue for collection on the debts still on your credit report, the collection entries on your credit report will remain for 7 to 7.5 years from the date you first stopped paying the original creditors. Just be sure that any debt collector or debt buyer entries on your credit reports are removed at the same time your original charge off with the creditor should fall off. Here is an example of what I am referring to:

      Chase credit card payments were stopped in June of 2007. The chase account would age off of your credit report no later than December of 2014. Chase sold this debt to Midland Funding and Midland Funding reports the debt on your credit report, but with a date of last activity of June 2010. This would mean the Midland Funding entry would not age off of your credit report until 2017, but the entry is related to the Chase debt that payments stopped back in 2007. The Midland Funding collection account should come off of your credit report at the same time the Chase entry ages off. This same outline should be applied to any collection entries from LVNV or Portfolio Recovery.

  46. Hi i recently was paying off a debt MCM bought and have been doing a lot of research and found out many things I should have done before paying.I did not recieve any notice of the debt after they called me and me not knowing anything began to pay. I should have requested validation. Because I literally just sent my last payment and they said I will recieveconfirmation that it has been closed. Now is it too late o do anything. I just thought because I knew about a T-Mobile account I had before and them saying it was T-Mobile I just thought I should just pay. Is there any way at all to recieve validation or if I contact the original creditor to ask if it was the right amount I owed or if it was really my account. Is too late to do anything if I already paid them off?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Kyle – You can certainly call T-Mobile and verify that the rights to the debt were sold to Midland Credit Management (more than likely it was sold to Midland Funding which is part of the same Encore Capital brand). If you learn that the debt was not sold to Encore/Midland, you will have some things to consider at that point. If the account was legitimately being collected by MCM and you have paid it off, there is really not much to do at this point other than move on, take care of any other outstanding debt you may have with better preparedness, and rebuild your credit.

      • Thank you so much. I will be prepared next time. But I had one more non mcm related question if that’s okay. I checked my credit report recently and saw a 3000 dollar account from my old college that has recently went to collections. I am already paying back the student loans from the school through Sallie Mae and now I see ITT tech for 3000 dollars. I never received any notice from my school about an account owing that money. Are they allowed to send my account to collections without contacting me about any money I owe or without sending a bill to me first? They never tried once to contact me.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Kyle – Contact ITT and try to correlate the bill with what you are paying Sallie Mae. This may have been some kind of clerical snafu. If it is, ITT can likely be convinced to remove the collection trade line. If they are billing you for something that was not clearly laid out to you with a loan agreement you will have to ask for them to provide any and all documentation related to what they are collecting and find out what is happening.

          Yes, accounts can be sent to collection without contacting you. It is pretty unusual to not hear from them or to have received a bill or letter unless you moved. My assumption right now is that this was an error, unless you post an update that says it is something else.

  47. Is there any way you can take my last name off my question? Phone has an autofill feature. Sorry!

  48. Hello Michael. I appreciate you taking the time. I have an outstanding debt that was Washington Mutual, then taken over by Chase, then sold to MCM. MCM has a judgement against me. I am in California and the debt was originally 4705 which they say has an interest and court fee increase amounting to 5806. I recently settled a city flex debt for 12,000 at 25% with a total paid of 3,000. That debt pay off will be reflected (hopefully) next month on my credit report. MCM is telling me now I need to send them a hardship letter explaining why I cant pay the full amount so they can show it to the attorney that is handling my case. They have offered a 3400 settlement before (last April i think) after putting me on hold to speak to the attorney. Same phone number someone else here showed you (877)867-6697. They are now telling me I must send in this letter before they can settle the debt. I currently am a contractor with no steady income (so they can’t garnish) and I live with my girlfriend (her home not in my name) What should I do to get around the letter and how do I get the best deal? Thanks for taking the time!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Kris – If your income is low and your hardship consistent with getting a reduction in the settlement amount, you may want to submit the form. The best deal with Midland Funding or MCM is relative to each person, especially with a judgment in place. If you cannot get something funded with the amount you have available now, and you cannot be garnished, or property liens placed, that leaves garnishing your bank account. If you are already taking steps to keep a low to no bank balance until the debt is resolved, you can continue to set aside money on a monthly basis in order to fund the settlement at a higher amount.

      Judgment debt is typically going to settle at a higher rate than when settling with Midland prior to any court action. Was the 3400.00 offer MCM made to you before there was a judgment in place?

      • Thanks for the advice, I believe that offer was after the judgement. I am worried that they will see the previous debt for 12000 resolved on my next months credit report and not want to negotiate any deal. I am currently a contractor, so my income is unstable. I have a joint account with my girlfriend which most of my income goes into to pay bills. The house is in her name as well. Garnishing my account would be the only thing they can do I think, but I want to settle sooner than later. I was just worried about misspeaking in a written statement about my hardship. I pay all the monthly bill in our house but the mortgage. That is what my girlfriend pays. I’d like to leave her out of the situation if I can. Thanks again for the response!

  49. well I have good news–I think-please give me your opinion: AFter 2 months and many disputes unanswered and no validities ever sent to me Midland called the atty friend I had initially used and when the call was ending whatever was discussed led Midland to stating the case would be closed and cease and desist on my file BUT that it COULD be reopened later but they had no interest doing so and the lawsuit was taken from the docket (I checked). SO now I can breath and relax?? about mamas house, etc and MOVE ON to what? LVNV? Negotiate the 35% to 30% balances and hope for NO lawsuits? How quickly should I do that-tomorrow? Rememebr I am on SSI and one of the LVNV is $2860.00 and they upped it to 5890.00 in one month-which I questioned–and got no replies nor any debt validations-ohand the $5890.00 IF they stick to that is too much for small claims court so what can they do?

  50. Deborah says:

    I am being sued by Midland Funding. I answered that the account was in default in 2007 and is therefore beyond the Georgia statute of limitations (4 years) for open accounts, including a request for summary judgement and dismissal. Very quickly I received a denial of the summary judgement and a hearing date claiming that pursuant to Hill v. American Express credit card accounts are “written contracts” and are subject to a 6 year statute. The law (O.C.G.A. 9-3-25 has not been changed by the legislature. I have seen information that credit card debts are declared open accounts by the truth in lending law and it very plainly states on all statements “revolving credit plan.” The Hill case and the case I cited were both in the Georgia Court of Appeals. We have had several years of illness and are wiped out but can not afford to file bankruptcy and keep eating. My husband is disabled and I am not even able to get all of his normal medicines. There is really nothing for them to get. It seems moot, but I just have a problem with companies that try to evade the law. Odd that a court can rule two ways. Any info would be appreciated.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Deborah – Georgia and other states have cases that have successfully argued an “account stated” position that moves the SOL goal posts. I would not say that Midland Funding is trying to evade the law when there is a clear ruling from the appellate court in Georgia that supports their position.

      Succeeding with the SOL argument is kind of a case by case situation. Experienced debt collection defense attorneys who defend these types of suits as part of their law practice are better equipped to assist you in this regard. Your defenses are not limited to the SOL, but that is the quickest cleanest approach.

      Based on your comment, you are not in a position financially to pay for your own attorney, as even the cost of bankruptcy would create a hardship. If income is limited you may be able to qualify for pro bono bankruptcy assistance from a nearby low income legal aid office. Have you looked into that?

  51. Roseline says:

    Hi Micheal.
    I have 2 accounts from chase(owed $5000 and Discover owed $3000)that was bought by Midland funding, and the attorney assigned was Masserli and kramer. Also, In january this year, I contacted a bankruptcy attorney to start chapter 7 filling on my behalf d/t several other unpaid debts in my name. The bankruptcy attorney fee is not yet paid in full, so no actual filling has been done yet. so while in the process of gathering resources to pay for my attorney filling fee, Midland funding went to my account today to place a hold on my account fund to over $2500. I called my bankruptcy attorney to update and see if they can do anything about the garnishment on my account-was told, they cannot do anything until their bill is paid off, and then they can start filling the bankruptcy on my behalf, which can take up to 3-4 weeks before anything can be done. FyI- i do owe IRS MN state tax which has prevented me from meeting all my debt obligations (has an arrangement with IRS & MN state though). The question for you Micheal is, if I’m able to come up with the balance to file my bankruptcy next week, will this company be able to call midland funding to stop garnishment on my account or even release the hold on my account fund even though the case is not filed just yet. second , can I stop midland funding from coming to my job to file their garnishment on payroll. I have not called midland, and do not wish to call them because, i felt calling them will prompt them to know some other personal details about me which i do not which to give up to them. Pls help.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Roseline – Once the bankruptcy petition is filed it will stop Midland funding from being able to collect on the Chase and Discover credit card debts, whether Masserli and Kramer got a judgment or not. The bankruptcy will stop or prevent any garnishment of wages. It will also stop Midland Funding from being able to levy a bank account. In fact, the bankruptcy trustee may claw back any money Midland Funding may have gotten from this most recent levy.

      You should not have any fear of calling Midland Funding. But calling Midland at this point is not going to be productive. They are not required to, nor are they likely to, cease collecting on the credit card judgment through Masserli and Kramer until the petition is filed.

      Did your bankruptcy attorney mention there was anything complicated about your bankruptcy?

  52. On March 4, 2013 I received a letter/statement from MCM stating they had purchased my Wells Fargo account and were attempting to collect the balance of $3,320.70 and would settle for one payment of $1, 992.42. On July 20, 2010 I settled this account with American Inc. for $5,581.04 (total bill was $8,901.74). The agreed amount was paid in full in May 2012.

    Since my Wells Fargo/American Inc. balance was paid per settle agreement, am I obligated to pay the $3,320.70 or even the $1,992.42?

    I’ve been working really hard to get my credit repaired and I don’t need these harrassing phone calls or letters and possible lawsuits.

    Thank you.
    Linda

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Linda – MCM typically collects debts that are purchased from your original creditor, or other debt owners. Midland Credit Management collects debts purchased by Midland Funding. Both Midland Credit Management and Midland Funding are part of Encore Capital. If MCM is collecting, they believe they have a legitimate debt on their hands. If you settled your Wells Fargo account with American Inc last May, it is possible that the portion that remained unpaid was bundled up and sold off to Midland Funding in error. If I subtract the 5581.04 you paid to settle the Wells Fargo debt from the balance of 8901.74 you say was owed, I get the amount MCM is trying to collect. Your settlement back in May 2012 not being recorded in someones system properly is the most likely scanario for why MCM sent you a collection letter yesterday.

      What to do:

      Do you have a letter outlining the Wells Fargo settlement with American Inc? If so, prepare a copy of that letter and a copy of your bank records for having remitted the payment on the settlement. Call the phone number on the MCM collection letter you have and explain that the account with Wells Fargo they are collecting on was settled last year and ask for a fax number to send them proof. After you have faxed that to MCM (if fax is inconvenient ask if you can scan and email the settlement letter and payment detail), call and verify they received it and how they are going to handle this.

      Do you have a settlement letter from American Inc? When you made the payment on the settlement, who was the payee, American Inc, or Wells Fargo?

      • I have a copy of the settlement agreement with American Inc. It shows they accepted my offer and payment plan. I never received a letter stating the account had been paid per agreement. I do have a copy of the letter and cancelled check indicating the account was paid in full. I have sent MCM a letter and a copy of the settlement agreement with American Inc. which they state they accept my terms.

        Since I have already sent some of the information, should I wait to hear from them or call them and let them know it is in the mail?

        Thank you so much for your help. I never know who to contact when I have questions.

        Linda

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Linda – If it were me, I would call MCM and let them know that you had settled the account prior, that you mailed the settlement letter to them, but not the proof of payment, and ask about scanning or faxing the proof of payment. A settlement letter is just a piece of paper. It does not indicate you paid the amount agreed to. The more proactive you are, the quicker this gets resolved, and with finality you want.

          Getting a letter after you pay a settlement outlining all is well is not necessary (nor all that common unless settling with certain lenders).

  53. Hi

    First and foremost I live in Texas I had a sears credit card that I was paying Dec 2011 I couldnt afford it anyone due to personnal circumstances I told sears about them by the time I know it MCM is handling it now they requested a finacnial spreadsheet of all I owe including utilities which I sent I didnt hear from them for three months all of a sudden I have a guy knocking on my door with serving papers since I didnt know him I told him the person doesnt live here. I called Midland to see what agreement we could work out the guy I spoke to wanted me to come up with $1500.00 my the 11th. I told him I didnt have that amount to pay I couldn’t afford it. He said well get me the whole $1500.00 by the 25th. I have no clue where I going to get that amount from. Can you please advise me on this matter Im feel so overwhelmed?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Crystal – I want to be sure I read your comment correctly:

      You have a Sears credit card you stopped paying at the end of 2011. Three months ago Midland Credit Management contacted you to collect on the Sears debt. You spoke with MCM about your inability to pay and they asked you to complete a financial worksheet that covers your current income and expenses. You provided that information, but did not follow up with MCM to set up some type of payment or settlement, and MCM did not follow up with you to discuss your options to resolve the old Sears account. In the last couple of days someone showed up at your door to serve you papers. You did not accept the papers. You would like to resolve the debt with Midland still, but cannot come up with the amount of money they will accept in the time they say you need to.

      If I have summed this up correctly here is my question:

      What amount can you come up with in the next couple of weeks? What amount can you commit to come up with the following month, and the month after that? Settling does not always have to be in one lump payment. It is better when you can knock something like this down in one transaction, but that is not always possible. Midland knows that too. They can often work with you to resolve this over time. My caution is that you only agree to something you are confident you can live up to on time, all the time, when making payments.

      • crystal says:

        He said the total was $5698.38 he wanted $1500.00 I don’t make a lot of income and I have daycare expenses which isn’t cheap. I told him I could give him $50 it is something and then pay at least $100 a month he said that was in acceptable so he said just call me when you can pay me. I decided to call sears since the debt is with them but they wanted nothing to do with me. The biggest scare of all is that an attorney sent me a letter to hire them saying that midland can put a lien on my house and freeze my checking and gain access to my wages. All I did tonight was research midland and the rights I have I came across the Texas attorney general offi e it said that no credit card company and gain your wages unless it for child support.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Crystal – Getting a settlement of 1500.00 on a balance of 5700.00 is a great deal. Settling with this opportunity should not be missed if you can avoid it. 100.00 a month payment to a collector on a debt this size is just not common.

          I do not want to scare you, but I do want to paint the reality of the situation.

          If you cannot settle, you are going to be sued by Midland. The attorney letter you received soliciting you to call them to help you is the result of them scanning the court records daily or weekly for new collection lawsuits being filed, gathering the defendants info (your info), and mailing that solicitation to hire them that you received. It does suck that they format their solicitation letters to scare you into calling and possibly hiring them.

          If you were to hire an attorney to defend a collection lawsuit from Midland you would likely pay as much or more than the 1500.00 being offered to settle.

          I completely understand if you are just flat out unable to raise the money to settle with Midland and avoid being sued, or a judgment being entered. If you cannot afford to settle, or hire an attorney to defend the suit, and end up with a judgment, you are at risk of a property lien and/or a bank account levy. Wage garnishment is not a concern in Texas like it is in most other states. You can deal with a property lien later when your finances improve by settling. You can even navigate having little to no money in your bank account when you are worried about money being taken out of your account without warning by a bank account levy. The big problem is that the judgment is not going anywhere and will be growing with interest, so the problem just gets bigger, and requires some changes to how you live and pay bills etc. When you do circle back to settle a Midland judgment (if one were entered in the court), it is highly doubtful you will be settling at the rate available today.

          My best advice is to look at every source you can think of to raise money to resolve this now when it is at its most affordable, than later when it is more complicated and costly.

          • crystal says:

            Ok I understand I will take what I have in my bank out its not much but I have to put food on the table.

            • Michael Bovee says:

              Crystal – You have some time. You have to be served and the court process run its course. Have you considered bankruptcy? It may not make sense to file over the amount Midland Funding is collecting, but are there other debts out there? If so, how much total?

              • crystal says:

                How much time are we talking about? Yes not a lot just medical bills from my daughter when she was born and in the hospital she was born premature.

                • Michael Bovee says:

                  Midland Funding has not even served you the lawsuit yet. Once served, even if you did nothing to participate in the process, it could be a couple months before the risk of a bank account levy. You could participate in the court process and may even be able to get an affordable monthly payment out if it.

                  How much to all of your medical debts total?

                  • crystal says:

                    What happens if I close my bank account? I called this morning and the person at mcm didn’t even answer his phone I left a message for him to call me back. I will start selling everything I have if I have to and pawn my jewelry that I have to pay them

                    • Michael Bovee says:

                      Crystal – If you close your bank account not much will happen other than not having one.

                      I want to summarize why I am glad you are looking for any possible way to resolve this from a dollars and cents perspective, as much for you, as for anyone reading this page.

                      The settlement offer you have been verbally given by MCM represents and exceptional savings. One that is not normal. If you get that offer in a written agreement, I suggest doing whatever you can to take advantage of it because:

                      It would prevent dealing with a lawsuit that is clearly already in the works.
                      Which would mean you would not have to deal with the whole court process.

                      Settling now, if the settlement offer with Midland is a go, is the best savings when compared to:
                      Hiring an attorney to defend against a lawsuit where there is no guarantee you will win.
                      Settling down the road if there is a judgment on this debt for a much higher figure.
                      Settling for this amount is less than the national average cost of filing chapter 7 bankruptcy of roughly 1800.00 (when factoring in court costs, attorney fees etc.)

                      I have worked many files where a deal that seemed impossible to take advantage of, but where the math made absolute “cents” to not let get by, was accomplished by tapping a personal loan from a friend or family member, selling a personal item, and other creative methods for raising the money.

                      If you add on medical bills to your scenario, and depending on the amount of those debts, the equation could then start to lean more in favor of a fresh start with bankruptcy. But looking at the debt with MCM or Midland Funding as a stand alone issue – settling makes good “cents”.

  54. Michael,

    Chase bank charge off 1/13/2006 (last payment made) balance $6,260 and after being sold over and over is now at Midland, balance now $8,249 the SOL is way out( The statute of limitations on debt for residents of the State of Texas is four (4) years). and am now coming up on 7 years on my CR 1/2013 so is due to be removed, since they (Midland) monitors my credit closer then I do they have noticed I am trying to apply for a mortgage, and have just sent me a letter (imagine that out of the blue lol) telling me for $5 027.05 they will be happy to settle the account , Mortgage broker is worried about the DTI over this one account even with it being that old etc, I know you said they don’t do PFD’s but with it this old and them having no legal standing would a $.10 on the dollar for a PFD be in the offing?
    Thanks
    Ed

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Ed – Pay for delete is off the table and so is 10 cents on the dollar in most cases. You should be able to settle for better than the offer you got in the mail from Midland. Once you settle with Midland Funding get your broker to do a rapid re-score. You should still be able to get this through if all other elements of your credit report are in shape.

  55. Hi My Husband had a credit card with Chase bank that was last paid on 9/09. It has since been purchased by midland Financing and now Hanna and Associates is dealing with it. We had 2 accounts that were with bought by Midland, but we paid the settlement offer that was sent in a letter by Frank Hanna and Ass. on one of them . We would like to settle the outstanding Chase card and have the money currently to do so. The debt is around $7000, we would like to offer $3600 to settle. Does this amount seem ok? The issue we are having is my husband has been calling the office at Hanna for several days, he always gets transfered to a specific person where it goes to voicemail. He has called several times a day leaving name, case info. phone number ,etc. and she never calls him back. We would like to get this settled but can’t ever get anyone to talk to about it. Any clues as to why they won’t return calls or answer? What should we do now? Thanks so much for your help!!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      HE – The amount you have available to put the Chase account that Midland Funding (now Frederick J Hanna and Associates), is collecting would be on target in my experience. If you are unable to reach anyone at Hanna, try calling Midland Funding and let them know you are aware the debt has been placed with Fred Hanna for collections, but you have been trying to reach them in order to come to some form of arrangement on the debt, with no answer and no return of 3 messages. Midland will likely still want you to work this out directly with the Hanna firm, but maybe they have the bat phone over at Hanna. or maybe Hanna will take Midlands calls, so see if Midland can transfer the call to a good number.

  56. Why in the hell are you telling these people to settle? They owe MIDLAND NOTHING…….they are a third party and the debt has been paid off……Do you people not get this?????? I know because I am being sued and I owe NOTHING. They have harrassed me and I am dealing with breast cancer should I counter sue?????????????????????????????????????

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Carol – The vast majority of people dealing with collection accounts, whether with their creditors, a collection agency, or a debt buyer like Midland Funding, just want to resolve their debt, if they can afford to, and move on. Settling with Midland is often a way for people to avoid bankruptcy, or prevent the very thing you are going through, a collection lawsuit.

      Do you mean you are getting sued for a debt you know you paid off prior, or are you suggesting something else?

      You should definitely consider seeking any manner for dealing with your situation. If you read through the comment posts on this page, and several others, all options are on the table.

  57. Garrison says:

    Hello! I am a part-time college student and work part-time as well. I will be graduating this August and will be starting a full-time job shortly after. I had previously had a credit card account with Wachovia, which eventually turned into Wells Fargo and was unable to keep up the high payments due to my circumstances. Since then my debt has been sold off to Midland Credit Management. I had worked out a payment plan that was still too much for me to afford to pay and to live within my means. I have unfortunately had to use most to all of my checks from work to pay off my debt each month. I have been trying to get in touch with my representative in order to lower these amounts each month until I graduate and start my full-time job and have had no response. I just today spoke to another representative at MCM and to discuss changing my payment plan but was instead bombarded with offers to settle my debt, pay it off immediately, etc. I explained to him as I have done with my previous representative my situation and did not receive any way of resolving my issue. I just wanted to know what would be the best way of going about lowering my payment amount each month. Thank you so much for your time!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Garrison – If you cannot make the scheduled payment in the amount you set up prior, and are unable to get something affordable structured today, that may change in a week or three. Collections is sometimes a weird world. Missing payments in order to set up something different could make a difference. It can also make a difference who you speak with. Try calling Midland Credit again next week. If you cannot get a productive dialogue going, ask to speak with a collection manager/supervisor. It would be great if you came back and posted an update to this comment thread with how things shake out.

      • Garrison says:

        Thanks for the response! Hearing that is such a relief. I’ve literally been working my butt off to make these large payments for the past six months (maybe more) and stressing about them as well along with graduating and whatnot. I’ll keep you updated as I plan on giving them another call next week to work something out. Thanks again!

      • Garrison says:

        Michael – I recently got a letter in the mail letting me know that I haven’t made a payment in the last 35 days. I was also very surprised how personal the letter was… Letting me know they appreciated my previous payments and my willingness to resolve my debt. I was planning on making my call today like we previously discussed and doing so was transferred to a new representative. Unfortunately I was only able to leave a voice mail explaining that I would like to start a new payment plan along with my phone number and MCM account information. Hopefully I’ll get a call back today. If not when should I try again?

        • Garrison – Midland Credit Management is definitely one of the more personable debt collection agencies out there. If it were me in your situation I would make a general nuisance of myself and call Midland Credit every couple of days until I worked out a payment plan.

  58. I received a letter from a local law firm in SLC, stating I owe Midland Funding 1,800 for a cc that was for credit one bank. Last know payment according to my credit report was Oct 2011 for credit one bank was for a balance of 1638 and was state as charged off. And midland shows on my credit report as well stating i owe them 1800 last report Feb 2013. This is the first i have seen this company and now im getting letters from law firms. When i had the cc i lived in CA at the time and move to UT in 2012. The letter stated from the law firm i have 30 days to resolve this issue or further actions will be applied. The most I can probably come up with is about 800 would this be enough for them to close the account i really wouldn’t want to be summons or have a judgement on me.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      rene – Based on what you shared, it is pretty clear a lawsuit will be filed to collect on the Credit One Bank card now with Midland Funding. You may be able to settle with the collection attorney Midland Funding placed the account with at 800.00. Current trends suggest you be prepared to pay a little bit more than that.

      There are instances where settlements with Midland Funding and others will exceed targets (up or down). This is often due to things unique to you and how you look on a collectible scale. In other words, the worse things are for you on paper, and what is visible about you through your credit report (and other sources), will sometimes mean getting better savings when settling.

      • I actually called the law firm based out of salt lake city they were really friendly and were willing to give me a couple of options. since i was still within the 30 days, and i settled for a lower amount then asking for. it was a lot less if i paid in full then if i were to make monthly payments and have no interest built on top of the fee. Which now my account has been closed and paid for.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Great job settling with the attorney firm Midland Funding sent the account to Rene. Catching collection stuff before a lawsuit is filed makes a huge difference in close to 100% of the files I have worked on or reviewed. Many times escalated collections can be avoided my simply opening letters sent by Midland Credit Management or Midland Funding and coming up with a solution. Of course you already know that from personal experience, so I am saying this more for other readers.

  59. I am divorced and have recently gone to refinance my home, which was awarded to me, and much to my surprise Midland has put a lien on my house for a debt that belongs to my ex. They filed it before the quit claim deed recorded (which unfortunately i didn’t know I had to do until I inquired about refinancing) but my ex has not had any responsibility to the house in years. What can I do to have them take the lien off and collect from my ex some other way and not through me?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Araceli – You may want to coordinate resolving this with your ex involved. Is there still good communication between both of you?

  60. Michael, your advice is a big help, I called the attorney, Holloway and Moxley, they said that it was an old Home Depot credit card. I did not admit to ever having a card. We are def out of the SOL for the state of Alabama and I am moving. They were very rude and stated that they mailed 15 letter, I did not recieve 15 letter, ever. I also would not answer where I worked or any of their questions. I hope taht is correct. I am also leaving as of next week and will not be in Alabama any longer. What is my next step?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Alli – The next step is to weigh costs and benefits of your next step with Midland Funding suing. You leaving the area for good will likely influence some of your decision making. Since we have already connected via phone, call me back on that same line and I will hit the points you will want to consider.

  61. Hello,
    I received a summons from Franklin County Clerk of Courts in Ohio today. Midland Funding is suing me for an old bank of america debt for the total of $3095.
    I WANT to settle this debt, but will not have the funds for at least another 60 days.
    My question is to stave them off a little while, should I file a response so a default judgement is not entered against me? I’m trying to buy a little time.
    My second question is that when I am ready to settle what should I offer as a settlement?

    Thanks…Misty

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Misty – You can often settle with Midland Funding with more than one payment. Working out a deal with Midland Funding or Midland Credit Management is best done before getting sued. Now that a lawsuit is in play you may have to sign off on a stipulation to judgment in order to get the payment terms. Sometimes you are able to get this accomplished with an attorney suing on behalf of Midland Funding where, as long as payments are made on time, the judgment is not filed in the court. This is not always the case which is why I recommend settling in a lump sum when possible.

      The amounts to target in settling with Midland Funding now that you have been sued can be a moving target. It matters how collectible you look to the attorney suing you. For example, if you are paying other credit card debts (which can be viewed on your credit report), you appear to be someone not in to tough a financial hardship. If you are working, but struggling with even normal bills and your credit report looks like a grenade was dropped on it, I would typically target settling with Midland Funding for roughly half.

      Start by calling the attorney Midland hired and let them know you have some concerns about the account they are suing you on. You may look at your options with an attorney of your own, but first wanted to see what this could be settled for and over what period of time a payment can be set up for. Post an update comment with what you learn.

      As far as buying time, yes, filing an answer to the lawsuit will give you time if you needed it.

  62. Michael,
    We discussed a midland collection account I had for an old (1,000$) T-mobile bill that was in collection. there was no activity for over 5 years but midland erroneously reported it as current with activity within over the last year.
    I disputed and it is now REMOVED from Experian and Equifax. It remains on Transunion. As a result, I now score 750(EQ), 725(EX) and 590 (with Transunion). I just filed a dispute with them but if they do not remove it, what is my credit reality with 2 excellent scores and one poor score?
    I’m tempted to just pay the 1000$ but now i’m pretty sure it would lower my scores by making it current on EQ. and EX. (they are currently deleted) The unpaid charge off could thwart our mortgage plans. What should I do kind sir? Tough one right?

    • Tony – Not tough at all. Home loans and mortgages often use a merged credit profile. A lot of them will take the 3 scores and throw out the high and the low, and base lending and interest rate decisions on the middle score. You also have the fact that Vantage scores were announced last week to stop factoring paid collections into their score. If the broker you work with uses an underwriting vendor that incorporates Vantage score, than settling or paying Midland Credit Management will not hurt your score (depending on when you are out loan shopping).

      The fact that Midland appears on your credit report incorrectly as a 12 month fresh negative is another thing. How to deal with that is a whole new post. One I am publishing as part of the Credit Report section of our free online debt relief program next month. For now, since you already sent off a dispute letter, post a comment update to this thread if nothing gets corrected after TransUnion investigates your Midland Credit Management collection trade line.

      • Thank you for your reply.
        I joined myfico and I see they are 648( trans union fico) and 752 (Equifax fico). I already have a secured card in great standing with Capital one (7 months). I just applied at Capital one and got denied for an unsecured card today. Could they just be using Trans Union (648)? Wouldn’t you guess that would be high enough to get approved? If they threw out top and bottom, i’m at 725 with decent job and low rent. Any ideas?

        • Tony – Credit card underwriting and approval is different than mortgages. There are a host of reasons Capital One may have declined. I have seen Capital One approve with a TU score like yours. You may want to wait until you know the result of Midland Credit Management dispute before taking the next step with rebuilding credit.

  63. Hello, I was sued by Midland Funding for a debt from Cit Bank that financed a Dell Computer through Dell Financial. The original loan was interest free, same as cash and I have more than paid that off. After doing some research I found out that Dell has had numerous class action suits against them for adding on charges and fees to their same as cash loans. As I prepared countless hours of research to prove this point in court thus proving that I do not owe the current debt, Midland moved to dismiss the case. With no notification the case was dismissed without prejudice. The way that I found out was that I showed up for my trial and the court reporter told me that my case was dismissed the day before. Now Midland is again sending me collection letters and phone calls. Is there a way for me to appeal the courts dismissal and have it changed to with prejudice so they can not continue to harrass me? Or, do I need to go through the entire court process again? Thank you.

    • Vinni – You may be able to work through the court to get what you need done, but I would suggest you connect with an experienced consumer law attorney to discuss the issue first. Your situation is also one where sending a cease communication letter, even though the SOL may not be passed, is advisable. It will stop collection attempts. I normally do not advise this to someone with a debt inside the SOL to be sued, but Midland Funding is extremely unlikely to file again, and you are already prepared if they do.

  64. Thanks for your help Michael!!

    Can you tell me the SOL for credit card debt in Ohio? I’m getting mixed answers on the internet.
    Thank you,

    Misty

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Misty – 6 years for credit cards. There are reasons for the confusion you read about. Like in other states, creditors and debt owners will try to argue for credit cards to be treated as a written contract. Depending on the case, the representation etc., there has been some success with account stated, and written contract treatment of credit card debt, including in Ohio.

      I understood you were looking to settle the debt, but needed to buy a little time. Has it been more than 6 years since you last made a payment on this account?

  65. Michael,
    I currently have a negative account by Experian for Midland Credit Mgmt. A judgement was filed in 2011 against me for a $1000 debt , however, the account has since been paid off to the original creditor. Why does this negative account show as “OPEN” on my credit report when it’s paid in full? This is severely impacting my ability to obtain a home loan and I would like your advice on how to remove this negative account, or at the very least, have it show as a “CLOSED” account by the credit bureaus.
    Thank you for posting all this helpful information. It’s nice to know I’m not alone!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Maddy – I need some more information in order to be more helpful with my feedback.

      Who was the original creditor?
      What was the date you paid the original creditor?

      Post your answers to those 2 questions in a comment reply and lets go from there.

      • Well, the original creditor was Chase card services, and it was paid immediately following the judgement. You see, I had filed bankruptcy prior to this judgement and I thought everything had been included. However, upon further investigation I discovered this one credit card was unpaid and in collections. Midland bought the loan in April of 2011; in June 2011 I paid it off. I hope this helps. I really would like to move this negative account to show as closed, since it is paid off.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Maddy – Thanks for posting your follow up reply. Midland Credit Management collects debts for Midland Funding. Both companies are part of the same Encore Capital brand. Your previous comment mentioned paying the full amount to the original creditor. The details in your follow up comment lead me to conclude the following:

          Chase sold your debt to Midland Funding.
          Midland Funding starts off with having Midland Credit Management collect.
          Midland Credit Management tries to collect for a time and also shows on your credit report as a collection account.
          Midland Funding sued and got a judgment.
          You paid Chase (based on your comment of paying the original creditor) the full amount owed.

          If I am correct in what I am assuming happened, you paid Chase for a debt they sold the rights to. So the account remains unresolved.

          I would recommend you put to paper the chronology of events i.e. when you stopped paying Chase, when you were sued and judgment entered, when you sent a payment to Chase for the full amount. Pull up documentation of the Chase payment from your bank. After you have all that in front of you, call Midland credit management and provide the details of all the happened. They may request some documentation from you on payments to Chase. See what kind of feedback you get from Midland Credit.

          Take good notes of your conversation in a journal fashion, and keep good notes about anything regarding this issue from here on out.

          If I am incorrect in anything I have interpreted, post a comment reply with additional info.

          Did a judgement ever show up in the public record section of your credit report?

  66. Mike,

    Thank you for all your valuable information. I have a question. what is the violation code for repetitive Bankruptcy reportings on your credit report. In other words how many times can a BK be reported on a credit report if you only filed one time a BK -7? Can the bureaus legally reported more then one time?

    Claudia

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Claudia – Thanks for being a reader of the site. I do not know the answer to your question other than to say a chapter 7 bankruptcy can be filed once every 8 years, and credit reports show a chapter 7 for 10 years. So, if someone filed in early 2005, and received another chapter 7 discharge in early 2013 they could have 2 court record entries for BK. That is not the case here, as you say filing only occurred once. It should be something that can be corrected by filing a dispute with the bureaus directly. If it is not resolved with the first dispute you can escalate the issue from there.

  67. Greetings, thanks for all the information on this site, very helpful. I have a question. I have just realized Midland purchased and old Tmobile account of mine for a charge off around $800, (although I remember it being much less). It is literally the only negative mark on my credit report and dropped my score down 30 points. My question is do you think I should just settle with them, I have the money too, offer a pay for delete (slim chance I realize), or use a credit repair law firm to assist me somehow?
    I know I had Tmobile account, but I never received notice that they were now with collections with Midland until I noticed it on my credit report.
    thanks

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Nick – Did the Midland Credit Management reporting of the Tmobile account just recently show up on your credit report? When did you last make a TMobile payment?

      You will not get a pay for delete, but resolving the account and having any balance owed show up as zero will/can accelerate your credit score recovery, and will have a negligible impact on your access to new credit products within a fairly short period of time.

      • Thanks for your response.
        The Midland funding, showed up only couple weeks ago on my credit report, but before that I was unaware that they were the ones in charge of the account.
        The tmobile bill I had last paid over a year ago and during that time I had a new job lots of stress with moving, and I know I owed a bill, but somehow I got lost in the transition of moving and forgot about it. I then never received notice, and when I contacted them they said it was with an agency, with a different name. I know I faulted on this but just wanted to know the best of course of action to fix it.
        Since I do have the funds and want to pay it off, do you suggest resolving the account in the manner of calling them to just pay it off, or sending them a letter for better documentation. I do have a friend that suggested to use a credit repair law firm (as he did) to assist, because of the issue of not having much time away from work.
        thanks

        • Actually I just spoke to Tmobile who said that I could still pay with them. Thats strange, if they have the bill, then why did Midland Fund show it as in collections?

          • Michael Bovee says:

            Nick – Is it Midland Funding showing on your credit report, or is Midland Credit Management appearing? Does the Tmobile account on your credit report show a balance still owed, or is it showing a zero balance due?

            There is nothing a credit repair firm is going to do for you that you cannot get done yourself with all of maybe 2 phone calls and a letter (maybe 2).

            If you post a reply to my credit reporting questions I will have some suggestions.

            • Hey Thanks Mr. Bovee.
              Yes so its showing up as balance still owed, but under Midland Funding.
              I called them, Tmobile, and they said I still have a balance, and that they can take a payment from me, but only the whole payment, which is fine. So I guess your suggestions as to what to do in terms of any further action, I mean Ill obviously pay it, but do I need to send a letter to Midland or call them up.

              THanks so much.

              • Michael Bovee says:

                Nick – The way this is all appearing on your credit report tells a story. Original lenders and creditors sell off past due debts in the normal course of business. Midland Funding is one of the larger buyers of that debt. When an original creditor (Tmobile in this case) sells a debt and transfers the legal right to a buyer like Midland Funding llc, they are no longer owed the debt. The fair credit reporting act is instructive in how a lender/creditor would have to report a charged off account with a zero balance due to them if they sold off the rights to the debt. The new debt owner (Midland Funding in this case) can report a collection trade line and a balance owed them.

                With Tmobile reporting a zero balance owed to them, and Midland Funding reporting the account as theirs and the balance owed, it is most likely you would need to pay Midland Funding, not Tmobile. I am not sure why the folks at Tmobile would say it is okay to just pay them when they appear to no longer have a right to any money on the account. It could just be that the rep at Tmobile you talked with made a mistake in suggesting you pay them.

                I would call Midland and talk to them about the situation, because based on what you have shared, that is who owns the debt, and also how you will best resolve this in order get the improved credit. If you learn anything from Midland that calls any of what I wrote above into question, post a follow up comment.

  68. Michael,

    It just came to my attention that Midland Funding LLC filed suit against me 3/18/13, however i haven’t been served. It is a credit card debt from WAMU, i want make a settlement but i have a few questions.
    1) Should I contact an Attorney to help me, if so who do you recommend here in Houston TX.
    2) Should i just call the Attorneys that filed suit and try to make an arrangement directly. From the information that i gathered online in the JP, the Attorney works for Midland Credit Management, Inc.
    3) If i do so, what do i need to do so I know the case in court is dropped after I pay?

    Thank you very much for any help you can provide.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Alberto – When being sued it is always a good idea to consult with your own attorney. I can send you some contact info for a good collection defense lawyer nearby. You can also call the Midland Credit Management attorney and work something out to settle the old WAMU account directly. Being certain the case is dropped after you negotiate and pay an agreement to settle the debt now owned by Midland Funding is going to be part of what the attorney for Midland will handle on their end. It is a simple administrative process where they file for a dismissal as the case was resolved.

      What is the amount of the debt you are being sued for?
      How much are you prepared to pay in a lump sum settlement offer to the Midland Credit attorney?

      • $3,300. I am prepared to pay 50%. I had an accident and out of a job for a while and they bumped my interest to 30% at that time so instead of helping they cause more damage. So if i get a defense lawyer and he costs me 1500 and he settles for 1500 then i end up paying almost the same, or is the defense lawyer will be able to get a better deal? The SOL in Texas is 4 years and my last payment was 7/2009. Please send me the information for the defense lawyer since i don’t know anyone. Thanks for your help

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Alberto – You are correct in your assessment that retaining an attorney has a cost, with no guarantee of the outcome. Settling the account now may/may not be able to be done at 50%, but perhaps close enough to make that a more economical approach, and also one that offers finality.

  69. C.Rivera says:

    Just got served from Midland funding for a deposition this friday. Regardng a 1999 $7K debt. When i called the lawyer on the deposition paperwork they stated the debt is 15k now. I am close to 80 years old now. This debt is 14 yrs old. HELP!!!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      C. – I am assuming you were sued by Midland Funding on this debt and that a judgment was entered in court. If that is a correct assumption, what was the date of the initial Midland Funding judgment?

      I will have more feedback for you after you post a comment reply with the answer. Also, what state do you live in, and do you have income from other sources than SSI, or real estate assets?

      • C.Rivera says:

        Live in FLorida and judgements was filled with courts on 08/27/2008.

        See below doc:

        Date Book/Page Docket Entry Comments
        02/28/2013
        NOTICE OF TAKING DEPOSITION
        11/16/2010
        EXECUTION ISSUED $ 10523.32 DN01 ALIAS
        11/02/2010
        AFFIDAVIT OF: LOST EXECUTION
        11/05/2008
        EXECUTION ISSUED $ 10523.32 DN01
        08/27/2008 26543 / 3308
        Pages: 1 FINAL JUDGMENT J $ 0.00 BK:26543 PG:3308 DN01
        08/15/2008
        AFFIDAVIT OF PROOF(CLAIM)
        08/15/2008
        AFFIDAVIT AS TO COSTS
        08/15/2008
        AFFIDAVIT OF: OF INTEREST CALCULATION
        07/30/2008
        ORDER: GRANTING PLTFS MOTI FOR JUDGMENT OF THE PLEADINGS
        06/17/2008
        NOTICE OF HEARING- SPECIAL APPT 07/30/2008 10:00 AM
        06/09/2008
        NOTICE HEARING- MOTIONS 07/30/2008 10:00 AM
        06/04/2008
        MOTION: FOR JDGMNT ON THE PLEADINS
        05/15/2008
        LETTER OF CORRESPONDENCE TO CLERK OF COURT, 5/13/08 FROM CONSUELO RIVERA
        05/02/2008
        SERVICE RETURNED BADGE # 1599 P 04/24/2008 DN01
        04/09/2008
        COMPLAINT $ 7289.54
        04/09/2008
        SUMMONS ISSUED DN01

      • C.Rivera says:

        also income is pension and social security which is non except. any chance i can reply to deo Subpeana with this?

        • Michael Bovee says:

          C. – The reason they are coming at you with this is to find out how they can get paid. They are using a court process to discover assets. Your social security is exempt from garnishment direct from the source (the government). Your SSI is also exempt from a bank levy they might try, if the only funds in that account are sources to SSI. Your pension may not be able to be garnished direct from the source, but those funds may be allowed to be accessed through a bank levy. You should connect with an experienced collection defense attorney in Florida on this point.

          Florida has favorable real property exemptions too.

          My best feedback is for you to consult with an attorney before responding, or submitting any documents in response. Just be sure not to ignore it.

          How long have you been aware of the judgment? Was your last payment ever made on the debt back in 1999?

          If you are motivated to resolve the debt, at this late stage, your options are going to be limited to settling with Midland Funding, or considering bankruptcy to eliminate it.

          • C. Rivera says:

            last payment on account was past aprox. in 2008. Makes no sence having to pay 2500 to file bankruptcy on a 15k debt which I dount have 2500 either way. There is 2 other judgements in the courts that show as “CASE ELIGIBLE FOR DESTRUCTION” why could they not do the same for this debt? and if Pension and SSI is teh only income which is except how can they get levy on the account? How will I pay my recurring monthly bills, car, rent, etc?

            • Michael Bovee says:

              C. – The national average cost for a chapter 7 bankruptcy is about 1800.00. Large coastal cities you may pay more. If the chapter 7 is more than just what is called a “straight bk” (little to no assets involved), it is possible the costs could run as high as you are thinking.

              Judgment creditors, like Midland Funding llc, commonly enforce collection on a judgment by garnishing wages, placing a lien on property, or levying your bank account (as allowed by law in your state). It’s just how this stuff works. The court provides the legal backdrop for this when there is a judgment.

              Is there anyway for you to save up each month to pay for the bankruptcy process? Can you get some help from a family member or a friend?
              The alternative is settling the judgment for less than the balance, but that will take more than the cost of filing chapter 7 at this stage of collection.

  70. Hi Michael,

    I have defaulted on credit card loans in October 2009. I had signed on with a debt management company and learned too late that they take your money while your bills go unpaid, which usually leads to lawsuits. I was sued, but with help ( a loan from a friend) managed to settle all but one account. The money paid to the debt management company was of course wasted as they only settled a very small account. I have borrowed from my 401k to pay the income taxes on the forgiven portion of my debt. I since have paid back my friend with interest!

    The last delinquent account was about $6,000.00 back in 2009. The debt was unfortunately bought by Midland Funding early last year. I did not respond as I did not have money to settle. The amount on my credit report from Midland for this account is now over $10,000.00. I have not heard from them in now for about 6 months.

    My questions are:

    1. If I have some money in the near future to offer a settlement. Should I do so or will Midland use this as an opportunity to sue me?
    2. Should I Walt till after the SOL which would be October 2015 to settle?
    3. If so, will my off to settlele renew the debt if time barred?

    My hope is to save up around $2,400.00 to $3,000.00 and offer to settle this last delinquent account, which would be 40% to 50% of the original debt.

    I am still paying off debts that I can afford to pay which equal $29,000 – debts which I have not missed a payment, as well as the loan on my 401k for the taxes on the forgiven debt. This keeps me from having the money to settle this last delinquent debt.

    BTW: I will be able to save up enough money to offer a settlement by next October. Then if settled will pay the taxes on the newly forgiven debt

    By the time this is behind me in 2016, I will have started to reestabish my credit and will have learned not to misuse credit or spend more that I make.

    Thanks

    Tom

    • Tom – Given the details you shared and your goal of resolving the account – there are opportunities to settle with Midland over a period of payments. The flexibility you have when settling with Midland Funding llc is better than with virtually any other creditor/collector. If you would like to discuss these options with me, post a comment reply and I will email you my contact points. It sounds like it will be just a matter of budgeting and timing for you.

      • Hi Michael,

        Thanks for your reply. I would be interested in discussing options. Please email me your contact information.

        Thanks!

        • Hi Michael,

          Thank you for taking my call and the additional information you provided on the phone. I understand that I should settle sooner with Midland rather than later. I will think about my options of making payments or see if I can come up with a lump sum.

          You have answered many of my questions and your advice is solid!

          Thanks again!

          Tom

          • Hi Michael,

            Great news! I called Midland Funding and let them know that I wished to settle my account. They offered less than I expected.

            Original Debt: $6,868.00

            Midland Amount: $10,457.00

            Settlement Amount: $3,143.16

            They want to take a credit card.

            I asked them to first fax a letter that they will settle for the full amount.

            Is it wise to give them a credit card number?

            If so I can settle today.

            Thanks so much!

            Tom

            • Hi Michael,

              I received your response that it would be ok to provide my credit or debit card information for payment once the settlement letter was faxed to me.

              I received the faxed letter from Midland Funding with the payment terms, it stated that my debt would be settled and marked paid in full, and that the three credit reporting agencies would be notified as such.

              I ended up deciding to get a bank check for the amount and overnighting the payment.

              I appreciate the information and advice you have given, as well as your time – all at no cost! Your expertise and help have been invaluable during this process.

              You are certainly the best at what you do!

              Thanks so much!

              Tom

  71. Went to small claims crt. With midland funding llc. And lost over a debt owed to chase credit cards.. Iwas given the $30 check for the settlement over raising the minimum payments telling me the people won vs. Them. But, when went to crt. Got a real piece of work for a clerk mag. And came to conclusion I owe all the $, even interest!! I stopped paying whenn they raised my min. Payment and started telling me the only thing to do was to raise apr! I just couldn’t afford it and now have nothing! I am supposed to go back on may 1st to work things out. I don’t think Ishould have to pay anything tothese jerks, let alone interest from ??? Not even sure how far back! What can I do? Thanx

    • Michael Bovee says:

      gina – It would be a good idea to call in to CRN for a consult to go over some of your options. The call is free and may help you get your bearings on your next step. If you want to call in its: 800-939-8357 ext. 3.

  72. Michael I too am being sued by Midland Funding LLC. I’ve read alot of the postings. My question is where do I go to respond in 30 days? I know Im sending a validation letter to the lawyer listed but Im unsure where to go and what forms to use for the courts? Do I just write a letter or is there certain forms I must respond on? Please help!!! Thank you in aadvance.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Rene – If Midland Funding is already suing you, then the time to send a debt validation request is gone. Filing your response and answer to the lawsuit will be done with the court. There are definitely court rules and format standards to follow. Your court may have a guide for you to follow.

      What is the amount you are being sued for?
      What state are you in?
      What is your goal for resolving this?

  73. I found out about my being sued only because I have a friend that works in the sheriffs office and they called me to tell me about the papers. I never actually was served but did go down and pick them up. The summons and complaint from Midland Funding LLC were addressed to the wrong address. It was the correct street but wrong street number. The plaintiff’s demand is for $4535.71 actual damages, prejudgment and post judgment interest and all court costs. The “Facts” say that I OPENED an account with Chase Bank, however I never OPENED an account with them. I OPENED an account with WAMU and they later became Chase. I disagree with the amount owed but have no proof. When I gave up on paying, it was at the limit which was $4000. At that point every bill that came in was with additional fees in the amounts of $39.00 for late fee and $39.00 for over-the-limit fee. I stopped paying on this debt in July 2009. Yet they kept adding those fees for about 7 months. Then it was charged off on 2-28-2010. My questions are:
    1. Should I go ahead and file an “answer” with the court since it is due by Monday 4-8-13?
    2. What would be a reasonable amount to attempt to settle for (if I choose to)?
    3 . Is the chance of winning in court (if I represent myself) high or low?
    4. Does the fact that they have the wrong address (which seems like funny business to me), that they list the original creditor wrong and that they didn’t even mention the original creditor in the complaint give me any grounds in court to win the case?
    I appreciate your time and help.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      EW – I cannot give you legal advice. I can only share my experiences and offer my feedback based on those.

      1. Filing an answer and defending the Midland Funding LLC suit is always an option. This late in the game (answer due tomorrow), you do not have time to settle prior to the answer being due, so filing an answer will keep all of your options open.

      2. Settling an active lawsuit is contingent on a host of variables. You have posted a couple of them, but there is more to it. With the little info I have to go on, offering settlement to Midland Funding at key inflection points could be best and most realistically targeted as low as 50%.

      3. Chance of defending the Midland Funding llc action in court on your own, and getting it dismissed, depends on all sorts of things. Your chances increase dramatically when working with your own attorney who has experience in debt collection defense. I am not comfortable suggesting odds with so little information to go on.

      4. Their having the wrong address, in my lay opinion, will afford you nothing.

      Depending on your financial situation, settling gives you finality and the ability to move on, without the unknowns and uncertainty of defending on your own, not to mention the many, many hours you will have to dedicate to the process in order to increase your odds of success.

  74. It’s me Misty. I talked to you last month about the possibility of settling with Midland and buying some time by filing my motion with the court. Well, I filed my motion with the court and also filed another motion asking the attorney’s office who is representing Midland to produce evidence of the debt and the amount owed, in so many words.
    Now the attorney’s called and left me a message today wanting me to call them back, for why I am not sure, other than they want to get me to admit to the debt and settle.
    I would prefer now to take my chances in court. Reason being, I am upset by the fact they all the submitted to the court as proof that I owe the debt is a credit card statement from 2008. In no way did they prove that I owe the debt or that amount. Is this a foolish move?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Misty – I would not say defending the Midland Funding LLC suit is a foolish move at all. I would share with you that I know of 2 debt buyer cases last month where judgment was granted against the consumer using billing statements as evidence and proof. One was a consumer working through the process on their own, and another was with the help of an experienced collection defense attorney who knows his stuff.

      Settling with Midland offers a finality, but with a cost. Defending has its own costs (personal stress, time etc.), with no assurances. Calling them back may involve a discussion about resolving this and putting the suit behind you. It does not have to be a situation where you admit to the debt at all. You may just want to phrase your conversation in a manner of “I am not admitting to the debt, but may consider settling this for the shear fact of the amount of time drain it represents”, or some such wording.

      If it were me in your shoes, and I had about 50% available to resolve the debt, I would at least entertain the phone call and see where that leads.

  75. It’s me, Misty again. So I called the attorney representing Midland and they offered a $2700 lump sum settlement on a $3095 debt! I declined the offer and countered at $1100. They are in the process of contacting Midland to see if Midland will accept my offer or (most likely) counter back with another one. They should be contacting me within the next 24 hours for the response. I really hope it’s lower, but we shall see. I will keep you updated…..Misty

  76. Michael,
    I have a question-I recently settled (by telephone) at a 50% reduction and they were supposed to send out a letter/agreement for me to sign and return. I set up a payment program with them and gave then my account no. for EFT; a temporary acct. that I opened for this purpose and would have some control over if anything went askew.
    It’s been 6 business days and no agreement has come, nor will the attorney or the liason from the legal department who originally spoke with me-call me back.
    My 30 day period for filing with the court is 4/26- I’d rather not just buy time with this given that I am trying to settle with them.
    How long should I wait to get this letter from them? I can close the account at any time if they dont’ respond. I feel that they should have some responsibility here as well if they are trying to settle with me.
    If they do not comply as promised what are my options?
    Thanks,
    R/

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Ruth – You did well to set up a separate account that you use for funding settlements and payments on old debts. Rather than wait for the mail after 6 days has already passed, there is no problem reaching back out to them and confirming the settlement agreement was sent.

      Generally, I would not go through with having funds in an account payment is set to be drafted from until 3 business days prior to the payment date. In the case of being sued, not having your written agreement, having had this much lead time, by a week before your answer date would mean filing your answer and preserving your rights.

      Post a comment reply with what you learn from calling and checking on the letter being sent, or certainly within a week if you have not received it and lets go from there.

      Just to confirm I read your comment correctly – you have not made any payment toward the agreement yet?

      • Michael,
        I have not made any payments yet; they are supposed to start on the 20th. After speaking with the paralegal directly I recieve not a letter but a Stipulation, court document. I’m concerned because it states that a money judgement will be awarded to the plaintiff against the defendant in the total amount owed and then they break it down. Then it further stipulates the settlement and payment arrangement amount.
        Doesn’t this mean if I sign it that the full judgement will show against me at that time and show as such on my credit report? This is what I was trying to avoid.
        I have 20 days to get this back to them signed and they will file it but I am not sure what to do. I thought setting up an arrangement would keep it from having a legal judgement against me.
        What should I do and how does this affect me now?
        Thanks

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Ruth – Please clarify whether I am understanding this correctly:

          You settled with a payment arrangement of 50%. You are making payments in installments. They want you to sign a stipulation for the agreement to pay 50% of the balance.

          Is that accurate?

          Is there anything in the agreement that states that judgment will be “filed and entered with the court”, but only related to if you miss a payment in the agreement?
          I have seen situations where a stip gets filed in the court record and shows up as a judgment in a credit report, even though payments were made on time and to completion. I have also seen scenarios where the stip is only triggered when a payment is missed and then it shows in the credit report.

          What you are talking about has become a fairly standard set up when settling a lawsuit for less. Its how the lawyer looks to protect their client (Midland Funding), if the agreement is not followed through on.

          A couple of options for you to consider are:
          Pull together the resources from where ever you can to pay the 50% in one payment and quickly.
          Defend the suit to buy time, or to win.

          • Hi-
            Your first question: You settled with a payment arrangement of 50%. You are making payments in installments. They want you to sign a stipulation for the agreement to pay 50% of the balance. Is accurate; this is due back to them by 4/30.
            In the stipulation cover letter it states that I will not be charge interest if payments are met but in the stip itself it says that interest will accure at 10%-
            To your second question; what it states after outlining total line items due and then the settlement amount and payment plan, “Upon receipt of the full settlement amount, Plaintiff will file an Acknowledgment of Satisfaction of Judgment with the court. Then it just goes on to talk about Abstract of Judgment and consequences of not keeping the agreement.
            Doubtful that I can come up with $1600-
            If I file an answer with the court-what is the purpose if I’ve already agreed to this settlement; is it to buy time to come up with the settlement amount?
            I don’t know how I would win in this circumstance- Your input is appreciated very much.
            Thanks for all you do for everyone- I was completely lost before.

            • Michael Bovee says:

              Ruth – Thank you for the additional detail. Your comment on the debt consolidation page that I have not replied to yet also becomes part of the picture, but I will hit the topic differently in my reply over there.

              What you have shared suggest to me that you will indeed end up with a judgment filed in the court. You will have a satisfaction of judgment filed upon payment completion. I know that is something you want to avoid, and you do have other options. But the scenario you outlined is becoming more and more common with collection lawsuits, no matter if it is Midland Funding llc, another purchaser, or the original creditors that still file collection lawsuits themselves. Best case scenario to put this behind you is to come up with the full 50% payment.

              Alternatives:

              File an answer and defend the suit with an experienced debt collection defense attorney. There is a cost to this path, and you can only determine that by consulting with the type of attorney you would want. The cost could be about what you are settling for, or significantly less. Defending a collection lawsuit, even with expert help, has no guarantee outcome. You could spend the money to defend, and still lose. That would mean paying fees for help, and ending up owing the balance anyway.

              With combined debts a few hundred over 10k, it is at least worth doing the math of what a chapter 7 bankruptcy would look like for you. Rather than putting a plan together to tackle your combined debts using bankruptcy alternatives, you could look at embracing bankruptcy (if you do chapter 7), and getting a fresh start. Depending on where you live, if your situation is straight forward (which it appears to be), you could be in and out of bankruptcy in perhaps 90 days, the Midland Funding lawsuit stops, the other credit card and medical debts are eliminated.

              Most people want to avoid bankruptcy if it can be avoided. I believe you can avoid it, but you should be thorough and consider it, and consult with a nearby attorney specializing in bankruptcy as an alternative. Try to do that this week.

              There is one other way to look at this that I will detail in my reply to your comment on the other post.

  77. Hello so Midland offered me a settlement for 5200 for 30mths @175. I told them I need it in writing and a letter showing paid in full upon payment completion. But now they sent me a letter saying reassignment of case and they sent it to a new courthouse and its all the way across the other side of town. I really don’t understand why they made this change.

  78. Alexandria says:

    I was served today that Midland filed to sue me for $3100. That was from a cc with Chase. The date on the letter states it was filed on 4/2/13. I have 10 days to respond. I would like to know if i am still with enough time to settle? I hope at least 50 percent. Payment would be made on this coming Friday. Any suggestions??

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Alexandria – Settling with Midland Funding LLC after being sued can be accomplished in these early days after having been served. The amount of money you can resolve the old Chase account for at this stage of collections will vary. 50% settlement would typically be considered on the low end of what can be done.

      What state do you live in?
      What is the name of the collection attorney Midland Funding is working with?
      What were the reasons that led to the financial inability to pay Chase? Do any of those reasons persist?

  79. Hello, Midland is contacting me regarding a T-Mobile account ($388) that goes back to 2008/2009 and Midland has been attempting to collect since 2011. Though I knew I probably had paid off the balance on the account before it went to collections, I could not prove it since I did not have the receipt and the account is too old for T-Mobile to track. So, I decided to bite the bullet and settled the account for $200 and Midland is going to report the account as paid.

    Now, I have found an email receipt showing that the I paid the account. What should I do at this point? All I want is to get the trade-line off my credit reports.

    Thanks – Benny

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Benny – Contact Midland Credit Management with this new information and see how they handle this type of thing. You cannot be the first instance like this to have ever happened. You are the first one to post something like this here though.

  80. Hi
    I have been sued by Midland Funding LLC for a Chase Bank loan that went into default due to sickness and loss of job. I managed to pay all my other loans with what saving I had before I got sick. I had a court date about 3 months ago, but before the hearing date I was sent a notice for continuance and now I have a new court date for 5-10-13. The amount of the money that I owed Chase was about 5000.00. I live in Texas, and I don’t have any source of income anymore. I live with a family member now. All I have to my name is a Truck that is paid for thank God, and a computer. The family member that I live with gets social security and thats what we live on. I hate that I owe money to anyone, but I can’t help not being able to pay off the debit. I don’t have the money for a lawyer, so I guess I’m going to face it alone. I was wondering if Midland gets a judgment aginst me. What can they do if anything to me here in Texas?
    By the way the account is not SOL yet.
    Thanks for your help

    Tony B

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Tony – Were a judgment obtained, from what you have shared, you would be at risk of a bank account levy. DO you have a source of income like SSDI?

  81. Hello Midland is suing me and I filed my answer and we have been in talks on a settlement with one close for an installment payment. Now they sent a letter transferring my case to another court house across town as well as changing the court case. I don’t understand what this is for and the courthouse is over 25miles away from me.

  82. Hello,
    I recently discovered that there is a judgment against me in state of OH filed in 2011. I’ve been residing in NJ since 2010. This was filed under Midland Funding- but the law firm that placed an judgment was Javitch, Block and Rathbone?
    I contacted Midland a few days ago, and forwarded me to call Javitch for more info. I contacted Javitch and they said they don’t cover area where I lived, and will give back the case to Midland. I want to reverse this judgment that (im sure) defaulted by now. I had no recollection or received any letter regarding this.
    The debt might be valid, I mistakenly thought that I had only 1 credit card, but I had 2 in the past. I paid the other one off, and this one may be valid- although I am not convinced it’s the right amount. What’s the first step that I need to do?
    1. I need to know how to remove the judgment in OH since the lawfirm that files on behalf of midland cannot collect to me based on where I live.
    2. I threw away all the past bills thinking that I was done with all this, so I don’t know how to confirm the debt amount. I’m sure Midland overcharging me.
    thank you

    -M

    • Michael Bovee says:

      m k – If your primary goal is to get the judgment removed or set aside, you should connect with an attorney of your own in Ohio, and one with experience with this type of situation. It can be difficult to undo something like this after it is entered in the court record more than a years time.

      Who was the original lender for this debt? Is the lender showing up on your credit report? If so, you can find the amount you owed and then reference that amount with what Midland Funding sued for. You will likely find the balance owed on the judgment will be higher than what was originally owed due to court costs, attorney fees, and the judgment interest that will have accumulated through to today. This is common.

      An alternative to arguing a judgment several states away if you determine the debt is valid could be to settle the debt and get the court record updated to show as satisfied.

      • Hi Michael, thank you for your response.
        Yes, it’s my primary goal- however, I no longer live in OH. As of now, I do not have any documents of judgment as it looked like it was mailed to my old boyfriend’s address, and not mine. My credit report stated that I lived there once, however, I never lived there- and this was a long time ago.

        Original lender was HSBC credit card.
        I called them, they suggested that I call Midland since they have my file – (no answer)
        I called Midland, they told me to call Javitch law firm, since they are handling the judgment on midland’s behalf – (no answer)
        I called Javitch, – well you know the story in my original post.

        I understand if this is showing in my credit report under a collection, however- I was not aware of the judgement. So why can’t this be removed, if I am not aware of this? no calls, mails, etc… Or else i would’ve taken care of this. I did for all my debt in the past.
        the court fees- not my responsibility- again, because I was not aware of this. I live about 600 miles away anyways.

        credit report is showing that $390 was written off under HSBC account- and a lender purchased (I assume meaning: midland funding)
        under midland account is showing $0 balance. so I’m not sure where the $1063 coming out from.

        and the judgment is for $1063

        can I just write a letter with my credit report proving the $390 (incorrect amount) and a copy of my apartment lease during the time they filed the judgment?
        Just to proof that I really did not receive any mail from the court. I really want this to be taken down from credit report before i pay for this.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          M k – Many courts provide online access to their dockets. Try that first. Maybe as a friend local to the court house to pop in and and a print out of the court docket from the clerk and fax or scan that back to you.

          I wish I had more favorable feedback for you, but here is the reality:

          The suit is in the court record. Any entry of the judgment on your credit report is the result of the court record. The only way to legitimately deal with the credit report showing a judgment will be through the court at this point. No, I do not think you will be able to write to the credit reporting agencies in the way you suggest to get the credit cleaned up. The agencies are going to rely on the court record that was shared with them. In 99% of these types of situations it is now going to be your efforts, and the decisions you make from here, that resolve this.

          Compare the judgment of 1063.00 and the costs to settle that for as much savings as possible, with the cost of hiring an attorney in Ohio without any real guarantee of the result you need. Settling will probably be the less costly route.

          Those are the realities as I see them. You will have the HSBC charge off already on your credit report showing a zero balance due, a Midland Funding LLC or Midland Credit Management entry showing a paid collection (if on there now), and a judgment in the public records section of your credit report showing a satisfied judgment. If you go the settlement route, be sure to get any agreement documented, and that the documentation states a satisfaction of judgment will be filed with the court.

          • Hi Michael, thank you.
            I will try to settle.
            I have another question before I settle with midland.
            I had another judgment last year with also midland funding, and they filed it correctly where I reside currently, NJ. I paid this off and credit report shows as payment satisfied.
            I just discovered, that the judgment was only for $664, and I had paid last year for total of $1097.85 with the lawfirm that filed for midland funding, Pressler & Pressler. All the case # and account matches, while the debt was not.
            I overpaid for almost double the amount. What should I do? is this legal?

            • Michael Bovee says:

              m k – Is this legal questions should always be directed to an attorney in your state. I can tell you that it is common for a judgment debt to increase with interest set by the court. It is pretty common to see a judgment amount listed along side “plus attorney fees and court costs”. This could be what occurred in your situation.

              To get a clearer understanding of what to make of the Midland Funding judgment you could:

              Request information from Pressler and Pressler – Speak with Midland Funding directly – Consult with your own attorney – Ask the court clerk how much judgment interest was assessed and how much of what was paid was for court costs etc.

              • mia kristanto says:

                Hi Michael,
                I have been in correspondence with MCM for proof of debt, etc via mail. I now have responded via fax that I want to discuss payment arrangement, and had offered an amount to settle with possible 2 dates for payments. The lady I spoke on the phone mentioned, once I faxed, please wait 10 days then call again to discuss.
                I received a numerous “unknown” calls and never received any messages, and finally picked up their phone calls on a sunday. The person was very rude, and have an accusation that i was hard to reach, and we have to make payment arrangement. I requested to speak to someone else since he was very condescending and rude, and he wasn’t aware that I have been in touch with MCM. He said that I will have to stuck and deal with him, and there would be no way I could have someone else take care of my account.. him and I will just have to find a way to communicate he said. He calls on Sunday by the way. and several also on saturday.
                I told him that he should not be calling on a sunday and would really appreciate if I can call back monday. His response was that sunday also his working days, and since i cannot be reach at all during the week, which was a false statement, that we should just figure it out now.(the previous week I picked up their calls twice, and once i picked up, i was put on hold with automated system, then hung up on me)

                On monday, I contacted his supervisor twice, and never received any calls back.
                I want to settle this , and I proposed to settle half of my balance to be paid this friday 6/28. But yet it seems that the supervisor does not even bother to call me back.
                What should I do..?

                • Michael Bovee says:

                  mia – You may want to call the main number for Midland Credit Management: 800-265-8825 and start your conversation with something like “I am trying to resolve my debt, but am having difficulty communicating with others I have been connected with at MCM. Can you please connect me with a manager or supervisor so that a payment can be arranged….”

                  I did not get from your comment that you have already reached an agreement to settle with MCM for the amount you suggested you could pay. If that agreement is not yet in place, be prepared to participate with them in the normal way they handle this type of call. Try not to get too hung up on the demeanor of anyone collecting a debt from you. Just maintain your focus on the result you can afford and do it with a professional tone.

  83. Michael,

    I have a collection from an agency that took on an old T-Mobile bill of $400 from three years ago. I’m trying to clean up my credit and want this resolved. They’ve been sending me settlements for about 40 percent less — which is still a lot based on my age and salary — and I’ve not had the cash to settle. Now that I do, I want it off my credit report and I sent them a pay to delete letter for the offered settlement last month.

    I received a letter in the mail requesting assistance so that they could reach a quick resolution to my dispute.

    It sounds like this isn’t an agreement — but in the letter I made it clear I wanted to settle this debt in exchange for it being removed from all my credit files. The only time I mentioned dispute and stating that by the Fair Debt Collections Act, I have the right to dispute and all that good stuff. What should be my next step?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      SN – Who is the collection agency you are dealing with?

      • Midland.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          SN – It is unlikely you will get a pay for delete from Midland Credit Mngmt. If you settle the account and the Midland Funding LLC entry in your credit report is updated to reflect a zero balance owed, your credit report and score will heal from there.

          As far as what to do next, contact Midland and discuss your options over the phone. Letter writing is just not that effective. Be sure to get any agreement you may make with them in writing before making any payment.

          • So if I call and agree to settle, whatever the amount I settled for (full or a settlement price) should I ask them in writing that the payment will then make the account on my credit report say “paid in full?”

            What if I send another letter for the full amount in exchange for a delete? Is that worth a try or is it just worth calling since they returned my offer with a claim that I’m disputing the debt?

            • Michael Bovee says:

              SN – Calling is how you get the deal done the vast majority of the time. If it were me in your shoes, I would not waste any effort with trying to get the account Midland Funding has on the credit reports removed. Calling Midland, striking a deal to pay (whether for less or in full), followed by getting the agreement in writing before making a payment, is a fairly painless process. Once you have paid what it is that was agreed, check your credit report 30 to 60 days later to be certain they updated their entry to show a zero balance due. If your credit reports are not update after 60 days you will use the written agreement and proof of payment in a dispute with the credit reporting agencies that you can copy to midland as well. But you should find that they update the credit report. Post an update to this comment string if not.

              The Midland Credit Management/Midland Funding LLC trade line showing as paid in full, or as settled for less, is not what will lead to the improved credit. The zero balance owed and the fact that the account is resolved is what moves you forward with credit recovery.

  84. Received a letter from debt collector regarding an old auto insurance bill. I had repeatedly disputed the debt with the original company. They said I owed $1200. The insurance company ignored my request for validation and gave it to bill collector. The thing is, they (bill collector)sent a demand for this “debt” and stated that I owed $0. I immediately sent a letter reminding them that I had always and will always dispute that I owe this insurance company anything. I acknowledged that they also must see it my way as they are stating that I owe a zero balance. Since this “law firm” (bill collector) put in writing that I owe nothing, is it settled or can they come back after sending me this statement and say that they just made a boo boo and continue coming after me for money not owed in the first place?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Terri – It is a bit odd to get a collection letter that is trying to collect “zero” dollars. It is as you say, probably a boo-boo. You can contact them and reiterate any dispute you have even on a zero balance account.

      • Received a new letter from the collector today stating that they received my letter regarding the fact that I didn’t owe them and they must agree as they are demanding “zero dollars” from me. They stated that it was a computer error and they can’t be held responsible for that! They aren’t responsible for what collection letters that they sent out say? Will continue to request verification of debt.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Billing and mailing errors happen in every industry.

          Did you take up your dispute against the original insurer with your states insurance regulators? You may want to look into that if you haven’t.

  85. Elizabeth says:

    If a court finds in your favor over a lawsuit pertaining to an old debt that was proven not to be mine, can the credit bureau continue to report this false info on your report? I sent them court documents showing that a judge said I wasn’t responsible for this debt, but they continue to smear my report saying that it has been verified as being mine!!! I have a judgement in my favor saying that it isn’t.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Elizabeth – What were the issues that were in your favor for the judge to rule that way (like identity theft or fraud), and who was suing you?

      • Elizabeth says:

        The first one was dismissed without prejudice the second dismissed with prejudice and the one that went to court was dismissed by the judge for lack of evidence. The court docs say “No Cause of Action” in my favor.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Elizabeth – If the lawsuits were for debts that were proven as not yours, and the credit reporting is not removed after your administrative attempts, you should consider hiring an attorney with FCRA experience to assist you.

          If however, the court cases were dismissed due to defenses that could not be overcome by a debt buyer (or where they did not try), but where you did legitimately owe the lender the debt purchaser bought the debt from, the credit reporting entries will often remain the full 7.5 years from date of last activity with your original lender. In other words, you may have successfully defended a collection lawsuit, but the credit stain can remain.

  86. A judgment was entered on me March 22, 2010 by Midland and I spoke with the attrys and agreed to pay $150 a month to settle the debt. I received a letter dated April 1, 2010 stating Midland had recalled the account from their office. I spoke with Midland Feb 2012 to inquire how to take care of the judgment that is appearing on my credit report and they informed me that they no longer can collect for the debt and sent me a letter stating it would be removed my credit report. A year later the judgment is still on my report and I have been in contact with Midland to get this matter settled. I spoke to a representative in the Consumer Support Dept that stated they never entered a judgment on me and requested I send a copy of the judgment to them to have it removed. Today I spoke with them and now they are stating that they will send the information to the proper department to determine my payout amount. Is this legal? Can I do anything to have this judgment removed?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Jessica – You have a confusing situation, or a straight forward situation that only became confused by information you were given.

      Who is the plaintiff listed in your lawsuit? I want to be certain it was midland Funding in the first place.
      What state do you live in?
      What is the amount of the judgment?

      • Midland Funding LLC is listed as the plaintiff.
        I live in Alabama.
        The judgment amount is $3893.23 less a payment of $150 so $3743.23.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Jessica – The judgement on your credit is there due to the courts record itself. If there is a problem with how the judgment got there, getting it removed may not be possible, but if it can be, it would be something you have to do with the court. That would be best accomplished by having an attorney of your own, and they will have a cost. Settling with Midland Funding obviously has a cost as well. If you go that route, be sure that any agreement you make states clearly that the court will be noticed so that the judgment will show satisfied in the record, which will get updated to your credit reports after a month or three. If the credit reports are not updated after a couple months you can write to the credit reporting bureaus with copies of the court record and get them updated that way too.

          I really cannot say what led to the confusion about the debt being collectible, or being recalled etc. The judgment is obviously there now though, and needs to be dealt with.

  87. This is not a collection agency. They buy your debt for a penny on the dollar. Your credit card never recieves the money leaving the original debt owner to sue you. This guy has no idea what he is talking about. It will be a cold day in hell before I give someone a penny for buying MY DEBT.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      carolyn – I do not mind publishing your opinion on my web site. If you make future comments, just don’t post like a troll (to antagonize). I will just delete them.

      It is certainly your choice how to handle your own individual debt. Most people who run into a tough financial patch, who later recover, are looking for ways to resolve debts. My site is primarily designed to provide information about doing that. I assume most people read through the site in that context.

      Your comment contained 5 sentences. 4 out of 5 of them, when read literally, are wrong.

      Midland is licensed as a collection agency throughout the United States. You can verify this for yourself. If you are not able to accept that I call them a collection agency, perhaps you will more readily believe state and federal regulators, and hundreds of courts around the nation, about this fact.

      Midland does not buy all of their debt for a penny on the dollar. Portfolios of debt have different prices. Bundles of really old debts can sell for less than a penny on the dollar. Bundles of freshly charged off credit card debts have been sold for as high as 18 cents on the dollar. Current pricing trends for freshly charged off credit card debts can average around 8 cents on the dollar. Bundles of credit card debts that have been reduced to judgment can sell for more. The FTC recently published a 3 year long study that calculated an average purchase price of 4 cents on the dollar (using a 3 year data set of purchases made). Perhaps if you cannot accept what I share on this topic, you can read through the FTC study and accept their estimate, which is 300% higher than yours. There is a tendency for some people to focus on what a debt buyer spends to purchase the legal rights to collect on a debt, but it is not all that useful a piece of information unless defending against a lawsuit. Even then it is not all that useful when there are better areas to focus on in defense of a debt buyer claim.

      I am not clear with what you meant by the credit card never receiving money. If a debt buyer purchases a debt from the creditor, and legal right to the debt is transferred to the buyer, the creditor got paid in the transaction. If Midland Funding is paid by a consumer for a debt Midland bought, than of course the creditor does not get paid. Midland purchased the legal right to the debt, as allowed for and spelled out in most credit card contracts we agree to when we open a credit card. Original debt owners (the originator of the loan), do not sue on debts they legally transferred to bad debt investors. There may be some extremely rare one off examples of something like this, but not enough to support the generalization you made.

      You referred to “this guy” not knowing anything. This is the troll part of your comment I referred to above. I do know a thing or two about the topic covered on this, and many other pages of the site. I knew enough to correct you with verifiable facts. I will leave my comment at that.

      Like I said, you can do what ever you want about your debt. I am not sure why you would post a comment on my site about it though.

  88. Hi,

    Its been useful to read the comments posted on this site. I have three debts. One that is in current settlement(I negotiated a settlement amount and is currently making installment payments). After reading several posts I should have created a different bank account for this. I have it linked to my regular checking account now. The question I have on that one is what will happen to the forgiveness amount? Will this be forwarded to the IRS. The amount forgiven will be about $10K. Also, once I pay in full do I contact them or the original creditor to make sure it shows PAID FULL reflecting on my credit report.

    My other question pertain to my second debt with Midland. I have been on the phone with them back and forth negotiating a settlement amount. Original creditor is Wells Fargo. Amount is $16K. I negotiated a settlement amount of $2900, however they won’t take a payment plan option? I can’t give them the full amount right now. I told them I can give them $1K and give the rest in payments over the next 4/5 months. They wouldn’t take it. They stated that they spoke to management and that in order to take the great deal they were offering it would have to be the full amount paid by the end of this month. I’m not working right now. I can’t borrow the money from anyone. I could withdraw from my IRA, but I’ll have to deal with the tax and penalties. How can I convince them of a payment plan? I don’t want to be sued.

    My third debt is with the IRS($6K). I’m trying to do an offer of compromise but I don’t think I qualify based on my IRA amount. I’m currently making installment payments on this debt as well. I was told to just transfer my assets to a family member to show I have nothing. True?

    Ro

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Ro – Once you are finished paying the settlement on the first account referenced, you would typically get a 1099c the following January showing the forgiven debt amount etc. Whether or not you owe taxes on that will depend on whether or not you are solvent/insolvent. See this post for more info: http://consumerrecoverynetwork.com/debt-forgiveness-taxes-settled-credit-card – Sometimes you do not get the 1099c. It is best to still account for what you know was forgiven debt in the prior year.

      When settling a debt, most often you wait 30 to 60 days to check your credit reports to be sure the creditor/buyer/collector updated their reporting to show a zero balance due. If you find a problem in the way the now settled account is reported, you can use the settlement letter and proof of payment in a dispute with the credit report agencies and copy the provider of that info too.

      Your Wells Fargo account now with Midland: Ro – If there is ANY way for you to take them up on the offer and pay in one sum – do it. That is a fantastic offer. I know you said that you cannot think of a way to come up with the money. If you have to arrange payments, the amount you will pay will be higher. That is standard with Midland Credit Management and Midland Funding both (and many other debt collectors for that matter). With payments you get the convenience of monthly affordability, but often lose some of the overall savings advantage.

      I am not sure who advised you to transfer assets to a family member as it relates to your IRS debt, but it would be looked at as a ploy. I just do not think something like that is going to go over very well with the IRS. You are already managing the situation as best you can. When push comes to shove, the IRS will come first over your unsecured debts.

      Don’t get hung up too much on making payments on the settlement you have going through your regular bank account. It is what it is. It only matters if there is an error in payment drafts, which are not all that common, just hard to deal with if they occur. It can also matter if you cannot follow through on a scheduled payment (may overdraft you causing shortage on bills etc).

      • Thanks for the reference in regards to the debt forgiveness. I definitely have more debt than assets which might result in an “insolvent” status.

        My major concern(once I became delinquent with my debts) was whether or not to do a settlement with each debt or file a BK. I have a total debt amount of $30K. As I said previously I’m currently making payments on one of them. Would you suggest I continue to settle or file for a BK? I’m trying to do the best I can to eliminate debts and re-establish my credit.

        About Midland, yes I agree it surely is a great offer. I’m trying to do the best I can to figure a way to give them a lump sum. I was just hoping they would accept a partial payment now and then make an arrangement for the payments later. They gave me two days to think about it. *Sigh* If I comply, I’ll request for the settlement letter before I provide payments.

        With regards to the IRS debt, I’ve read about an Offer of Compromise(alternative to settle IRS debt). Since I’m not working and have limited assets, there is a chance I might qualify. However, with the possible “asset name change” I’m sure they’ll have their suspicions and paper trail it. I wasn’t sure how else to handle this debt. If you have suggestion on this, I would appreciate it:)

        Truly grateful for your advice,

        Ro

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Ro – If you can qualify for a chapter 7 where your unsecured debts, like the credit card settlement you are paying now and the debt with Midland Funding llc will be discharged, it can often be the least costly path to eliminate debt. IRS debt can be discharged in a chapter 7 when it meets certain criteria, but my hunch would be you would still be left to pay that debt. It absolutely makes sense to speak with a bankruptcy attorney. Most offer free initial consults, so the price is right….

          Given the little info I have from our comment exchange, if you can settle all of your debts within the next 12 months (including the IRS debt paid off if it is a lien showing on your credit), you would recover credit wise rapidly after that, and possibly quicker than after filing a chapter 7.

          In the final analysis it does boil down to affordability first, then consider which direction helps you accomplish your future goals the fastest.

          I do not have much to offer as feedback for your IRS debt. If you are getting help from a tax pro on your OIC, than stick with that unless you opt for the chapter 7.

          • I’m sure I can qualify for a Chapter 7 BK. It’s the cost that concerns me to hire an attorney in order to do so. With that cost, I can settle the Midland account. I’m trying to avoid a BK.

            It appears that the main issue is that I can’t pay the full $2900 right now to Midland. I might have no other choice but to try and negotiate partial payments even if its means settling at a higher amount. My goal is to pay all of this debt in 6 months. I’m trying to buy a new car and re-establish credit within 1 year if possible.

            My first debt is already being paid in installments, Midland is in negotiations, and although I have IRS debt I’m selling a vehicle that might take care of that in the next 30 days. I hear it takes years to establish credit after a BK. I don’t have time for that. Do you know of what type of withdrawals and penalties I’ll incur if I withdraw from my Traditional IRA. I might take that option? I’m not receiving advice in regards to the OIC. I read about it on their website and thought this might be an options for me as well.

            • Michael Bovee says:

              Ro – Each situation with early withdrawal from an IRA can be different. If you can find a way to get through this whole situation without touching it, that would be better. But I understand that there are situations where the math supports the decision to make an early withdrawal.

              If you would be filing bankruptcy over the Midland Credit Management account only, I am with you, it would not be much less of a cost when you compare the national average cost of chapter 7 of roughly 1800.00 with the settlement offer from Midland. When considering only the Midland collection account, you would be filing bankruptcy over roughly one thousand dollars….

  89. I have received a summons over a credit card account from Midland. They attached to the summons what I believe is “validation” that the debt is mine from a Legal Specialist for MCM. The document clearly states account charged off 4-10-2006 and the last payment to the account was 2-28-2007. The Tennessee statute of limitations is 6 years and this falls withing the time frame for the SOL. My court date is May 2013 and if you have any advise on how I should address this on my court date I would appreciate it.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Joyce – Ideally you will want to consult with your own attorney when sued. If the debt is indeed outside of the SOL for credit card debts in Tennessee, your answer and defense is going to be pretty basic – as in – the debt is time barred.

      If you did make a payment in Feb of 07, counting forward 6 years means they missed the mark. But the suit may have been filed with the court in time, just not served to you immediately if you were not able to be easily found. I really would suggest running all this by an experienced collection defense attorney.

  90. I have the money to settle two accounts that are currently held by a Law Firm from Midland Funding. My question is regarding my credit. Is there any way to negotiate with the Attorneys to have my debt removed once payment has been made or I do I have to wait the typical seven years before it is removed from my credit?

    I sent the Law Firm a letter stating that I am willing to pay the accounts in full if they would remove all the negative information from my credit, but I have not heard back from them. It has been about a month.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Claudia – Are the Midland Finding debts with the law firm part of any court action, or is the collection firm only recently trying to collect from you?

      If these are not judgments, paying the debts in full or for less is not going to get the credit reporting removed. The collection firm has absolutely no part of the credit reporting anyway. You can expect your credit reports to be updated after payment with a zero balance owed. It can take up to 60 days after payment for the credit report to be updated. If it somehow fails to be updated, you can get it corrected yourself. Be sure that any arrangement you make with the law firm is documented before making any payment. You may need that documentation and proof of payment later.

      The credit reporting entry from Midland Funding LLC (if any), is related to accounts with your original creditor who would be showing a charge off status. The negative entry from the original lender, and any credit report entry from Midland Funding should age off of your credit report no later than 7.5 years from the date you first missed a payment to the original lender. Even though the negative collection and charge off reporting stays on your credit report for a considerable amount of time, you credit will improve over time. You can still access credit at fair pricing in the near future, and before this stuff ages off.

      If you want to resolve the debts I would not waste much effort with writing letters. Phone calls are more effective 99% of the time in my experience.

      • geting one heck of an education on these posts, so if I understand you correctly if someone “settles” with any collection agency in this case midland, it does not help you credit score ???

        • Michael Bovee says:

          don – Yes and no. You do not typically see an immediate bump to your credit score from the “act” of settling with Midland or other collectors and creditors that are showing a key derogatory or collection item on your credit report. What you do see within usually 30 days is a zero balance owed updated to the credit report. This helps your debt to income ratio part of calculating your score, and would help get approved for mortgages etc. Once the account is resolved, and updates as such on your credit report, your credit score can make rapid or incremental jumps in 3, 6, 9 months depending on what else is good and bad on the report.

          I do not want to make this sound complicated, it’s not. It is just different from one persons set of circumstances to the next. Let me put it this way:

          If there are 7 good things reporting on your credit, and only one bad item from Midland Funding, paying it off or settling with them will help your credit report more rapidly in my experience.

          If you have only 2 items on your credit report, one of them good, and the Midland collection being the other, settling or paying it will typically result in a longer time frame needed to bring up your credit again.

          Feel free to ask questions in the comment section of any posts you read. That is what the site is here for.

      • One of the debts is a judgment, so how will that be handled differently?
        I called the Law Firm and they told me that they would only issue a letter once payment is received stating that the debt has been settled, so I can’t obtain documentation prior to the releasing of funds. I don’t see that I have any options left…or do I?

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Claudia – Paid or settled judgments with the attorney for Midland Funding will mean the judgement should be updated as satisfied with the court. You should look for any written agreement to settle or pay the judgment debt they are collecting, contain the fact that THEY will notify the court the judgment has been satisfied.

          You can get the court record updated yourself with the proper documentation and proof of payment, but getting them to do it is far better.

          If you are paying the judgment debt for less than the balance owed on it, I would suggest getting that outlined in writing before paying. Even if you are paying it off in full, I would recommend getting something in writing before paying. Midland Funding attorney may have been referring to that fact that they are not going to file anything with the court until your payment is received. That is normal. If they are agreeing to accept less than the full judgment amount to satisfy it, paying them first means an attorney can drag its feet on updating the court record, and they may not follow through. I have seen enough of this lately with judgment debt situations where it is just smart to get the docs in hand before making the lower pay off to settle it.

          I would not suggest paying anything on the non judgment Midland Funding account until you have that agreement documented. That document and proof of payment can later be used to update your credit reports if Midland misses that step, and will also come in handy if some mistake happens later on.

          Documenting settlement and payments is pretty standard stuff. What is the name of the law firm?

  91. I settled a debt with Midland Funding LLC after they sued me in St. Louis. I disputrd things I did not buy using my credit card. Theu publicised my name. I settled with midland. It did not improve my credit score. I understand that they bundle the debt and sold it to Mid Land LLC. may be we sent our money to the wrong place. I settled few little amounts with AFNI too. The attorneys have several names in many places. My court case# in St. Louis Circuit Cpourt , Division 27 is : 1022-AC06363. I need some help how to contact the lawyer to send me a letter that the account has been paid. In my opinion to say they are thieves is an understatement. We need a reform in debt collection!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Gedlu – Debt Collection in the US has long been in need of reform.

      If you have already paid what was agreed to settle the collection with Midland, where was that payment sent, to the attorney suing you, or to a Midland Funding address?

      When was the payment made, and what is showing about this account in your credit report right now?

  92. The payment was made at the end of January. They Jacked up to a high figure including court costs. I settled with Midland for $900. the strange thing is that it appears as unpaid for Capital One, with court judgement underscored. That is deregatory. Both Midland and capital one have told me that the court judgement will not be removed even if I have settled for less amount or half amount. The original creditor , I believe, had gotten its loan amount, however I paid a total of $2,400 for a loan of $1,500, what I paid each month is less. I sent to Midland Credit management, LLC, but the debt show as Capital One with Court Judgememnt. As early as yesterday some told me (capital One and Midland), it will take another 3-4 months to show on my credit report but the court judgement will not be removed. It looks like a life sentence affecting one’s livelihood. I appreciate this web site for the exchange and discussion, you made me feel home. We need a reform to put the phone numbers of each creditor, when the loan is bundled up and sold to another creditor. Calling them is a nightmare. Each transfers you to another caller and some tell you that reporting to the credit Bureau is not their job,- they evADE RESPONSIBILITY. yESTERDAY i HAVE TO HOLD HOURS. i BELIEVE SOME TELEPHONE NUMBERS ARE OUTSOURCED, BECAUSE i HEAR PEOPLE WITH ACCENTS ALSO. tHANK YOU FOR YOUR SOLUTIONS.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Gedlu – I have some concerns with what you are sharing. You should not be dealing with Capital One and Midland Credit Management on the same account that is in the courts. The best way to get to the bottom of this, that will help me provide meaningful feedback, would be to speak with you. Scroll all the way up on this page and fill in the form box in the right column that is used to request a CRN consultation and hit submit. I will connect with you from there.

  93. I owed $6429 to Bank of America. The last reported date on this account was 03/08.

    Midland purchased this account on 06/11 and has been reporting collection on my credit since then.

    I live in Texas and the SOL for our state is 4 years. So legally they can’t do anything but they’re trashing my credit.

    I am sure I received a letter from them on 2011 but since I know the SOL was passed I did not request a DV.

    Now I am trying to refinance my house the this report will stop me getting approved.

    Is there anything I can do about this? I appreciate any help you can give me.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Tony – In order to get over the refi goal line you will likely have to settle with Midland Funding and get their entry to show a zero balance owed.

      If the date of last activity with BofA was 3/2008, you have 2 to 2.5 years of the Midland Funding credit report entry to show before it should age off of the credit report along with the Bank of America charge off.

      If you weigh the value of settling the Midland collection account at say 50% beside what you save with a lower interest rate on your home, settling and getting the refi should win. Otherwise, you could wait out the credit reporting time line. If you go this route, make sure you monitor your report to see that Midland’s entry falls off at the same time BofA does. That is how it should work, but doesn’t always, and it is a quick fix.

  94. Michael,

    I have also received a summons from Midland Funding 764.47. I understand this is less than many people have out there, but I do not wish to have debt lingering over my head. They also have an attorney to represent, assuming this goes to court without settling. I am interested in settling because I’m looking to pay off debts. Am I correct in saying I would contact the listed attorney to arrange a settlement? Also, assuming that he accepts the settlement, should I still send an answer to the court? If I send an answer to the court and the attorney not admitting or denying the debt, could I then contact him later to save for a better lump some? Assuming he accepts the settlement, how will the courts know? Will I need to provide the documentation he sends to me, to the court? Or will he do it? I would rather have this settled outside of the court room if possible.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Chris – At the point where your Midland Funding places your account with an attorney for collection, and most certainly once the attorney files suit, you will need to work something out with the attorney when settling or setting up payments.

      Sound advice is that you should contact an experienced consumer law attorney regarding your many questions. I can offer you some general feedback though.

      If you settle before your answer to the complaint and get that documented and paid, an answer would not necessarily be required, as you resolved it. The attorney would dismiss the suit shortly after your settlement money clears.

      You can always contact the attorney after responding through the court in order to resolve the debt. With the balance as low as yours, I just would not expect the amount of the settlement to change.

      If the settlement is accepted and funded, the collection attorney would typically file a motion with the court dismissing the case. You would not normally need to notice the court yourself, but one of the reasons you get everything document before paying a settlement is in the event you needed to show your issue is resolved. Attorneys and law firms make mistakes, stuff can slip through the cracks, accidents occur, human error… it’s just best to be prepared.

      • Michael,

        Thanks for your feedback. I have an Answer to send to the Attorney on Monday morning. Would there be any harm in sending the answer and then contacting him the same day to arrange settlement? Or just not send one at all. I just have a simple DV letter written up. Also, as far as the settlement amount… from your experience, do you not expect them to take less than the 764? I understand it’s a smaller amount..but I was thinking of offering maybe 60% of the amount owed? Part of my letter is posted below:

        According to the Summons I received, it states I am indebted to you in the amount of $764.47. At this time, I do not have proper evidence to agree these funds are owed. Under the Fair Debt collection Practices Act (FDCPA), I have the right to request validation of the debt you say I owe you. I am requesting proof that I am indeed the party you are asking to pay this debt, and there is some contractual obligation that is binding on me to pay this debt.
        Be advised this is not a refusal to pay, but a notice that your claim is disputed and validation is requested. This is not a request for “verification” or proof of my mailing address, but a request for validation. I respectfully request that your offices provide me with competent evidence that I have any legal obligation to pay you. I will require 30 days to investigate this information once received.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Chris – I am sorry, but you are making this a bit more complicated than it really is. The FDCPA section about debt validation requests is not going to apply now that you have been sued. You can certainly go after that same type of information, but you will now have to get that through the court process that has already been instigated. There is no reason to send a validation request to Midland Funding, or the attorney. They have no obligation to respond now.

          Yes, I regularly see 60% settlements with Midland Funding. Each settlement is a bit situational, but I think you have a shot at that target.

          If it were me, I would call and negotiate a settlement first. I would say something like “I got served these papers, but I do not really agree I owe this amount. I am prepared to defend the suit, but thought I would call to see if this can just be settled right now for XXX.XX?” If there is nothing to discuss, than you have preserved your right to defend it.

          • Michael,

            Thanks so much. I’m very unfamilar with this process as this is one of two cards I have (and the first time going through this process). I will scratch the letter for now and contact the attorney on Monday. I appreciate your feedback.

            • I called and spoke with them and they would not do a settlement if I did not provide my employment information. I did agree to payment arrangement but they said the attorney’s are still going to request a judgement. This means I will still need to go to court, correct?

              • Michael Bovee says:

                I understand that setting up payment arrangement is sometimes the only way to get through a collection event, but you would be better served by settling if you can afford to. That is how you avoid a the consent or stipulation to judgement being part of the court record and part of your credit report for the next 7 years.

                What amount of money can you come up with?

  95. Michael,
    State police just left papers at my parents house for me. Midland Funding, LLC is suing me for $1,937+costs for a Chase Credit card account. I have never in my life received any collection notices from Midland. It says I have to appear in court in 15 days. What are my options? I have no job, no income, and no assets. I’m literally broke right now and probably can’t even afford someone to represent me. What can I do?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Mike – Unfortunately your options are limited. You can file an answer and defend the suit with or without an attorney. You can raise the money to settle with Midland Funding. You can agree to some form of payment.

      The other option, and it is not a good one, is to do nothing. The suit will go to judgment, but you can settle that when you get back on your feet.

      What are your options to raise funds?
      What is your inclination?

  96. I’m in Illinois by the way.

  97. gail gradof says:

    Hello, my husband from whom I have been separated for 4 years, is being sued by Midland Funding, he retained a lawyer to respond to the summons. He owes the money, orginally $6000, now $7000 with interest, but he is on Social Security only with no other income. After the suit was filed he offered Midland about 30% which was all the cash money he had, they responded with a hardship P&L request which we gave to the lawyer, she said to not fill it out yet. We own no real estate and he has a 401k and IRA in his name only. He paid the lawyer $1500 and now she wants him to admit truthfullyon Midland court response that he does owe the money, but we are not sure if she is going to try and settle for less. He is willing to take some money from his 401k to pay the debt, but just the original amount of $6000. If they get a judgement for more, can they garnish his Social Security, 401k or IRA accounts? They are not big by any means. Also, are my checking/savings accounts in jeopordy? It is not my charge account and they do not mention me in the suit. Thank you.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      gail – Social security is exempt from garnishment. So are retirement accounts in situations like this. You are not named in the suit so you are not generally at risk from the suit. If your husbands name is also on your bank account, and were a judgment entered, there could be some risk of a bank levy. If your husband was intent on settling, the 1500 would have been better used for that. Please keep me updated with how this plays out by posting an update to this comment thread. There are other ways to manage the situation. You or he are both welcome to call us here at CRN for a consultation. There is no fee for that.

    • gail gradof says:

      Hi Michael,
      Thank you for the response, I sure wish I had found this website before it all began, thank you SO much for helping those in these situations. I feel that most of us want to pay what we owe in good faith, but when finanacial situations arise that prevent you, you just need some guidance and suggestions. While we did offer Midland some money, they did respond with a request for personal financial information, but we had already contacted a lawyer becuase we did not respond to the summons, and she told us not to provide that to them just yet. The lawyer is filing a response in which my husband answered the questions truthfully, that it is his account and would like to pay the original amount owed the original lender and based on his financial situation make a payments that he can afford. There were many other situations that prevented us from paying, we sold a house and the mortgage broker/title company was owned by the same person and they took off with $50k, so it’s not like we did not want to pay. Anyway, I will keep you posted and good luck to everyone. The lesson we have learned over the years is to not borrow money, we are totally debt free (thanks to Dave Ramsey) and I’m sure we will clear up the problem in an ethical way.

  98. Michael, just yesterday my boyfriend received a letter from midland stating that he owed a debt bought from t-mobile for $1600. My boyfriend has never had an account with t-mobile so the debt can’t possibly be his, but with all these stories of midland ignoring DV’s and continuing to sue anyway, we’re not sure what to do. Especially since he’s 19 years old with little to no resources to fight them. Please help?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Diana – He has not been sued yet. So lets make sure that does not happen. Send in your request and get right to the point that the debt is not his and that there is a mistake being made. Was your boyfriend recently a victim of identity theft?

      • We’re thinking it could have been identity theft but credit companies don’t seem to have any record at all for him (since he hasn’t built credit yet) and his bank account seems fine as well. Now when you say send in a request do you mean the DV? (Since I’m thinking this isn’t something that should be handled over the phone?)

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Diana – Yes, sending Midland a debt validation request or disputing as not your is the first step. You can follow it up with a phone call, but it is a good idea to get the issue documented. If your boyfriends ordeal is not corrected you will want that documentation. Be sure to send all communication certified mail return receipt requested. Post an update to this comment string as things progress.

  99. Hello Michael!

    Thanks for the service you are providing. Here is my situation…

    Midland Financial just served me for a PayPal to Providian to Wamu to Chase Credit Card where my last payment was made on May 18th, 2009 … 4 years ago. I’m located in Colorado – and I believe the SOL is 3 years, but others say it is 6 (perhaps you can share some light :) ). I would like to validate this debt, but from what I have read through your amazingly informative comments… is too late for that step?

    My question to you is should I send a letter to validate the debt and go from there … or should I attempt to settle with the law firm representing Midland Funding LLC in this case.

    Their Law Firm is:
    Ferrell & Seldin
    7807 E. Peakview Ave., Ste. 410

    From what I have read… It sounds like I should NOT call them until I am ready to settle on the account – and to do everything else in writing. My court date is set for early June.

    Thanks for the help Michael!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Greg – You are looking at a 6 year SOL in Colorado for credit card debt. You are correct about it being too late for sending the general request for debt validation. You can still get what you are looking for from a validation request, but you have to do all that through the formal court process at this point.

      If you are in a position to be able to fund a settlement quickly, yes, calling and negotiating with the attorney for Midland Funding is how to get the ball rolling. What is the amount you are being sued for, and what amount can you come up with to settle?

      Have you filed an answer to the lawsuit, or are you hoping to settle this quickly at this point?

      • I have yet to file an answer to the lawsuit … I was going to call the county to be sure they actually filed the case before I responded to them but wanted to get your opinion first. There isn’t a Case Number on the Subpoena and everything I’ve read about debt collection with Midland Funding and Farrell & Seldin is sketchy. They are saying I owe $8500 and if I needed to settle I could come up with $2200 right now. I would love your opinion. Thanks Michael.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Greg – Check with the county. It would be interesting to hear if you uncovered anything out of the ordinary.

          I am not all that confident you would be able to settle for the 2200.00. You may be better off getting your ducks in a row with the court in order to reach an amount you can afford to settle with.

          It is always a good idea to connect with your own attorney in a situation like this. Have you considered doing that?

  100. Hi Michael,

    Just wanted to update you on what’s happened. I had mediation with Midland Funding’s attorney and we agreed that in lieu of judgement they would dismiss my case. In order to get them to do this however, I agreed to pay $50 a month for the first year and $100 starting next year until the balance of $3295 is paid in full. I had to sign an agreement that if I defaulted that a judgement would be entered with the court.
    I feel this was a good option for me. I get the low monthly payments that I need while in nursing school and I avoid the judgement, while paying off a debt that I needed to pay anyways. Thanks for your advice while going through all of this. I really appreciated your time and reading your other posts…..Misty

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Misty – I am glad you were able to work out a payment arrangement with Midland Funding that works for you. It sounds like you were able to get your deal set up in a way that will keep you from having a judgment in the court, and on your credit report, as long as payment are made on time. That is great too. Best of success to you!

  101. I was hoping you could help me. I am currently in debt about 30,000 with 7 cards.
    Two cards are Capitol One, 3 master cards and two Visas held by Bank of america.

    I have been late here and there with payments but have tried to always pay the min balance due to not fall too much behind. Because I have done this I cannot afford to pay the round of next months bills.

    I do have family that is willing to lend me a lump sum to clean up this mess. I would like to come to settlements on these accounts and move forward. Do you think this is possible and at what percentage?
    Please advise.

    Thank you.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Beth – You have some great questions. I can assist you with the estimate of how much money you will realistically need to settle with Bank of America and Capital One. This post is better reserved for discussing resolving debts with Midland Funding LLC or Midland Credit Management. If you plan your strategy for settling correctly, you will never have to deal with either.

      Please follow this link: Settle credit card debt directly with bank. Post a rounded balance for each account and identify which balance is owed to whom. I will then be able to give you a good target amount to expect for your end results.

  102. Fight them!!!!! Do not give in you can win as I did they never showed up to court!

  103. Antonio says:

    Recently I received a NOTICE TO CONSUMER OR EMPLOYEE AND OBJECTION on a case I did not know was in a court for a card credit debt. I do not recall having being served. The lawyer representing Midland Funding LLC was requesting a subpoena to one company I am having an account requesting information like work phone number, cell phone number, banking information among others. As per the information the case was open and judged in 2010 by default. Of course I was not served or improperly served and they have their default. This is water under the bridge. Question is : At this point is anything can de done. I have already asked for documentation proving my debt on certified mail. To squash the subponea I only have 5 days since the letter was received only 11 days before the date that Midland Funding is seeking to request examination of my records. Please let me know

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Antonio – You should really look to get advice from an experienced debt collection defense attorney in a situation like this. General information cannot replace what you need to know about your state laws and local court rules.

      Generally speaking: The debt collector attorney is looking for ways to get paid on the judgment from 2010. Asking for documentation proving a debt would have been timely either before you were sued by Midland, or through the court process, but before a judgment. I realize you were not ware of the suit, so not all that helpful to point out here. My point is that a judgment is in the court, so the debt is proven unless you get that unwound.

  104. I had an Chace bank card since 1996…I was sued by Midland for 12k, In the answers, I asked that they provide me with the original amounts/balances from Chase and Midland, they were unable assumingly….two weeks after I went to pre trial, I received a letter from their Atty and the local court stating the case was “dismissed with our predjudice” it has been 4 months and I just got a letter from Midland to settle for 70% of the 12k….should i send a validation of debt letter?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      kwirth – When did you last make a payment to Chase on this account and what state do you live in?

  105. I am being sued in California by Midland Funding for an old Chase credit card I had. I understand the statute of limitations is four years from the date of first missed payment (September 2008). On my credit report, it shows a few more months of 30 days late. Then the account was closed on December 2008 until April 2010. In May of 2009 it shows 30, 60, 90, 150, 180 again until June 2012, back to closed. My credit report shows Midland having the account starting in May 2012. After the first time I was late I did not make another payment on the account. How does an account go from closed to late again? Does this possible “reopened” account start the SOL clock again at May 2009?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Shane – Credit reporting gets goofed up, and reaging can often happen when accounts get transferred and sold. If nothing else, news about Chase credit card record keeping and data tracking over the last couple of years shows poor system maintenance and account integration.

      Based on what you shared, Midland Funding is suing you on an account that is outside the SOL for California. Have you filed an answer to the complaint? If so, did you raise the SOL defense?

      • I did state that defense in my response. After going back and forth through the legal process with Midland, I have a court date this week. I am a little worried that the judge will see the reaging and award Midland a judgment against me. From you experience and understanding does this seem a likely scenario?

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Shane – If you defend the suit as time barred due to the expiration of the SOL, and raise those arguments well, while placing the ball firmly in the Midland Funding court to prove the debt is not passed the SOL, you have a good shot at it being dismissed.

  106. Hi Michael,
    I’m glad I found your site! I was also served with a summons from Midland and answered it. I am now required to be in court on a specific date and time for trial. Of course Midland has ignored my requests for debt validation! I have disputed the debt and I am still disputing the debt. I am in the state of Georgia and not sure how to proceed with this case. Please help!
    Thanks!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Maira – Are you disputing the debt Midland is suing on because it is not yours, or more on the basis that it is sometimes difficult for a debt buyer to meet requests to prove the debt? My feedback would be different depending on the circumstances you are in. Please post a comment reply with more details.

  107. TRAVIS MCDOW says:

    this account under my name is identity fraud

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Travis – I am not why you posted your comment with just a blunt statement like that. Is there something you are seeking assistance with, or questions you have?

  108. Hi Michael. I am being sued by Midland Funding through Johnson Mark their attorney and I don’t know what to do next. I need some help. I did hire lawyer to help me because I had no idea what to do, but then he told me that he had no experience with these type of cases. He has done so many mistakes in the paperwork he has submitted and therefore I don’t want to continue using his services so now I don’t know what to do.

    Anyway, he first submitted a motion to dismiss because the last payment I made was more than 4 years ago and midland had not provided a signed agreement. They opposed to our motion to dismiss by saying that a signed agreement is not needed as montly statements can suffice and that we had not provided any evidence that the last payment was in 2008. My lawyer didn’t tell me that they had filed this opposition and that I only had 5 days to respond so we did not send a response. Now I received a document from the court saying that my motion to dismiss was denied. They are also ordering me to submit bank statements for 6 years and any other documents pertaining to the debt because midland said we failed to provide those documents and they wanted the court to order us to submit those papers.

    I don’t have the money to pay them and I have no idea what to do next because I almost feel like I already lost because of all the mistakes that my attorney did. But at the same time I don’t want them them to get a judgement just because I failed to respond or failed to provide the documents they requested. Someone Please Help!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Loida – The first thing I want to key in on is the 4 year time frame mentioned. What state do you live in? Are you raising the 4 year issue because the debt may be passed the SOL for Midland Funding to legitimately file suit? What was the date of your last payment on this debt? Who was the original creditor? What is the balance you are being sued for?

  109. I came across this site because I too was served with a summons from Midland in December. I have NEVER received anything prior to being served stating they were collecting a debt. The amount is under $1200. I feel that at this point we must go to court because 1) I don’t have a job, because I am collecting SS for taking care of a spouse/children 2) I feel that if I try to make a deal with them I can’t live up to it because I don’t have income that I could use for payment and I really am so stressed I can’t remember if i had this debt. I really am at a loss and unsure what to do.

    Originally when I responded to the summons (I had 30 days) I denied everything and ask for validation/proof of the debt (found the correct legal verbiage online). I have sent one reply, and about to send a second (all via registered mail) to see what they have any proof as I honestly don’t recall this debt. To this date I have no received any type of response. I think I am going to send another one, but I don’t even have the money for return receipt.

    Today I found out that the court reassigned courthouses/judges. Court is at the end of June. I don’t know what to do.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Dee – Because you are not certain if the debt is yours, the path you are on to identify if the debt belongs to you is a good start. The papers Midland Funding’s attorney filed with the court would typically list who the credit originator was. Who was listed? Did you ever have an account with that creditor? If so, do you recall when you last made a payment? What state do you live in?

      It is best to consult with an experienced attorney when ever you have been sued. With an income limited to social security you may be eligible for low income legal aid. It is worth looking into.

      If your cash flow is so tight that you cannot afford postage, working out some form of payment (if you determine the debt as your own), sounds like it is out of reach. But you cannot know what type of arrangement can be made without engaging in the conversation with them.

      You have gotten this far, but now express you are not sure what to do. What is it you want to do? What is your goal?

  110. Hello, I just received a letter from MCM and it states I can pay a lump sum of $983 at 40% discount from the original $1,690 or have payments of about $220 for 6 months. I kind of just wanna take on the payments for 6 months so it’s easier on me. However, I heard never to give these debt collectors your bank info or debit card info that I wish to pay with. Is this true? Should I not give them this info? Is it better to just mail them money grams monthly? Will they actually mark the debt as “paid in full” as the letter states? Please help.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Arthur – Midland Credit Management makes this type of offer in the normal course of business. They do update the debt on your credit reports once you make that final payment on the 6 month option.

      When it comes to how you make your payments on the settlement agreement, I prefer people follow this guide: http://consumerrecoverynetwork.com/paying-your-credit-card-debt-settlements/.

      I know sending in payments via check seems like it is more convenient and protects you, but these days there can be more snafus with mailed payments than when you follow the recommendations made in that linked report by setting up a different account for all things settlement. You can have the account set up in 30 minutes at the same bank you have now. And can better track all payments, have easily accessible proof of payments, and only put enough in there to cover each payment a couple days before the scheduled day each month.

      • So MCM isn’t just a scam? I’ve read reviews about them “scamming ” people one way or another? I will definitely be opening another account just for that purpose. But by hopping online and signing into my account with them and paying money, am I being protected that they’ll hold up their end of the deal and all collecting calls/letters will stop? Would they eventually sue me if I ignore the letters? I definitely do NOT want that. Thank you

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Arthur – MCM is a debt collector. There are scam review posts about virtually all debt collectors on line. Some of the stuff I read about collections is more akin to an emotional reaction to being stuck with debts that cannot be afforded, but written as “don’t let (insert debt collector name) scam you”. There are also some things you read about debt collectors that raise legitimate concerns over business practices.

          If you recognize the debt MCM is offering the settlement on, and you are in a position to resolve it and move on with your life, you are not being scammed by MCM.

          If you agree to the settlement and pay it up front in one amount, or over 6 months, the collection calls on the debt will stop.

          Midland can and does sue. Whether or not you will be sued I cannot say. If you read the original article above you will get the gist that settling a debt with MCM will often mean saving more than trying to deal with it later on if sued.

          • I went ahead and called MCM and worked out a payment plan that will save me money. I understand you recommend checking credit report 30-60 days after paid in full, correct? Then you say if it’s not updated to have proof of their promise to take action on my credit report. My question is, is the letter they sent out with the payment options and the statement “once you’ve paid all 3 major credit bureaus will be updated and your account will be marked with 0 balance/ paid in full” enough? Does that suffice to cover my butt if they don’t update my report? Or do you suggest something else?

            Thank you!

            • Michael Bovee says:

              Glad to hear you worked it out Arthur. Yes, for credit reporting purposes, the verbiage you quoted provides what you need. If MCM somehow does not update their credit entry, you can get what you need done on your own.

  111. Hi,

    Just got a call from MCM regarding a Tmobile account from 2005 with the last payment in 2008. The only problem is, I have never had a Tmobile account so perhaps someone used my debit card without my knowing to set it up. They gave me the option of going to the police station and filing a complaint and sending them the complaint letter. The amount of money is not the issue as it is a relatively small sum, I just wonder what my options are since I don’t even know what they are talking about? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Kyle – They are suggesting you go on file with a complaint of identity theft, but this may just be a simple mistaken file merge on the part of TMobile. Have you checked your credit report for things you do not recognize, or other collection items?

      • This is the only item on my credit report that is suspicious. Is it worth contesting or would it be simpler and better for my credit to just pay MCM and be done with it?

        • Michael Bovee says:

          If it were me, I would contest it, as it is not mine and does not belong there. Paying a nominal amount to get this out of the way is an option, and would be less of a hassle than contesting, but I would not go there just on principal alone.

  112. TWoods2001 says:

    Hi,
    I have been sued by Midland Funding LLC. for a debt owed to CitiFinancial. CitiFinancial charged off the account and I am assuming that Midland Funding LLC purchased the debt. The issue is the amount they say I owe, $3746.00, I am disputing. In May 2012 , I disputed this amount with Equifax, asking for validation of the debt owed. I wanted to know how the balance that I knew I had increased by appx $2000.00. I am assuming that they did not answer because the debt account was updated to “zero balance” and “paid in full” by the credit bur. However, it is now showing up again with a balance of $3746.00

    Also, In reviewing my credit report, I noticed that my original creditor reported first day of delinquency at 9/2007. After doing some research, I noticed that Midland Funding LLC has re-aged my first day of delinquency to 7/2009. I know by doing so, increases the SOL for suit.

    Also, in reviewing my credit report for 2013, I noticed that Midland Funding LLC reported my last payment in 2/2013. I have never agreed to pay them anything. I am also disputing this information with the credit bur. I also know by making a payment, restarts the 7 years. Based on my research

    I also noticed that the original creditor has been deleted from my 2013 credit report. Because this is the same debt being pursued by a debt-buying agency, shouldn’t their debt be deleted as well?

    And I also noticed that the account number listed on the summons isn’t my account number-as I still have the original card that was issued to me. The summons only list the last 4 digits but they do not match.

    I am currently preparing my answer and will deliver it next week.

    Any advice on my findings as I have included them in my answer

    • Michael Bovee says:

      T – Can you confirm the date you last paid CitiFinancial with certainty? Do you know your states SOL? I have feedback, but would like to weave my response around your answers to those 2 questions.

  113. Twoods2001 says:

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for responding. Yes, the SOL for Georgia is 6 years. I believe my last payment was around August or September 2007. When I received my last statement, my minimum payment was a little over $200, which was up from $45. When I called the org creditor to inquire about the increase, I was advised that Rooms To Go did not submit the information/agreement based on the terms of no interest/no payment for 1 year. Unfortunately, I have moved several times due to job loss and life style changes and have lost documents, but I am certain that the amount they are suing me for is not correct.

  114. I have a judgement for midland funding LLC on my credit report. So I also am assuming I missed the whole process and the sued me went to court the whole nine. I know in October someone levied my bank account for 539.13 but I am not sure who. I was given a law firm but I still dont have the number. Should I call the bank and find out and try to pay them. My judgement is for 840 dollars they have already taken 539. I vaguely but certain when I talked to the lady before she told me that I owed 1200 but my judgement is for 840. I am in no means trying to give them 1200 dollars but I am willing to give them 301 if they can take it off of my credit is that at all possible. Just looking for the best thing to do. I am almost certain it had to be them because thats the only judgement that is on my credit report I believe for a waaaaaay old capitol one credit card. Just want to do whats best for me and getting it off would surely be a win since they have already gotten more that half of there money from me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I dont want to sign up for months with lexington law because I have done most of the work and raised my credit score more than 100 points in 2 months.
    Thanks Nicole

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Nicole – Good job raising your credit score!

      Judgment debt can grow in size due to the interest rate set by the court.

      Whether you pay the balance of the judgment off, or settle for a lower amount, the court record itself is the reason for it showing on your credit report. You would have to get the court to remove it from their record. Unless there is a good reason to challenge the entry, and you are ready to pay a skilled attorney to take a shot at getting the judgment vacated, the judgment is going to be on your credit report for 7 years from the date of entry.

      Paying it off, or negotiating a settlement on the remaining balance owed, should include updating the court record so that the judgment is shown as satisfied.

  115. I. McManis says:

    My mother has had both mailed statements and phone calls on a credit card debt, at least 10 years old, listed in a bankruptcy settlement. This card was solely in my father’s name. He is in the final stages of dementia, in a nursing home. The total claimed due is less than $1500, though on my mother’s fixed income this is a great deal. Also, to reiterate, this account was settled as part of a bankruptcy case. The Midland rep is harassing, rude, and nasty when he calls. is she at all liable for this if her name was never even on this credit card account?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Was the bankruptcy a chapter 7? What year was the discharge? Can you see the account listed in the bankruptcy schedule? How does it appear on your fathers credit report?

      • I. McManis says:

        Well, Mom and Dad were never great about keeping things long enough, so I’ll have to see if she still has the documents regarding the bankruptcy. I’ve looked at the $1 version of Dad’s credit report and there is nothing there that shouldn’t be. –No mention of this long unpaid bill and the Credit and Retail Card Debt amount reflects the one card Mom does continue to use, not this nearly $1500 that Midland is claiming is owed.

        I’ll do some research and find the answers I can to your questions. Thanks!

  116. isogurl says:

    I am so glad I found this site. I gotten letters from MCM, I do owe from an old Verizon bill 2008 that I have never been financially able to pay back but I am ready to get this off my back. The current balance is $671 and a payment of $269 according to their letter will be consider PAID in FULL and that the three major credit agencies would be updated accordingly, I have to paid by July 19, 2013.

    Is still legit? I am scared that if I get a certified check and mail to a PO Box that a few months or years from now they will claim they never got payment.

    I would like to send it certified mail but I cannot do return receipt (signed) if it is sent to a PO.

    Do they truly considered it settled?

    I plan on scanning the front and back notice/payment coupon, the certified check and if I can only send it certified mail without a required signature, I will scan whatever the post office gives me.

    Thanks a millions…

    • Michael Bovee says:

      isogurl – That is a pre-approved settlement offer that is pretty standard with MCM, so yes, they will consider it settled. Their receiving and depositing the funds will also be proof they got it. If you are going to send a certified check, get one issued to you from your bank, and drawn from your account. That will give you easy access to the proof of payment if you ever needed that later.

      MCM is fairly good about updating your credit report that zero is now owed within a month, two at the most.

  117. HeatherRay says:

    Hi. I was sued by Midland for over $5,000. This was for a Charged Off Credit Card Debt. I went to court and ended up settling out of court in June of 2011, by setting up a payment plan before going in front of the judge. I only made a few payment at that time as my circumstances changed shortly after, and I had to move. The issue I am running into now is that I did not know at the time I consented to the payment plan, but Midland actually obtained this Charge Off over 3 years after my last payment, which in MD has a 3 year SOL. Besides charging interest for a time at which they did not owe this debt (due to the time frame they indicate is not the actual time frame they bought this) as well as having an invalid Affidavit filed in which I was part of a Class Action Law Suit for, I went back to court today to dispute the SOL. My garnishment actually started in Jan. of this year. The judge told me today there was nothing I can do because it is past the filing point where I am able to dispute this charge. Is this true? How can they unfairly get a Judgement against me when they knew this was past the SOL, and then when I dispute it two years after the original court date, but while I am still being impacted as my wages are still currently garnished, now I am unable to dispute any wrong doing because I waited to long? It doesn’t seem fair that they can get away with this and I have no voice. I obviously was unaware of these types of laws and limitations or I would have disputed this much sooner. But I get faulted because I can’t afford legal counsil? Any advise? Thanks in advance.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      HeatherRay – There are indeed timelines for setting aside a judgment, which is what you describe the judge referring to. The assumption is likely that you agreed to the debt at the time because you set up the payments and gave consent. How much is still owed on the debt?

  118. Hi. I am being sued my an Atlanta law firm on behalf on Midland Funding for a credit card debt. I live in Fulton County GA and the complaint was filed on June 27th however I have not been served as of yet. I no longer reside at the residence that Midland has on file (my brother does). I haven’t lived there in 3 years. I found out about the lawsuit on July 17th when various law sent advertisements. The last payment I made was 04/2008. I went to the Magistrate Court to get a copy. Attached is an affidavit from a legal specialist in MN, 4 pages of transaction history (has my name at the top left and a visa acct # in the top right), and 2 assignment of accounts (one from Compucredit to Jefferson Capital and the other from Jefferson Capital to Midland Funding). The balance allegedly owed is $1,016.31 plus $76.50 in filing fees. The “transaction history” does list my last payment on 04/2008 however I sent a letter to the original creditor on March 25, 2008 asking them to close my account. They did not close my account, they proceeded to charge an annual fee plus 8 months of over the limit, late fees and account maintenance fees that amount to $727.00. I have never received any correspondence from Midland, Jefferson or any collection agency in regards to this debt (no verbal – no written). Question: Do I have to wait until I am served before I provide an answer to the court? Also, I have called a few of the law firms and they all tell me that they charge $750.00 (not affordable for me right now). I am willing to settle for $400.00 (I don’t feel the additional charges after I asked to close account were warrantied). Should I go away and contact Midlands attorney with this settlement offer or wait for the court process and hopefully introduce settlement offer then?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Tina – If payments were not made on time after you closed the account (even if they did not close it in a way you would recognize, but you stopped using the card),the balance will grow from late fees, default interest rates, and potentially over limit fees from the other fees. You certainly do have the option to question fees, and whether they can be justified. A simple letter or phone call is often all that is needed to get clarity. But when the account is placed with an attorney to collect, and they sue, that process is going to be something that gets accomplished through the court.

      It is possible to work out a settlement at this stage. It is also possible to do during the court process. I am partial to heading this stuff off whenever possible, so would encourage the proactive approach of reaching out to them now. Just realize that you may not get the 400.00 settlement you feel is the right amount (not that you shouldn’t try). If you are motivated to avoid the court process and settle early, a couple hundred more than you are targeting for your settlement would be more realistic.

      • Thanks for your insight Michael. I will file an answer to the complaint immediately then contact plaintiff to offer a settlement.

  119. Michael , I am currently in the process of cleaning up a mess from a fail small contruction buisness . I have 2 judgments from Midland 2200.00 originally 700.00 and 18,000.00 originally 13,000.00 . Under the Judgment they come up one letter off in my name instead of David its Dave and a r instead of a n on my last name . Any way they are my debts and I have a good job now and I am looking to clear them up. Should i hire a consultant or call them directly ? At the time I can pay the smaller one but will need time on the bigger one unless they will negotiate down. I have a few smaller others out there and will pay them accordingly. But dealing with these is the hardest . Looking for direction TY

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Dave – I do not necessarily think you need to pay someone to settle these for you, but I do think you should talk with a pro about the situation. There are reasons to wait to settle them both at once, and reasons to jump in now and lock something in. You can reach a specialist with CRN (people I know and work with) at 800-939-8357 ext. 3.

      I can help you through making your “whats next” decision process too. Post a follow up comment and let me know how long it would take to pool together about half of the judgment amounts.

  120. I was contacted by Midland Credit Management 7/9/2013.

    I requested a debt validation letter and have not received it yet.The account is a WAMU/Chase credit card-balance- approx. $500.00. My last payment was $25 5/26/10 and charged off 12/2013.

    I’m prepared to settle. I have no assets-my interest in a house was lost in a divorce and I’m currently on SS disability

    I live in Missouri. Do you have any advice for settlement terms to negotiate?

    Thanks

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Bill – Settling with Midland Credit Mgmt will be targeted at different rates for different situations. Given your limited income and no assets, you will not look as collectible. I would start off by offering something reasonable, but less than 50%. If you are prepared to settle for as much as 50% you should succeed.

      You can get payments along with the less than full balance agreement. But that is only something I suggest when you cannot swing the lump sum settlement. Signing on to a monthly payment can mean settling for a higher amount, and there is always the issue of a payment not being made, which wipes out the deal. But there are times where settling and making the monthly payments will be necessary.

      The letters for settlement Midland will send out after you negotiate are pretty standard.

  121. I had a Wells Fargo charge off 2 years ago and was contacted by mcm to pay them. I sent a debt validation letter and 6 months later got very little info back. Now my credit report is just stating account closed and has 0 deragatory marks. What does this mean?
    Thank you!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Not sure if you saw my answer to your comment from yesterday on the question and answer page, if you can follow up on my suggestions in that comment, and have additional questions afterward, post them and let’s go from there.

  122. Hi, Michael.

    I posted a few days ago with some background on my account at Midland.
    To refresh your memory here it is again.
    The balance is approximately $500. Opened in 2006, last payment $25-5/26/010, charged off 12/31/2010. It was originally a WAMU account, then Chase, Hilco bought it in 2011 then it was sold to Midland in 5/2012

    I live in Missouri.

    I spoke to Midlands by phone for the first time 7/28/2013, but I believe they have been trying to contact me for some time but did not have my current address. I requested a debt verification letter at that time but have not received it yet. From reading this board Midland seems quick to file suit and I’m worried they may file before I can offer a settlement. The Verification letter request served to buy some time to raise funds for a settlement offer and I’d rather negotiate with Midland than an attorney. Does Midlands ever file immediately without providing any verification at all?

    Here is my information and background:
    I am collecting Social Security Disability and have no other source of income. There is a home mortgage on my credit reports because my name is on the loan, but I have no interest in the property since the terms of the divorce required me to sign a quit claim deed. I do not even have a car at this time and I think most of my accounts on my credit report show delinquent.

    Given the number of times this debt has changed hands Midland probably has flimsy evidence to prove chain of custody in court, my income is limited and cannot be garnished and I have no assets.

    Using this information here is my initial settlement offer.
    -My offer of settlement in no way means I admit ownership or responsibility for this debt or that Midland has the right to collect it.

    -50%-$250. At an assumed .03 on the dollar Midland paid around $15 for this debt.

    -Pay to delete the account on my credit reports.

    -A letter releasing me from the debt

    This is only a starting point. If I’m lucky here is what I would accept and be happy with.

    -$300-2 payments of $150. I know payments will weaken my negotiating position but my income requires it.

    -“”Paid in Full” on my credit reports. I do not want “settled” at all.

    -A letter releasing me from the debt.

    I’d like to hear your thoughts. Thank you for your help.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      William – Thanks for the additional follow up detail and how you laid out your plan. Based on that, you have a high likelihood of achieving your goal. But maybe not exactly how your thinking this will play out. I think you have an impression that this is more complicated than it is.

      1. You can call and set up a settlement and payment today. Even if the first payment is not set for a few weeks, it is better to be proactive and let them know you are willing and able to pay what you can afford. Doing so early on actually can, in my experience, prevent the account getting placed with an attorney.

      2. You cannot pay to delete with this type of thing. The term pay for delete gets thrown around the internet like its normal. It isn’t. Utility bills, maybe. Some one off cases with medical debt, sometimes. With credit card debts owned by your creditor, or a debt buyer, rarely. As in Yeti sightings rare.

      3. Paid in full vs settled does not really have a significance at this point. The account is resolved and a zero balance owed updated to your credit report is what matters.

      4. A letter from Midland Funding releasing you from the debt is going to be a simple settlement letter. It is a common type of template letter, and definitely a common occurrence to receive from Midland when you resolve the account. I am pointing this out so that you do not have some expectation that the letter says something that it won’t. But the verbiage of the settlement letter will contain the elements you need to protect yourself later if needed.

  123. I received a notice in the mail from a Superior Court (Special Civil Part) in a county over an hour away from where I live. I have been living in my current apartment for 15 years and in town for 17 years. The notice is for a judgement of $523.93 that was made in 8/27/2008 however I NEVER received a summons or any notice stating I was being sued. They sued me twice before (again, I never received notice of the lawsuit) and my wages were garnished. It just so happens I am currently unemployed and now they are looking for more money. I check my credit reports and I see anything other than my federal student loans as my existing debt (payments deferred). I tried to contact the court but I get no answers other than being told I should have showed up for the court hearing. How can I show up for a court hearing I knew nothing about?? Does anyone have any advise on how to handle this? I live in the State of New Jersey. It does not seem to matter how much they take from me they will keep coming at me regardless if I owe something or not. Somthing is too fishy about Midland Funding.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Jules – I am not sure I understand what you have going on. You have been sued and garnished multiple times, but have questions about whether you owe the debt or not? This most recent collection stems from a judgment you are only now learning exists from 2008?

      Is the total amount that is due today 524.00?
      Are you able to pool together resources to resolve the debt, or is it that you believe the debt is not even yours?
      Who was the original creditor listed as in the judgment?

  124. Danielle says:

    Hello Michael,
    Midland funding sued me for a debt in march of 2011 and in May of 2011 they were unable to provide any proof of ownership of debt. Judge dismissed in May of ’11. But Midland has continued to report with CRA and to make matters worse they have reaged the debt to continue to report. They are way out of SOL. And I also thought if they could not provide proof they can no longer continue to report to CRA. Very frustrating.
    Thank you

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Danielle – Credit reporting and unsuccessfully being sued for a debt are two different things. I would need to understand a good deal more details to offer anything other than general feedback. Have you already disputed the entries with the credit reporting agencies, copying Midland Funding as well? If you have already done that, is that what you mean by proof, or are you referring to proof related to the court action? When you say they have reaged the account, is the date of last payment for the Midland entry different than that of the original creditor? Does the credit report contain a date for the Midland entry to fall off your report that is later than that of the original creditor?

      • Danielle says:

        Hi Michael,
        To answer to your response. Let me make it a little clearer, sorry. Yes the original creditor fell off approximately 9 months ago. And the date that midland gave on the court documents does match the date from original creditor of last payment made. But, the date Midland has on the credit report is like 11 months later from the original creditor.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Okay. It sounds like the original creditor reporting aged off of your credit report. Any additional collection entry should age off of the credit report at the same time. The exception would be a judgment in the court for the same account (it gets a new 7 year shelf life). You did not get a judgment. You should send a dispute letter to all credit reporting agencies that have the entry and point to it being related to an account that has passed the SOL for credit reporting. Copy Midland on the letter. Send all communication certified mail return receipt. Post a comment update to this string with the result of that and lets go from there.

  125. Hi Michael I was sued by Midland a few months ago the judge dismissed the case here in mesquite tx now I just found out that they are after me again trying to serve me with papers. They also put the debt on my credit originally it was on my husband. I lost my job yesterday & now have no income coming in at all I applied for unemployment & food stamps in order to put food on the table. How is this possible?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      If the suit was dismissed due to some deficiency the court found, or was dismissed without prejudice, it can be refiled.
      What is the amount of the debt?

      • $5300

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Okay. Because of the deterioration in your finances due to job loss, you may be able to put together a repayment scenario that could work. I have seen cases like this get settled for a good reduction with time to pay longer than a year.

          The alternative will be to engage in the court process which also has its risks and rewards.

          What is your goal with this account?

          • I can’t do nothing I have nothing. Thanks to midland I’m going through dispersion and thoughts of suicide

            • Michael Bovee says:

              Debt is just math. Stay focused on the realities of the numbers. You can either afford to do something today, over a period of time, or later on when you bounce back financially.

              The emotional part of debts in collection are just what each of us assign to the process. Most of that emotion, at least from my experience working with people, is due to:

              1. Fear of the unknown. What happens if type stuff.
              2. Frustration over the whole financial situation, not a specific debt.

              I cannot fix your personal finances when you are temporarily stalled out, but I can guide you through the unknown.

              Depression over debt and finances are very real. I understand that. But owing a debt that you cannot deal with immediately does not mean someone can steal your birthday.

              You live in a state with great consumer protection laws. You also may be noncollectable. Even if a judgment was entered, you can navigate that, and resolve it later.

              Are there other unpaid debts out there than this one? If so, list the amounts and when last paid. Also list any unsecured debts you may be current in paying.

  126. I have a question. I am being sued by Midland Funding for a credit card debt in Oregon. However, when I look up Division of Finance and Corporate Securities (DFCS) in Oregon, they’re not a registered collection agency. Can I still win this case? Or do they have the right to still sue me?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Nikki – States have different requirements for who must be registered. Not all of them will require a debt buyer, which is basically an investor, to register. The debt collector that is working for the buyer may be who Oregon requires to be listed and current with the Division of Finance. You could call the department directly and ask whether Midland is required to be registered as a debt buyer.

      Whether you can succeed in defending the case is a loaded question. You did not provide much detail. But if your core focus is the registration question, that may not help much.

      • Thank you Michael. So I am wondering if it’s too late to file for bankruptcy as I am tired of all this court things. I’m 7 months pregnant and it has been stressing me out. I just want all this to end. If I file for bankruptcy, will the JDB still get judgement (if I lose) and take away my money from my check? or will bankruptcy stop them from taking my money?

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Nikki – Bankruptcy, once filed, will put an automatic stay on any collection activity. No collections will resume once debts are discharged in a chapter 7, whether in court or out of court.

  127. Michael,
    I have a question for you? If Midland never validates a debt or responds. They take you to court and during discoveries are unable to provide any documents what so ever how are they able to continue to report to CRA’s. Wouldn’t that be like hypothetical anyone could say “Judge I pinky swear Mr xx owes me money but I have no documentation what so ever” How are they allowed to continue to report to credit bureaus? Isn’t that continued collection attempts after failing to provide proof?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Danielle – Mixing what happened with the dismissed suit and credit reporting may lead to the wrong assumptions. I wish it were that straight forward.

      The way I understand your situation from your comments above on 8/4 and 8/5:

      You stopped paying a debt on a certain date more than 7 years ago. Midland Funding ended up with the debt. The original creditor trade line aged off of your credit report at either 7 or 7.5 years after your first missed payment. Midland is on your credit report but is set to fall off 11 months after the original creditor. If I use the timelines you shared, with the OC falling off 9 months ago, the Midland Funding credit report entry would fall off in 2 more months.

      The Midland entry should have fallen off with the original creditor entry.

      I suggested you file a dispute with the credit bureaus (copying Midland). Have you done that? What was the response?

  128. So in other words Midland is allowed to absolutely destroy credit without any proof. Credit bureaus say verified etc… What is wrong with this picture. Midland sues in court fails to provide any type of documentation during discovery. Asks for a Dismissal without prejudice. Never refiles. Continue to report to CRA’s way beyond SOL and nobody helps. Credit bureaus verify a debt they never investigated. Midland re-ages accounts and consumers are just plain done for Credit scores in the dump.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Danielle – What you described does indeed happen. What is it you mean by “nobody helps”?

      Also, this far along in the life cycle of a debt, the Midland reporting would not typically be the sole reason for a credit score being in the dumps. Do you have additional collections reporting on your credit? Have you taken steps to improve your credit profile in the last couple of years? Do you have positive trade lines that are being maintained? Once you remedy the credit reporting with Midland, what are your immediate and mid term credit goals?

  129. One more thing to report. I was under the assumption and please correct me if I am wrong. If a collection agency fails to validate whatsoever do they not have to stop any and all collection attempts? Isn’t this against consumers rights?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Generally speaking, yes. But in the context of your comments that are focused on credit reporting, that will not always be the case. Ideally you should run the scenario by a consumer law attorney.

  130. I am being sued by Midland Financial and is due in court tomorrow. They are seeking 1071 but I don’t agree with the amount and dont trust to talk to them over the phone. I have a few copies of my credit report that list this account 2 times with different amounts. My 2012 report list Household bank high limit @ $570 (charged off or sold..closed) and as $1004 and Midland @ reports high credit $1004 (opened in collections.. ). My 2013 credit reports shows that household now reports 1003 (charged off or sold closed) and Midland reports high credit 1004 with 1071 being due (closed, charged off). I know I didnt have a credit limit of 1000 and dont see how this same acct number balance is changing after it was considered charged off. When going to court can I ask for them to provide All orginal documents showing how they came up with this figure including any bills that lead them to a much higher amount? Please note that I am in Ga.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Tammi – When an account goes unpaid it will grow from late fees, over limit fees, and default interest rates. With smaller balance accounts it is common for the balance to double very quickly.

      Yes, you have the ability to request all the information they have that substantiates the amount they are trying to collect. But when you are being sued that is typically done prior to appearing in court. You can indeed raise your concerns in court tomorrow.

      What is your ultimate goal with this account?

      • Thank you for your help, but I have a few more questions. Is it normal for the original creditor to list two different amounts for the same acct on the same report. If the additional amount was interest and charges why wouldn’t they just report this amount? Household listed 570 and 1004 on the same report (both being charged off, sold). One this same report Midland reports 1004 as the high credit plus about $71 in interest added this is on their complaint as well. What household did was reported the first few numbers of the acct. on one amount and the last few numbers of the acct. for the other. Is it possible to ask for the original, authentic documents that would support this and maybe request for them to bring a witness from Midland or HBC to confirm this info? If so, is there a special way to ask for this information? I previously called the original creditor to obtain and confirm the amount due. The only thing that they could provide is the two acct numbers that I have ever had with them. One of which was closed a long time ago (paid) and this one. The 1st time I called they said that they were going to send out the last bill but I never received it. The second time I called they stated that they don’t have any information in regards to the amount. Also, I was reading that most collectors pay is pennies on a dollar for these accts. If they purchase this acct for a lot less, can they sue for the full amount? If not, can I request this information as well?
        I do not want a judgment on my report but nor do I want to pay more than what’s due. I don’t want to sound stupid in front of the judge but I really don’t want to be taken advantage of. Because of the things I have heard about this creditor, it is hard to trust what they say. They called me 2days ago but I don’t trust to talk to them over the phone at this point because I still have to go to court. And if they can prove this and we come to some type of agreement, I can get this all in writing at that time v/s a verbal agreement.
        Again your help is gladly appreciated.

  131. christina says:

    michael = i have recently rcv’d a certified letter from MCM to take me to court b/c of a debt that had w/ chase bank. i stopped paying on the credit card about 2 years ago b/c i wasn’t financially stable. I had to move out on my own again, then my job laid off over 300 employees and I was one of the ones still left but my income went down dramatically b/c it was based on commission. I work as a debt collector so i understand where everyone comes from and believe me I know how hard it is to pay your bills. I for one only may 550 every 2 wks = and with my rent , utilities, car insurance, paying on my school loan and the one credit card agreement i made with their atty. I just cant do it…Grant it , its my fault , i allowed myself to get into the debt that i did b/c i wasn’t makeing what i use to and put everything on credit cards. where i live its oil heat and i can’t even afford oil which is why i chrged on the credit card that i cant pay to this day. MCM has called me unknown for many many months. Chase put on my credit bur as a charge off and forward my info to MCM and said they are now handling my acct. I called them on 8/16 and told them with what i make and what i pay out to, i was only able to afford 25 a month. the women i spk w/ at MCM told me that wasnt acceptable b/c it had to be paid off within a 12mo period. i cant’ come up with a settlment amt b/c i have nothing. They sent me a letter back in 9-21-2012 and offered me a lump sum settlemnt of 2082.92 if i paid by 10/21/2012– or gave me option 2 to pay 462.84 in 6monthly pymnts..the current balance was showing 3471.54. Again i was financially not able to do so b/c of me being on my own and paying all my bills myself as im still doing. Im frustated, im nervous, i just dont know what to do. I dont have any assets, i own nothing. my vehicle is all that i own and its last life with all the constant problems Im having with it which scares me b/c thats my transportation to and from work. I have rcv’d 2 notices from the magistrate for them requesting court b/c of this debt but haven’t rcv’d letter b/c of me not being home at the time this is issued. I thought when you offer to pay something they have to accept it. i agreed on 25 but apparently that wasn’t good enough and i just dont know what to do. She said she would send me a hardship package from their atty and i have to send them all info, including my bank statmnts for the past several months, my pay stubs, all the bills i pay and then they will review and see what they feel im able to pay. I had asked the atty that represents our company if that was a good idea and he immediately said to not send them any personal info of mine b/c that gives them full access to my personal info and for them to tell me what they expect me to pay or to tack onto my bank acct. He said To try call them again and see what they would offer me and what im able to afford. But like i said i can do 25, possible 35 a month. i see a lot of bad reviews on MCM, how its a scam, and how they offer you a settlment and paymnt arrangmtns but months later they screw you and say they never offered you anything and you have to start over. I just dont know what to do. Please give me the best advice and help me figure out the best solution b/c i really dont want to deal with anymore bad luck. The last credit card company tried to do the same thing with me but it was through capital one. they didnt transfer my info to a collection company. they tried to send me the same ceritified infront of magistrate to sue me. i owe them 3500.00. they said they wouldn’t accetp anything less but then agreed to 40 a month without chrging me anymore fees. so why wont MCM accept the 25 monthly pymnts and not chrge me any additional fees.

    Please help me! since i missed the 2 notices for the certified it said the next one i will apparently get is 8/30 and the women is sending this hardship package, (whatever thats suppose to be). another thing is when i get this certified presented to me in person since i missed the first 2 – should i appear, what do i say, what do i do. or should i try call again and offer 35 or see what they can do for me..

    • Michael Bovee says:

      christina – Thank you for all of the details. One thing to be clear about – creditors and collectors of unsecured credit card debt are not required to accept any payment you offer – just because you offer it. There needs to be an agreement between you both, and it is best that it be done in writing. About the only place you will see that occur is through the court. And that leads to your current situation. If you cannot get Midland Credit to agree to the monthly payment you can afford right now, you may find you can reach that arrangement through the court. You absolutely will need to be a participant in the process. At 25.00 a month it would take over 10 years to pay that off. That type of payment agreement would be pretty unusual.

      • Christina says:

        Then what are my options! What would be the best advice for me to do. It’s my debt , so I can’t and won’t deny that! :-(

  132. christina says:

    michael — so today i tried calling MCM and spk w/ zach who was foreign as heck from the debt dept. He read my notes and seen where they are sending a hardship package for their atty to reveiw. I told him i could send, but i refuse to send them all my personal info along w/ my bank acct. I dont feel comfortable and I dont want them to have access to everything of mine. So he told me that my bal was now a little over 3500.00 and that he could offer me a settlemnt for 2650 in full, or pay 100 a month. I told him that was impossible that i was trying my best to get this resolved which is why i was calling. SO i explained that they mailed me the letter offering the 40% discount in sept 2012 where my current bal was 3471.54 and it offered the 2082 in full settlment or 50 a month. I explained what if i were to come up with that option. I can possible borrow money to pay the 2082 . and they denied me, told me obviously i didn’t read and that offer has expired and they refuse. if i want this taken care of to pay them the 2650 and they will only take a minimum of 100.00. I am doin the best i can and i dont understand what is the different and why they wont even accept the offer. I understand it was a yr ago, but if im willing to come up with that amt why would they refuse and still continue to take me to court when again i dont have anything. Ive called 2 times within the week. Do you think they will eventually accept the offer given to me from last yr or what should i do.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      christina – debt collectors will often use a scoring model to determine what they will settle for. You may look more collectable to them than you really are. There is also an element of what debts can be settled for once the account reaches legal collections often being a higher amount than when you can tackle it prior to that happening.

      There are times where your persistence will pay off to settle. Just not always.

  133. Hi Michael, I just got out of court and all went well as for now. The attorney representing Midland took me in a small room before going in front of the judge. He ask if there is something we can workout. Well I explained to him that I never received any notices or letters claiming that I owe them and that if I do indeed owe them that I need something showing this information. He then proceeded to ask if I ever had an acct with household and I told him that I did but there wasn’t a balance and this was so long ago.
    Well he begin looking in his file and said that well they didn’t send me any other information so I am going to dismiss your case. And that they may re-file later after sending me some information or you might just get lucky. Well I did get this dismissed but it is without prejudice. My question is, if they re-file what would be the statue of limitation date considered to be? If it shows a last report date or activity date of Sept. 2009 and they indeed file after this time would this be a Sol issue?
    If they decide not to pursue this again can I get all activities from them removed from my credit report?
    Again thanks for your help.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Tammi – The SOL date would not change from the date you started missing your payments to the original creditor. There are some scenarios where the SOL can restart, but it does not sound like you are dealing with anything like that.

      I am not sure what you described what you are seeing on your credit report, but the SOL is generally going go by the first missed payment, and where no other additional payments were applied thereafter. SOL to sue does not really go by what is on your credit report, though there is an SOL for reporting negatives which is typically going to 7.5 years from the first delinquency.

      How you get this removed from your credit report is a different story. I am working on article about that. You may want to subscribe to the RSS on this site to get alerts about new debt and credit guides that are coming out.

      • Hi Michael, I just noticed that my credit report has now changed to “Account in dispute – Reported by subscriber (FCBA)” & and “No condition/status”.
        It is no longer showing a balance.
        Do you have any idea on what this means? Should I try to get this removed or will it just stay on my credit report?
        Please note as mentioned before my case was dismissed without prejudice. The Sol date from the original creditor (miss payment) 08/2009. Not to mention all of the discrepancies on this acct.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Did you send a dispute notice to anyone at any time on this account? If so, who to and when?

          • No, I have not sent any dispute to Midland. I have sent a dispute long time ago to the original creditor. They removed it but It seem that they reported it as a different acct no. Hsbc has 2 different balance. below is what my current report states:
            05/2006 05/2006 No information reported
            Account Number 51559900
            Account Status Charge-Off Unpaid balance reported as a loss by credit grantor
            Ownership I I
            Monthly Payment
            Balance Amount $0.00
            Balance Date 03/2010 02/28/2010
            High Balance / Credit Limit $590.00
            Prior Delinquency 200912 201001

            TransUnion

            Date Open No information reported No information reported 05/29/2006
            Account Number 51559900
            Account Status Paid or paying as agreed
            Ownership I
            Monthly Payment
            Balance Amount $0.00
            Balance Date 10/31/2008
            High Balance / Credit Limit $766.00
            Prior Delinquency
            Past Due Amount $0.00
            Comment Closed – Account information disputed by consumer

            TransUnion

            Date Open No information reported No information reported 05/29/2006
            Account Number 51559900
            Account Status Charged off as bad debt
            Ownership I
            Monthly Payment
            Balance Amount $0.00
            Balance Date 02/28/2010
            High Balance / Credit Limit $1,004.00
            Prior Delinquency
            Past Due Amount $0.00
            Experian

            TransUnion

            Date Open No information reported 02/2010 No information reported
            Account Number 85337190
            Account Status No condition/status
            Ownership I
            Monthly Payment
            Balance Amount
            Balance Date 08/19/2013
            High Balance / Credit Limit
            Prior Delinquency
            Past Due Amount
            Comment Account in dispute – Reported by subscriber (FCBA)

            Comment Purchased by another lender

            • Michael Bovee says:

              tammi – I do have a credit reporting section guide that will be up shortly. One of the pieces speaks to your situation. I cannot link you to it now, so here is what I would encourage:

              Dispute the accounts you know that are not yours as “not mine” with the bureaus. Sent a copy of your disputes to anyone furnishing the information (Midland/HSBC). Send certified mail return receipt. Keep a copy of all correspondence and the return receipts. Allow 30 days to hear back from all recipients after you get the green cards back from USPS. Your next steps will depend on the responses you get.

  134. So in the last year I have had two letters, one just came a few days ago and the other was a year ago, come from Midland about collecting for a T Mobile account I had over three years ago that I closed because the couldn’t provide service for the job I was doing. Whole different story for that one. Anyway, those two letters are the only contact I have gotten from Midland, and they are your basic collection letters, saying if you pay us $270 out of the $350 that is owed, we will call your debt paid. Now, seeing as this was the only contact I have had from them, I have been searching around online, seeing if they are a legitimate company, which they seem to be, but I have also been reading from numerous sources that they are terrible to deal with and even some cases where if you pay off the account, they will send you letters from a different office claiming you still owe. I would like to get it paid off, and seeing as I don’t agree with why T Mobile charged me in the first place, I would like to do it for as cheaply as possible. Is there a good way going about this? Should I even try and call to negotiate even lower than the letters then sent me, or just send the check and hopefully be done with it? I also discovered a lawsuit by the Minnesota Attorney General that was settled in December 2012 that states:

    To address the problem that people who don’t owe the money are improperly subjected to collection requests, Midland must verify the identity and address of an individual claimed to owe money at the outset, before any collection effort is made.

    Would that be something that could help me, seeing as the have not verified anything with me? Thanks for any input you have!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      You can write to or call Midland and verify anything you need to over the phone. But it sounds like you are already aware the debt is yours. I am not sure where you read about Midland settling a debt, only to later try and collect again, but that is just not common. Even if that occurs, the offer letter you have, and proof that you paid it by the date outlined, would put a stop to any other collections. If something like that were to happen, post an update to this comment thread and I can offer more feedback.

      When it comes to calling Midland and negotiating a better deal than what is in the offer they mailed you – you certainly can. But with smaller balance debts like this it is not likely going to result in much more of a reduction. Be prepared to answer some questions about your financials and any hardship you may have in order to get the best reduction if you do call. And if calling Midland to negotiate a better reduction results in a better outcome, be sure to get a new written agreement from them before paying.

  135. Hello Michael,

    I was served a summons yesterday. I am being sued by a law office here in Illinois on behalf of Midland Funding LLC for the amount of $1883.42 + costs. It’s for an old Chase cc account. I have a return date on the summons of 10-10-13 and today is 9-17-13. Do you think it’s still possible to work on a settlement before I would be required to appear in court to answer to the complaint? The problem is-I DON’T HAVE ANY MONEY! I have several part time jobs, but I have no savings and no real assets besides my car. I don’t want to miss a scheduled day of work( of course my court date is one of the few days I’m actually working), and even paying the “FEE TO FILE FOR APPEARANCE” would be a burden($186.00). Not sure what to do. I’ve heard that here in Illinois you can be thrown in jail if you default on court ordered payments. What would you suggest? Thank you.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Orlando – You can indeed work out a payment arrangement with Midland, even at this late stage of collection. You would likely have to sign a stipulation to judgment in order to get affordable monthly payments. This usually means you are not settling for less, but agreeing to payments.

      The issue here is money. If you cannot afford to file an answer, how much can you agree to pay monthly? Is there anyway you can tap a friendly resource to settle this quickly?

      You cannot be thrown in jail for a debt like this. You could be found in contempt of court if you failed to show up for an asset discovery hearing the court ordered, or something similar. But you would be able to rest this concern better by talking about it with an attorney.

  136. They call my job everyday, anywhere from 10-20 times per day (actually have record of it). They never leave a message except the one time my co-worker answered the phone. Not sure what they are calling about as they’ve never sent any type of correspondence.

    What would you suggest to have them stop calling my employer in the manner they do?

    Thanks

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Janice – You should contact them and find out what debt they area calling about, and at the same time let them know that calls to your employer are not allowed and those need to stop.

      Post more details about the debt when you learn more and lets go from there.

  137. My friend’s wife died of cancer and the cancer treatment center “wrote off” the remaining debt, I suspect as treatments not covered by the insurance as necessary or standard of care. Now he is being harassed by a third party collecting agency. Can a medical provider “write off” debt receiving tax breaks/and or considerations and then sell the debt to a third party so that it can be collected legally?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      suzanne – Debts are indeed legitimately sold off in the normal course of debt collection. How the seller accounts for, or receives tax breaks, is something they must contend with on their end. It is not a safe assumption that the seller receives a full tax benefit.

      Is your question about Midland Funding buying this debt?

      Also, your friend may not be liable for the debt of his wife now that she has passed on.

  138. I was served a summons from Midland recently. The amount is around $3000. I immediately called and offered a lump sum of $1500. The lady told me that the person who is in charge of my case would contact me the next day. I actually ended up calling them back. The lady who is in charge of my case was unavailable, so the one who answered my call told me that there was information stating they would settle for $1800. I asked to leave a voicemail for my caseworker. In my message, I mentioned the $1800 settlement. When she returned my call, she said that there was no $1800 settlement and that she was sorry for the misinformation. The lowest settlement she said they could offer was $2400. The caseworker was extremely unprofessional and seemed flustered throughout our conversation. I told her that I was going to contact my attorney and get back with them the following week. I am curious about the “misinformation” I was given. It seems to me that there was information in the system that I was not supposed to be privy to and was given to me prematurely. I am unsure what to do at this point and welcome any advice. Should I ask for proof that they even own this debt? Should I attempt to get the $1800 settlement?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      dander – You can seek proof of the debt through the court process now that you have been sued. You would need to file an answer to the lawsuit and get the proof in the discovery process. This approach is best handled by an experienced debt collection defense attorney. There are good ones out there that can help you, but they do charge a fee and cannot guarantee success. You would probably settle with Midland for what it would cost to defend the case. I would recommend you keep at it and target the 1800. I have seen Midland Funding settle collection lawsuits for this type of reduction.

      Why did one rep for Midland say they could accept a settlement for lower than what is being offered? It was either an error on the first persons part, or there is something in their files that suggests you are more collectable. Are you keeping current on other loans (credit cards, car, home)?

    • Hi,
      I had been an ex-employee of Mid-land i know how it works so maybe i could advice you on this situation. The reason your offer was not accepted is because you called yourself with 50% settlement offer now they know that you want to settle. So they would try to collect the maximum amount they can . if you would have called with $2400 again they would have denied that and ask you to pay more. So you give an offer $1500 tell them if they would accept it or they can talk to your attorney and wait . If any questions you can ask me anytime.
      Thanks

      • Gagan,
        I saw your recent post and would appreciate any advice you have regarding dealings with mcm. I have a charge off with Wells Fargo for what now is $8000. Long story short, I sent a certified letter to them saying I wanted DV after receiving a letter from them saying I had 30 days to respond or they would send to an attorney. Today I got a letter from them saying they were sending my account to their internal legal dept for possible initiation of legal proceedings against me. How should I respond? I haven’t gotten anything back in response to my DV letter. How serious are they now about legal proceedings and what are my chances for settling for a much lower amount in payments most likely? I won’t have a larger amount to put down for a few months at the least or even until tax refund time. I really need to stall for as long as possible until I am more prepared with $1000 or so to start. I really appreciate any insight you have into these situations.
        Thank you.

  139. Michael;

    I received a verification of debt could you email me so I can ask you my question. I don’t know how to put in this comments. Thank you
    Claudia

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Claudia – Any email you send in reply to the comment notices you receive from this site can be replied to. All of those emails come direct to me only.

  140. Hi Michael–I’m currently being sued by Midland Funding. I responded to the claim back in September (as a method to avoid a default judgment) and we were ordered for mediation by the court. My full intent is to settle and avoid having this continue to trial, but my question is this: is there anything to stop me from calling Midland’s lawyer and starting the settlement process now? The court said that we would have to split the cost of the mediator and our meeting is scheduled for later this month, but if possible, I’d like to just try and hammer this out with the lawyer so that I can avoid the additional cost of mediation sessions. Would speaking directly with Midland’s lawyer be a sound strategy to coming to terms with a reasonable settlement offer? Thank you!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Adam – Nothing should prevent you from negotiating a deal with the attorney Midland Funding placed the account with. Your goal is to settle with them from the outset, so that conversation was going to be had regardless. Just be careful to come off as wanting to resolve this as a matter of convenience, and not because you are concerned with continuing in the court. In other words – keep a good posture.

  141. Hello-
    I sent mcm a DV letter certified. I then received from them a letter stating they were sending my account to their internal attorney to possibly initiate litigation. I’ve heard it is best to correspond by mail with them, however in doing so will they ignore anything sent and end up suing me by mail? What do you suggest I do? I have no money to put down but suppose I could do payments until I get some saved up. Do i call and start this over the phone? Please advise!
    Thank you.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Laurie – There is no shortage of places on line that support the idea that corresponding with debt collectors of all flavors should only be done through the mail. That is terrible advice for those who want to resolve their debt. Depending on the contents of a letter you send, you could indeed increase the likelihood of being sued, or complicate your efforts to settle or set up payment arrangements. This concern is not limited to MCM.

      Calling Midland Credit Management is how you settle a debt, or get set up with payments you can afford. Is this the only debt you have to contend with?

      • Yes it is my only debt that went to charge off. It is for $8100. Would trying for a 40% settlement sound reasonable? My husband and I are separated and will end up filing for divorce it seems, so I would only be able to do payments with my income. This is not in his name so I know I am responsible. Do you think they will work with me? I really appreciate your time and help.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Laurie – Midland Credit will work with you. How they settle with people is often dependent on how collectable you look to them in their system. Their system is not going to know you are getting divorced and will have to survive on a single income where there was once two. Use that as part of your hardship explanation.

          Settling at 40% is possible in the right situation, but you need to be ready with the funds. If you need affordable monthly payments that will last a while (more than a few months) – 40% will often not be as realistic. Call them and see where you can get to. But do not agree to anything if you know you cannot afford to follow through.

  142. I replied to the wrong link apparently. What do you think of my response in regard to starting by calling them and negotiating ? Will this stop the legal process from at least starting? I would like to come up with an agreement and the later it has to start with a payment the better.

    Thank you so much.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Thanks for keeping the discussion on the site Laurie. As you can tell from the above article, if avoiding a lawsuit is the goal, starting the discussion with MCM early is better. I have seen people able to avoid accounts being placed for legal collection by remitting small payments, or by being upfront that there is no money available to start to put together a plan, until the following month etc. Professionals in my industry are often able to successfully communicate with Midland Credit Management, or Midland Funding, to defer aggressive collection efforts. But people should realize they can do the same by communicating their hardship themselves.

      You do have to be prepared for the fact that most debt collectors have real time access to credit report information. If things do not look like you are at the edge financially there, you should be prepared to share why that is not an accurate reflection of what is going on now. The fact that you may have had to borrow money to stay afloat; that having led to marital discord; leading to a pending divorce; that means surviving on one income with most of the same bills that were a stretch on two incomes – while rightfully viewed as private and personal, will often play to your favor in collection situations. Put another way – the stuff that sucks for you financially is the same stuff that can help you out of a jam like this.

  143. That really helps. Thank you very much. The last letter I received from them was dated oct 8th. it was about sending my account to internal legal to possibly initiate legal proceedings but says they would have offers to help accommodate if we’re contacted. I plan on calling them tomorrow to start this. Do you think I am too late?

  144. Ok, I hope so. Do you suggest I just state right away that I am interested in coming to a settlement agreement, however need some time to prepare a lump sum or would have to start payments when possible? And then go into my situation?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      I would lead with:

      I want to come up with a workable solution to this.
      The situation, and why I am not in good position to commit to a solution to put this behind me today, but am confident I can in the near future.
      I am calling to find out what my options look like.
      Listen, thank them for their time, and that you will follow up with them.

      Debt collectors are trained to establish a commitment on every call. Unless you hear something that you are confident you can do (very possible), I would not commit. Get anything you do negotiate in writing.

  145. Thank you again. I called and spoke with a gentleman who asked if I had called in prior because my account says it is in dispute status. I told him I sent a Dv letter but hasn’t heard back and he told me that was why. He said they are glad I want to work something out however they need me to fax a letter saying I am not disputing and would like to work with them. Then he said they will be able to look at my options. Does this sound correct?
    Thank you.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Laurie – Yes. Sending debt validation letters to debt collectors like Midland Credit (and many others) will trigger certain behavior on their part. You just need to send them something that takes your file out of whatever category your letter put you in. Then follow up.

  146. Hello,

    I received a collection letter from MCM regarding an old cell phone bill, about $200. I sent a debt validation letter to them. MCM responded with a some type of bill showing my name, the cell phone company name, account #, and the amount owed. They also sent out a settlement offer stating that if I paid they would report the account as paid in full. I sent a pay for delete offer, but have not heard back from them. It’s been almost 3 weeks. What should I do next?

    Thanks,

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Kiki – Pay for delete is just not a common occurrence with Midland Credit Management (or other collectors). Taking the offer and getting your credit report to show the account is paid is likely as good as it will get. Do you have other collection items showing on your credit report?

      • I have 2 others but they are paid. So should I contact them by phone or letter to try and settle the debt?

        • Michael Bovee says:

          I would call the phone number on the collection notice MCM sent you and confirm the details and follow through that way.

  147. Hello again,

    I was able to get a letter faxed to mcm and then the person I spoke to last week called me today. I briefly told him what you said and a bit about my situation. He right away put me on hold and came back with the amt of $6100 lump sum settlement. I told him that was not even close to possible. He asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I would like to lower it to 50% if possible and then start paying towards it and hopefully finish the balance with my tax return in time. I told him I wasn’t at a position where I could pay something today however. He said if I called him back in a week or two and had something I could put down he would then go to bat for me. I was kindof rushed off the phone at that point. I told him I didn’t want to make a small pmt of $300 or so if I didn’t know my end goal settlement amt. he was polite and just told me to call back. Sound right?

    Thanks again very much.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Sounds about right Laurie. I would not want you to pay anything without a clear plan you can afford being outlined in a written agreement.

      How would affordable payments look if you were able to get a 50% settlement with payments spread out over 12 months?
      What if you made arrangements to pay the settlement over 6 months, with the final payment being the largest after you get your tax return? Could you swing 250.00 a month for 5 months with the final payment being a couple grand? Is your tax refund consistent, and estimable now?

  148. When he asked what I wanted to do I told him I would really to get it reduced to half ($4,000) and of course he didn’t act like that was possible. I would love to pay $250/mo for 6 months and pay $2000 after taxes. I do think that is feasible for me with my first pmt being in dec. I feel like they will keep wanting more however and not accept this. How do you suggest I go about getting them to agree to a deal such as this. He told me when I contact him with a plan he will let me know right away if it is reasonable or not.

    Thanks again.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Laurie – You have to convey your hardship and inability to pay. Settlement with debt collectors works best when you have a lump sum to offer. When you start talking payments you are conveying room in your budget to pay for much longer. You have to work the numbers to show this is as good as it gets, and stick to your guns about the deal you would potentially agree to.

      If your health insurance premium is going to go up as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
      If you are going to have to ask for family support to get through paying something monthly until you get your tax refund.
      If you have to make up the difference in helping a son or daughter who will need some financial support starting in January (college, grand baby on the way, lay off etc).

      There are many reasons someone has to project their budget aside from meeting normal monthly expenses. You need to be able to convey what is happening in your life.

      You can get some help and one on one coaching if you feel you need it. If you get stuck post an update and I can offer some further suggestions.

  149. Thank you for your last response. I was you going to write you with some questions on proceeding with trying for a settlement. My grandpa passed away and I just got back into time yesterday. It had been one thing after another. Like I had told you my contact at Midland told me to contact him by the 21st because he would be out for the holidays after that. I was just served papers tonight with the plaintiff being midland. I was to they were taking my account out of dispute (regarding my dv letter) after my fax was sent to them. Why is this now happening? I had told them I was going to work with them. I thought after I contacted them it would take out the possibility of going to court. Is this a mistake in documentation? What do I do know? I would like to call first thing in the am and see why this is.

    Please advise. Thank you so much.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Laurie – I typically do not see that occurring when you are openly trying to work something out with Midland. Rather than speculate as to why that may have happened through comment exchanges, I am available to dig into this over the phone. I am signing off for tonight, but can be available most of tomorrow. You can reply to the email you get from me, or call the number in my signature line.

  150. I was contacted by Midland today. I have seen them on my credit report. They purchased a debt of mine from 2005. They said last activity was 2007. He told me on the phone that I was sued and had a judgement filed against me and it is on my credit report. I monitor my report and there is nothing showing on my report in form of a judgement. I never received anything in the mail from them stating they were filing against me. I flipped out on the guy to and refused to take his number. 2014 will be the statue of limitations on this thing. I am nervous after now seeing on other sites that they garnish wages and bank accounts. I live in Pa and the company was from NJ. I don’t know if that makes a difference with the way the handle things or are allowed to.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Jamie – Have you lived at the same address since the debt was incurred? If so, check your local court record and verify whether a suit was filed. A judgment will not always appear on your credit reports. The easiest and quickest thing to do would be to call Midland and provide your information and ask what court a judgment exists in, and then you can pull the information together. Right now you are on a fact finding mission, so keep any conversation brief and business like. Post a follow up comment with what you learn and lets go from there.

  151. I went to court over a debt that wasn’t mine. The court sided with me and it was dismissed. I sent court documents to all three credit bureau’s and they refuse to take off the debt. So a court of law says that I am not responsible for a debt that isn’t mine but these credit bureau’s are allowed to ruin my credit by refusing to remove false information?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Barbara – I would need a whole lot more details to understand your situation. What specifically happened in court? Why did the judge determine the debt was not yours? Where did the debt originate from? Is that being reported along with any other collection trade line?

      If I knew the answers to the above questions I could better offer meaningful feedback.

  152. Hello. I just recently received a letter from MCM demanding payment on a debt that has run the statute of limitations (which in CA is 4 yrs.). I haven’t even heard from the original creditor for 2 years until recently when they notified me that I would be contacted by MCM. In the communication from MCM, they even stated that they cannot sue due to the statute of limitations. As a result, I have no intentions of paying the debt (which is for @ $7000). How do you suggest I proceed in dealing with all the harassing phone calls and letters?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Kim – If you are certain the debt is passed the SOL you can send them a cease communication letter to stop those calls and letters. Just be certain the SOL is expired, as once you send a request that all communications cease, the only door left open for communication is the one entering the court house.

      • The date of the debt is August of 2008 and I’ve had no communication since then. So the SOL has passed. I might just wait-it-out. Shouldn’t it fall off my credit report after 7 years?
        I can always try blocking the annoying calls.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Both the original creditors charge off entry, and a debt collectors negative reporting, should fall off the credit report after no later than 7.5 years from the date you last made a payment in 2008. So you have a ways to go before that happens.

  153. I have another situation to run-by-you. I was sued by American Express and have been paying on the judgement for 13 months through a wage assignment to the tune of about $8000.. Now I have received a letter from NCO Financial demanding payment for $2640. When I contacted the lawfirm, they informed me that the debt was recalled and that they were having the wage assignment discontinued and that I now need to deal with NCO Financial. I don’t understand all of this! I only owed another 4 months to satisfy the entire debt. Now I’m getting calls up to 6 times a day from NCO and when I call back, I only get voicemails! How do I know they hav the correct amount since I know the letter they sent me was before the last wage garnishment?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Kim – That is really odd! You can reach out to AMEX directly and inquire about the amounts they show as owing. If there is a discrepancy in their records I would want to get to the bottom of that first. You can also request NCO provide that detail.

      Can you confirm that your payments through garnishment were being processed through the court? If so, can you get a copy of that accounting?

      What is the name of the attorney firm this was going through?

      • Michael:

        Thank you for your prompt response. The law firm is:
        Gordon and Wong Law Group
        510 Myrtle Ave. Suite 102
        South San Francisco, CA 94080

        All I know is that the $625 on my pay stub reads “Riverside Sheriff Wage Assignment.”
        Where, at the courthouse would I go to get the accounting on the wage assign. amount?
        I guess I should send a certified letter to NCO Financial and request an accounting showing all the wage assign. payments.
        What do you think?

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Kim – Contact the sheriffs office or the court clerk about how you can obtain an accounting. And yes, if it were me, I would both write to NCO, and call American Express.

          • Michael:
            After being bombarded with phone calls from an Alice Marie Hughes of NCO Financial three to four times a day, I quickly made a concerted effort to contact this woman at the number she gave me. I called at different hours of the day and left messages on her voicemail with the proper acct. number. I even gave her a several good times to reach me. Finally I just mailed (via registered mail with a signed receipt) the payment amount of $2640.62 in a cashiers check. I received notice that it was received and the calls have since ceased. My question is where do I go from here? I’ve been reading horror stories here of yet other collection agencies demanding payment for debts paid off! How do I know that the judgement has been satisfied? Since NCO “recalled” the debt and I have paid what they asked, what happens with the court judgement? And how do I know it won’t come back on me? The attorneys for American Express won’t discuss it with me since NCO recalled the debt. I’m retiring in June and I need this put to rest before then. Should I send another registered letter to NCO requesting a letter from them that the debt has been satisfied? I had a judgement with another credit card co. who dismissed the lawsuit and I received a letter to that effect. Please advise.

            Kim

            • Michael Bovee says:

              Kim – Getting this all documented more clearly would have been ideal, before sending off payment. Because this is a judgment debt, remitting payment through the court may have been a better course, if the judgment creditor, or their assignee NCO, were unresponsive.

              When was it that they received and processed your payment?

              • Michael:

                They received the cashiers check on February 12, 2014. When it was processed, I don’t know. NCO Financial hasn’t called me since they received it.

                Kim

                • Michael Bovee says:

                  Kim – I have done settlements on judgment debts that took a few months to update in the court record. You also have the option of moving the court to update the judgment as satisfied. Do you have proof of all payments?

                  • Michael:
                    My proof of payment is the wage garnishment except for the last payment to NCO Financial (the $2640. that I sent in a cashiers check via registered mail).
                    Kim

                    • Michael Bovee says:

                      You could light a fire under NCO’s butt by calling AMEX direct, and if not a satisfactory experience, file a complaint with the CFPB. If it were me, and I did not have a credit goal in the next 60 days, I would give it another 30 days, but I do appreciate any apprehension you may have with waiting.

  154. Hello Michael,
    I was sued by Midland and a judgement was entered against me. I did not try to contact them to validate before this and quite honestly, I was going through difficult financial stress and it all became overwhelming. I was in the process of losing my home with Bank of America and it took me two and a half years to finally work out loan modification with them. This all took place during my negotiations with BOA. Not to make excuses, I just couldn’t handle another negotiation and was financially strapped and did not have ability to make any payment arrangements. Moving forward, I was sued, judgement entered against me. Writ of execution was filed and they were able to freeze my bank account. I had money saved and borrowed for my mortgage/modification. This is the money that they were able to take. My debt is about 2400.00 and they froze 2800. I contacted both Midland and their lawyers. They refused to work with me. I explained my situation and they said they could not help me. I then filed an exemption. I was granted this exemption. Now they have sent letters to other banks to freeze accounts. I do not have accounts at these other banks. My question is first, will they be able to take my vehicle that I have a loan on at this point? The writ says for property, but does not specify property other than bank accounts at the banks listed, one of which I do have auto loan. Second question, how do I resolve if they refuse to offer payment plan at this point and just keep filing writ of execution to seize any/all property? Any advice or help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to help people like me and alleviate some of the stress.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Marinia – You are still paying the finance company for the auto loan, so they have title. Your car is not likely at any risk.

      You should be able to get set up on a payment plan by working with the attorney for Midland Credit. What efforts have you made to do that so far (calling/writing letters)? What amount can you budget for monthly?

      • Hello Michael,
        Thank you very much for your reply. I tried to contact Midland when I received the writ of execution. They told me it was in the hands of the attorney and I would need to contact them. I contacted their attorney and was advised there was not anything they could do to help me unless I had the money to pay the judgement. I went back to Midland, a second gentlemen told me he would see what he could do and get back to me, but in the meantime have the bank fax over their answer to the writ of execution. He did not get back to me. When I went to the hearing for the exemption I had a meeting in the hallway with their attorney and explained my situation and asked if they could work something out with me that I needed to have these funds released for my loan modification. He said he didn’t really see any reason to release the funds and I given opportunity before this point to pay the debt. He said the only option was to speak to the judge. I believe they felt the judge would agree with them and deny my exemption. However, she sided with me and they were not happy when they left the court room. I remained in the courtroom to sign final documents and to get copy of the decree. I once again contacted Midland, this time the original woman who handled my case and she advised basically the same thing as the attorney I was given ample notice to pay or make arrangements. There was not anything they could do at this point unless I was willing to settle the claim in full. She said I was more than welcome to contact the attorney. Left a message, honestly I did not hound them because I thought since they lost in court they would be more willing to make arrangement because there was no other way for them to receive funds. I don’t know, but it seems as if they are going to contact every bank in the city assuming I am hiding money until they are able to seize a bank account. Will it be at that point they will make a payment arrangement? I am not sure how to get them to make arrangement or what my options are at this point. I do not have a lot in my budget at this time. Hopefully that will change within the next month. I just interviewed for another part time position starting in January, and in another month I will have two other credit cards paid off. That will give me $60.00, yes they were low. I received bad news yesterday and told my modification will now increase by $50.00 a month due to taxes/insurance and that will be permanent. I am sorry to go into such great detail, but wanted to give you full story. Thank you again for your time and help.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          No apologies for the details. The more information, the better ability to offer feedback.

          They were unable to retain the funds from the bank levy (and you now know to keep little funds in any account until this is resolved); there is little or nothing to seize as non exempt property; and no wage garnishment because you live in a state that prevents that, or would be considered partially/fully exempt; puts you in a unique position.

          You can work to save up the funds to settle the judgment with the attorney for Midland. This would take some time based on what you shared about your ability to budget each month, and you will be looking over your shoulder the whole while. And the balance of the judgment is likely increasing from interest allowed by the court. Can you think of any resources you can pool money from other than your monthly income?

          You can set up a meaningful payment plan. I am at somewhat of a loss as to why a payment arrangement has been difficult to obtain at this point. With no other immediate term collection angle, some form of payment is better than none. What law firm are you dealing with? What state are you in?

          • I am in Pennsylvania, I know that they are not allowed to garnish wages. The law firm is Weltman, Weinberg and Reis. I am going to try and contact them again. I can only make guess as to why the refusal for payment plan. It seems they are going to try to levy and make sure that there are no other funds before they agree to payment. As stated, they did have levy on my account and there was money to cover judgement. This was money I saved over time to cover mortgage. I am trying to increase $$ /budget. Selling on Ebay and flea markets and other resources. Maybe now, that they are finding out that I do not have no other bank accounts they would be willing to make arrangements. Would it be best to contact attorney again or go to Midland directly? I would think the attorney since they are filing for levy and notified that there are no accounts at these banks. What is your experience with the bank levy? Do they continue issuing until all financial institutions are covered, e.g. credit unions, banks?
            I will contact them again today and let you know of outcome. Thank you again for your help.

            • Michael Bovee says:

              Marinia – Over the last decade I consider Weltman Weinberg and Reis to be one of the easier firms to work with to resolve debts (whether a pro is negotiating or the consumer themselves). That experience reflects about 90% of files that are settling with a lump sum, so not completely relevant to your situation, but payment plans are rarely problematic to set up when caught early. There are files that hit roadblocks for predictable reasons, and it could be that yours is one of them. Paying other creditors on time is an example of why a collection file may be viewed differently.

              Calling Weltman is how to make progress from here.

              As far as bank levies go, yes, a collection attorney is often going to extend every effort to collect. In states like PA and NC, where wages are protected, that limitation can make repeated attempts to levy more of a normal practice.

  155. I am in a very poor situation with Midland. I have a court date for December 10 2103. I owe about 25K I have phoned Midland several times to attempt to make a payment plan. I can only pay around $ 350-400 a month. To make a payment plan with them to do this I need a down payment of 3K. I have not got this, and cannot borrow it, or get it any way. I am single mother of two children 6 and 8. I have no financial support from my ex. My life is a very serious financial struggle. I am willing to pay this money back, but I cannot seem to stop this freight train from rolling on top of me. Do you have any advice?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Kim – What is the December 10 date about?

      Debt collectors, including Midland Funding, rarely accept payment plans that extend as long as you are asking for. At $400 a month, it would take more than 5 years to pay this off. But there are instances where the court can be part of an affordable payment solution.

      I do have some additional feedback, but have some questions first.

      Do you have any other debts unpaid? If so, what are the balances?
      Do you have other unsecured debts you are paying on? What are those balances?

  156. Hi, Michael.

    I am dealing with Midland for a debt with Citibank (for Home Depot) for $4500. I have been served papers and have until Monday Dec. 8th to file an answer.

    I talked with Midland today and am going to try and settle this. They say it is now a$5300 and they will accept $4300 lump sum to settle. I told them I would call back today and see what I can come up with. I can come up with around $2800.

    My 2 questions: Do I need to file a response with the court by Monday, even tho I’m talking with Midland now? And what are the chances they will accept my $2800? It is all I can get. I cannot afford any monthly payments as I cannot afford the monthly payments I have now…it’s why I’m in this mess to begin with. lol.

    Thanks for any help.
    Steve

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Steve – I was jammed up on some deadlines Friday, so missed answering your post.

      If you were able to agree to a settlement with the attorney for Midland Funding in a single lump sum payment, filing an answer to their complaint may not have been necessary. If you got an agreement in writing outlining the settlement terms (which you should always do), what did it say?

      Settling debts when sued is a moving target as far as what you can get them to agree to. You are targeting roughly 50%, and if your hardship scenario warrants it, they may go for it.

  157. Hello:

    I am being sued by an attorney working for Midland for a Washington Mutal account for $ 4,640 that I had opened in 2004. The last time it was active was in 07/2008. The claim states that account is from Chase. I already aswered my summons and stated that I had never herd from them that they had no proof that this debt was mine and to provide proof that this debt was mine, and we are now scheduled for a pre-trial conference. What should I write as a disclosure statement? They have not provided me with any documentation such as Application /contract for this credit card, no payment history, no bill of sale for this debt to them, plaintiff affidavit, nothing signed by me. The only thing they will present as evidence is a billing statement from WaMu from 2008 that they got through cardmember services. Is this enough to prove this account is mine? What should I write on my disclosure statement? Should I ask for more proof that this debt is mine? Do you think we will go to trial? I am a single mom of 3 kids and make $890 a month. I cannot afford to hire an attorney so I am doing everything on my own :(

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Bianca – What state are you in?

      • Arizona

      • Mi pretrial conference is set for 1/7/2014.

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Bianca – While only anecdotal, and every case is different, the stuff I have seen out of Arizona this year suggests negotiating some form of settlement to be the better path to take for many people. I am not suggesting you cave your defense, but I have seen collection suits in Arizona result in judgments even when people are represented by experienced consumer law attorneys.

          You could stick to your guns and potentially get this dismissed prior to trial; show for pretrial conference and find some middle ground for settling or affordable payments; or indeed find yourself having to prepare for trial. In any of these events, it would be best to have some form of experienced legal support. Have you connected with any low income legal aid offices in your area?

          • Could this get dimissed prior to the pretrial conference or would it happens, if it does, after the pretrial conference?

            • Michael Bovee says:

              Bianca – Lawsuits can be dismissed for a myriad of reasons, and at different times. The best resource for your concerns would be boots on the ground (attorneys) dealing with your local courts, or that have already worked opposite of the attorneys suing you.

  158. I am in Pennsylvania. Midland Credit is trying to collect on an old T-Mobile debt at the amount of $825. They “hired” a company called Diversified Consultants to collect on their behalf of which had been calling my job and home repeatedly every day for two weeks straight prior to me eventually answering the phone on November 13 and talking to one of their representatives. The woman told me that their records show that the last payment I made to T-Mobile was in 2007. The account was paid off but I think they are trying to collect the full balance left on the phone because I did not complete the new 2-year contract and an early termination fee. Anyhow, the woman did not give me an exact date that this payment was made and I do not remember quite remember myself. Two days later I wrote a letter to Diversified & Midland repeating what the rep told me and letting them know that the debt was SOL under Federal (2 years for cell phone bills) from what I have been told (for Pennsyvlvania SOL is 4-years from last payment made). Midland then sent me a copy of a electronic T-Mobile customer account information record showing that the last billing date was 2/1/11. It shows a debt of $727.03. (Actual debt $470.59 + late payment fee of $4.43 + a one time unspecified charge of $257.03). Althought it does not show the payment that was made in 2007, the date of this record still puts their efforts at collecting this debt beyond the SOL.

    This debt shows up on my credit report under Midland Funding on my credit report however, it does not show accurate information. It shows Placed for Collection 10/31/11; Updated 6/26/13 and the amount of $825.

    By the way, Pennsylvania’s SOL is 4 years from the last payment made on the account.

    Should I try to bargain with them? Wait until they sue me? Which they are not supposed to do on an SOL debt anyway. What should I do?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Lisa – If you are confident the last payment ever made to the cell phone bill with TMobile was 2007, if sued you could defend against it fairly simple using the time barred in PA SOL angle.

      By bargain with them, I assume you mean settle. You can certainly negotiate with Midland Credit. What is your goal?

  159. i have a past debt with tmobile and mcm have sent me a letter saying that they are willing to reduce the amount i owe and resolve my account with them. i am in the process of trying to rebuild my credit since i am a fresh college graduate trying to get a start in life. i want to pay it at the reduced rate they have offered me but i am not sure it that will drop my credit score or not since i am not sure how they will report to the credit reporting agencies. does showing paid look better than settled on my report? so if they do report to it as being paid then should i pay the reduced amount? the debt has been on my report since 2011. or should i just leave it alone because i dont want to pay money to have my score dropped even lower.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Indy – Whether Midland Credit shows up on your credit report as paid, or settled, the impact to your credit report is going to likely be the same. The goal in this will be having the account show as a zero balance owed.

      There are instances where a collection account getting resolved, and updated as no longer owed on your credit, will temporarily drop your credit score. But if you are actively makes strides to improve your credit, it is short lived, and often a much more effective approach than leaving the debt unresolved, and waiting roughly 7 years for it to fall off on its own.

  160. Hi Michael,
    I got a letter from midland saying that I owe 500 and some dollars from a citibank credit card that I closed in 2007, so I went to a citibank branch and ask. they said I don’t owe them anything, and they didn’t put me on collections. Back in 2010 I got a call from a collection company i don’t remember if it was midland or someone else and I payed 300 at that time. what Should I do please help. Thank you

    • Michael Bovee says:

      ah – What state do you live in? Also, any chance you have a letter or any other form of documentation about the account you paid pack in 2010?

  161. Joseph Thibault says:

    I am currently being sued by Midland Funding in New Hampshire for an account with Dell that my ex-wife has opened without my knowledge. I requested Debt Validation and got in return copies of “bill of sale” multiple pages none of which have my name or signature (Nothing they sent has my signature since I never signed anything nor opened any account). Also copies of previous mailed bills to address I haven’t lived at since my separation (divorce) in 2011. All in all, no page from what they sent to me has my signature owning up to any relationship with said debt. Lastly, just received second packet (same as first) with front letter asking to resolve (settle) issue without going to court, does this mean they have no proof and trying to intimidate me into settled without going to trial ?

    • Joseph Thibault says:

      Also like to add that only the copies of mailed bills to old address have my name, since that is what my ex used to open account, and I believe one other page. There must be about 15 – 20 pages total, again none have a signature.

      Thanks so much for any information and/or advice!

      • Michael Bovee says:

        I would not get too hung up on the signature thing, unless you want to approach this a little differently.

        Your ex appears to have screwed you on this. What if any discussion have you had with her about this?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Joseph – Some debt buyers have a tendency to offer to negotiate a settlement at different stages of a collection suit. I would say Midland Funding is one of the easier buyers to deal with at this stage of collection. If your goal is to settle, sounds like now is a good time to see what that would look like.

      Nothing you shared suggests to me they do not have proof, or access to what is needed. But that is not always the driver to settling – nor is ready access to proving a debt a reason to back off from any position you have.

      How much is the debt? What is the offer?

      • Joseph Thibault says:

        Micheal,
        Thanks for the reply. They have not addressed any settlement amount yet, I have only just received my appearance date in Small Claims (Feb 2014). They first sent the packet of copies of their “proof” and another of the same copies yet with this packet is attached a cover letter stating ” Now that you have this, would you please advise if we can resolve this matter ? It is our hope that we can do so without the need for legal involvement. If not, however, and a trial is necessary, this is to advise that we intend to seek introduction of these documents”.

        As for my comment not showing they have no proof, they provided no signed contract of obligation to said debt nor signature of mine of which isn’t anywhere within the copies they sent to me because I never signed nor opened any account with Dell, my ex-wife had without my consent.

        Thanks I appreciate your time,
        J. Thibault

        • Michael Bovee says:

          You can bring up the subject of settling, and target a realistic offer in your negotiations with Midland, at any time.

          Unsecured credit contracts may be instigated on line, and through electronic signatures/agreements, more than on sight and mailed applications are sent in at this point. That is partially why getting hung up on their having a wet ink signature is not the most productive thing to focus on.

          Here is the thing – Your ex screwed you on this. What if any responsibility is she willing to take for this? If none, are you willing to throw her under the bus? If not, what is your goal to resolve this?

  162. Michael Sully says:

    Michael,

    My ex wife was served by a lawyer for Midland Funding. She is currently in CO with a 6 year SOL. The debt is for a CC for a Nevada Bank and the SOL in NV is 4 Years. Is it ok to use the state of residence instead of the state of the contract, just to enlarge the SOL? I wrote her answer for her and used all potential affirmative defenses, including they were not the proper part to sue, SOL, and no evidence of any contract written or stated was presented with the complaint. The court has set a hearing on the motion to dismiss I prepared for 13 Jan. My question is what proof do the need to show they bought the debt and they are the real party in interest to sue? Also what do they need to show that colorado is the correct venue not NV? Since it would state on the original documents what the correct method of dealing with default is, should they have to provide the signed original documents?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Michael – It is most common for collection lawsuits to be brought in consideration of the SOL in the state where the debtor resides. There are some arguments, when made correctly, that have successfully used the creditors incorporation state as the SOL measurement. I do not think that is a common occurrence though. To be sure this question, and all of your legal questions, are answered thoroughly and accurately, you really should be speaking with an experienced attorney in your state of Colorado.

  163. Michael,
    I just wanted to share my personal experience with midland credit management for everyone. 2010 I stopped paying on a debt with HSBC. $7500 was charged off and sold to Asset acceptance. They sent me offers and everything for years until about 4 months ago it went from asset to Midland credit. By the time they got it the debt was around $10,300. They sent me an offer letter for 70% off to settle for $3100. I was skeptical at first but wanted this done and over with so I payed them the offered amount. When I called them the account handler informed me I had another debt with them from citi around $1,200 and said they would settle that one for $600. It was indeed my debt but they did also tell me that because of the age of the account that they could no longer sue me in the state of Texas. They sent that offer letter as well and even stated on the offer letter that they could not sue me. I went ahead and paid that one off too. I checked my credit report this month and they held true to their word and the accounts show as being paid in full. My credit score then went from a 609 to a 657. So anyone saying that paying off collections does not raise your credit score is extremely misinformed. They really weren’t that bad to deal with and I finally have the mess behind me. Just want everyone to know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Thanks for sharing your story with Midland Credit Billy.

      I have no problem telling people Midland Credit and Midland Funding are pretty easy to work with. I generally find they stick to the Consumer Bill of Rights on their website.

  164. Hi. Asset sold my debt, do i still owr a wage.garnishment? Thks eileen

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Asset Acceptance, the whole company and not just a portfolio of collection accounts, was purchased by Midland. A wage garnishment is made possible by a court judgment, so yes, you still owe it, but Asset Acceptance did not change their name or anything like that, so you should still be able to call AA directly if you have questions or want find out how you can resolve the garnishment.

  165. Hi Michael,
    My situation seems a little different than other posts I’ve read on here. I pulled my credit report last night, and to my surprise Midland Funding has TWO accounts of mine that are negatively affecting my credit score. One of them was for Verizon (my last payment to Verizon was in 2006) and the other one, I’m not so sure what it’s from. I am not being sued by them (yet!), but what is bothering me is that when Midland bought these debt from the original creditors, they RE-AGED the debt! They bought the debts back in March of 2012, but the last payment to Verizon was in 2006 (Well passed the SOL in New York) and the other one I’m almost sure is from AAMCO, which the last payment is from 2007 (Also, passed the SOL). Are the allowed to re-age a debt after THEY buy it if I haven’t made a payment of acknowledged that this debt was valid?? Isn’t that illegal, and shouldn’t it have time-barred? Please help! I don’t know what step to take in order to get these to stop reporting negatively to my credit, considering they have been already for 7-8 years. *ALSO!* When I called Midland Funding last night to dispute this, they told me “last time you spoke with us, you told us you had an attorney handling this case so we are unable to talk to YOU about this account” unable to talk to ME?! It’s MY credit! And I’ve NEVER spoken to them, and certainly NEVER told them I had an attorney handling the case. I’ve never had an attorney in my whole life! Thank you!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Vicky – Debt collectors like Midland Funding are hyper aware of different obligations they have under state and federal laws. While I think telling someone – who is the subject of a collection account – that they cannot talk to them due to a prior limited power of attorney being sent in, is taking that too far, it is not my opinion that matters. Even though you never sent any such document, or made any prior reference, they have your account coded that way. If you want to work this out with them over the phone you will probably have to fax something in about removing any limited authorizations in order to proceed. But if it were me, I would probably send them a credit reporting dispute letter outlining the facts you shared in your comment, and any other relevant ones, sent certified mail return receipt. You could also send those disputes to the credit reporting agencies in the same manner.

      Do Verizon and AAMCO still show on the credit reports at all?

      • Thank you for your response. I wasn’t sure if I should be sending the dispute letter straight to the collection agency, or skip that all together and send it to the credit bureau. Both Verizon and AAMCO sold the debt to midland, so they no longer show up on my credit report, just midland. But again, those original debts are from at least 7-8 years ago, so midland bought them in march of 2012, they re-aged the debt to that new date- not the original date. They should NO longer be reporting to my credit, yet they are. I’m at a loss at what to do. I read a lot that when you dispute a debt and the credit bureau ‘investigates’ they don’t go too far into it and when they contact the collection agency, of course the CA says it’s valid and that’s about the end of the investigation. How do I go about telling the CA that this debt is time-barred and the fact that they re-aged the debt is illegal. I need this debt to stop reporting negatively towards my credit.

  166. Hi Michael,
    I’m speaking in behalf of my mother who received a letter from Midland Credit Management two days
    ago. She never finished high school and English is her second language. I can best explain her issue with MCM.
    The letter stated, on 11-21-2013, her Washington Mutual bank account was sold to Midland Funding LLC, and Midland Credit Management, Inc. according to MCM, debt owe by mom is $19,699.52 and offered three types of payment plan options. Also stated in the letter, Because of the age of your debt, we will not sue you for it. If you do not pay the debt , we will report it to the credit reporting agencies”
    and so on… I’m trying to find the best way to handle this with MCM or maybe seek legal advice.
    I’ve been taking care of my mother since her husband (my stepfather) passed away 2005. I had to fly
    to Arkansas (where they lived at that time), to bring her home with me. He died of cancer and I have
    the death certificate.
    We soon found out that my stepfather died leaving credit cards debts. Creditors started calling or writing and I explained to them that my mother knew nothing about this debt. The irony of it all
    is that his profession was a debt collector. He also served in the Korean war. This was a big blow to
    me and my mom. The calls and letters stopped until two days ago when I received the letter. I don’t even have the heart to show her the letter.
    I’d appreciate any advice or comment.
    Best
    Margaret

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Margaret – It sounds like the debt originally with WAMU (now with Midland Credit) is passed the SOL for filing a legitimate collection lawsuit. That would take pressure off. What is her goal with this account?

      • Michael,
        Thank you for taking time and reading my letter.
        My mom ‘s goal is to send MCM a Cease and Desist Letter. My stepfather never made her aware
        of his debts. Some credit cards were opened under her name and she never even signed for them. Upon further investigation, I looked at her credit report and noticed that she never even resided in one of the addresses (residence) shown.
        My mom is responsible with paying her own credit cards (2) that she currently have and If MCM reports her to the credit bureau agencies, it won’t matter because it’s been ruined after my stepfather’s death. My stepfather didn’t have any assets. My mom took care of him during his illness. She does not want to be harassed by creditors.

  167. Hello, I have question. MCM had bank funds garished for few days and also took me to court back in April of 2013. In which the judge send,I was order to pay the debt. They collected debt which inlcuded attorney,court and interest fees,driectly from my bank account. I just recently received a letter again from them requesting that, I pay an unpaid interest. I would like to know what are my rights and how to handle this. IF, I already paid them the total amount they took me o court for. I the SOL on debt is expired,but was entacted back in 2008. when I agreed. Since, I paid this account. Can they continue send pay request for this debt I paid completely. PLease help what are my options.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Audrey – The best resource to ask about your legal rights is an attorney, and with this type of thing, one whose practice focuses on consumer law. You can also call or write a letter to Midland Credit asking for an accounting. They may respond with what you are looking for.

      SOL to be sued for collection is different than the SOL to enforce a judgment.

  168. Hello, I have a question about settling an old debt with Midland. I was actually sued by Midland in my county court back in 2010 for roughly $10,000.00. I was able to find legal aid to help with this matter. Midland was unable to prove the debt and withdrew the claim with prejudice. I received a letter from legal aid after this happened saying the suit had been dropped. I thought this meant this was over and off of my credit. I recently started looking into buying a house and find out this is still on my credit report. I contacted legal aid and was told that since this was withdrawn with prejudice that they can come back to sue me at any time. I of course can not get a home loan until this is taken off of my credit report. I am unsure of how to deal with this now. It shows as a debt of over $12,000.00, I am assuming interest? I am not sure if I can call Midland myself to negotiate this to a lower amount. I am scared to call and make things worse. I have not been contacted by this company in years. Should I contact an attorney to help me negotiate this down? My loan officer said he could get this off my credit report if I could pay this off and get it in writing. Thanks for any advise you may have!

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Cassie – When was it you first missed a payment on this debt to the original creditor? What state do you live in? You can call and negotiate a lower payoff with Midland Funding. Depending on how collectable you look, and how old this debt is, you can probably negotiate a good savings. Having said that, maybe it makes more sense to wait until Midland is dropped from your credit report.

      You qualified for low income legal aid back in 2010, but it sounds like things have turned around well, so asking the legal aid attorney for help may not work. You certainly can connect with an attorney of your own to help you negotiate a settlement, but could likely do just as well yourself, and save money that way.

      • My first missed payment was somewhere around 2009-2010. I of course do not have any of the original paper work because I thought this was reolved. I live in Pennsylvania. How long does it take for this to drop from a credit report. My husband and I want to buy a house but I can’t do anything with this debt showing on my report. Otherwise, my credit is good and I have no other outstanding debts. I have been able to put together a small lump some to offer as a payoff. Will I have to contact the lawyer who represented Midland in the suit or can I call Midland directly?

  169. Hi Michael,
    I have been receiving calls from MCM since last month. I have not answered a single call. I owe no debt and I currently checked my credit report and it is in good standing. I make my monthly bank and retail store payments. I am a current college student with government loans but I do not have to pay until 2017. Why could they be calling me? I am afraid to answer the phone in fear of it escalating. I read that if I do not answer their calls, it can impact my credit score? What can I do? Thank you.

  170. Hi Michael,
    I just found out a little bit more on my credit report. One of my credit cards was sold to a lender, of which I believe is MCM. But as I said in my earlier post I have been paying this card and my report says it is still in good standing, but it also says “date closed” in september. what does this mean?

  171. Hi Michael,
    I posted a question earlier but it seems to have disappeared. I currently took out a credit card from best buy of which I have been paying onetime since i received it. However on my credit report it says that I am in good standing with such credit card BUT it was “purchased by another lender” which I think is MCM since they have been calling me everyday. I have not answered their calls. Furthermore, on that credit account it says it was closed in september, two months after i opened the account. How could this happen? What can I do?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Paui – Something went haywire and Home Depot treated your account as a loss; and Midland Funding picked it up (bought it), now Midland Credit is collecting. All of that is normal stuff for accounts that go delinquent. It is not normal for accounts that are opened and then paid on time. I would contact both Midland Credit and customer service with Home Depot credit cards and find out what happened. Post an update with what you learn.

  172. Hi,
    Right before Thanksgiving my boyfriend was served a summons by midland. Apparently he had three outstanding credit card debts that were bought. They never sent a demand for payment just a summons. At the summons, the attorney gave three options, file an answer, pay $40/month for 5 years (which is still the total amount), or do nothing and get a default judgement. The attorney would not give him any other options so he filed an answer. Right before Christmas he received a letter demanding payment on another account for $422. We have made every attempt to contact legal aid services and consulted with several attorneys. Neither of us can afford an attorney but my boyfriend cannot represent himself. We aren’t making much progress in finding representation but I feel he will lose the case if he has to defend himself. He called a debt management company we found online and the woman he spoke to told him to try and settle the smaller debt. He called midland funding and agreed to pay off the two smaller accounts after the debt was discounted down. As for the big debt, they have a pre-trial and trial dates set and mandatory mediation. He called the plaintiffs lawyer directly to set it up. She asked if he was given options by the collector who answered the phone to settle or pay off his debt (which would stop the legal action) and he said no. So she transferred him back to the collector who said they wanted $465 in payments to stop the legal action. My boyfriend told him, his paychecks were barely at $250 each week plus rent, food, gas, bills, and child support. I pay some of it but I won’t get my paycheck till Feb 14th. We live paycheck to paycheck right now and we can’t afford a lawyer or to settle. It’s like being backed into a corner. He made an attempt to prevent further legal action and it failed. They were not willing to work with his income. I’m not sure if there is anything else we can do?

    Julie
    Denver, CO

    • I forgot to mention a few things! The account he is sued for was through Washington Mutual. He was making payments when Chase bought it out and raised the interest rate to 31.99% He said he was paying more than minimum amount and not putting a dent in it. He got overwhelmed and couldn’t catch up. He requested discovery from the plaintiffs and we got a packet full of crap! The credit card agreement was a copy of a sample agreement with *insert name here* at the top. The chain of sale only shows that Chase bought Washington mutual and Midland bought some charged off accounts but there were no account numbers or names on them. A poorly copied affidavit, and a bunch of statements addressed to Steve. There wasn’t much there to show they actually owned his account.

      On a side note: He received a letter about a class action lawsuit against Midland Funding that settled. It was giving him the chance to opt in for getting part of the settlement. He qualifies because they found his info in Midlands computer systems and he is currently being sued. Do you think he should opt in?

      • Michael Bovee says:

        Julie – I had not seen this additional comment before replying to the other. The packet of discovery docs may/may not meet his requests, and can contain many points of contention in situations like this. It is up to him to learn and follow local and state court rules in order to poke holes in Midland Funding’s lawsuit. But you indicated he is not prepared to do that. Why do you say that? Your comment shows at least some awareness of the issues.

        I am happy with the way class action lawsuits regarding consumer-centric issues can often lead to major shifts and changes in how consumers are treated more fairly. I am not a fan of class action when looked at through the lens of the individual consumer, who rarely receive anything meaningful by way of recompense, when the action is resolved. I personally would see no reason to join the class.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Julie – Where does the current lawsuit stand? Are there any discovery items/requests pending? What is the total amount of the debt being sued for?

  173. Hi Michael,

    I have a judgment on my credit report in favor of Midland funding. I am not sure who the original creditor was because it is not listed. The date filed was 01/2008 for $3223.00. My concern is that I was never served by a process server or anyone for this law suit. I also never received any court notices or court appearances in the mail. How should I handle this?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Nelson – It is really rare to get a judgment from 6 years ago backed out. But if that is the goal you want to accomplish, you should talk to an experienced consumer law attorney about your options. Get a copy of the court record and be prepared.

      Do you have some other credit goal right now, or other reason to resolve the account?

      • DAVID PINEDO says:

        I had a Washington Mutual Credit card line of 1000.00 after a year or so I settled with them for 650.00 in March of 2009. In April 2010 about a year later I get a phone call from Midland Funding stating that I owe about 1,500.00 in and account from Chase. I never had and account with Chase I later found out that sometime in 2009, shortly after I settled with Washington Mutual, Chase had taken over.

        I explained to Midland Funding that I had paid a settlement with Washington Mutual and on my credit card report it stated that my credit card regarding this incident case was closed. They proceeded to tell me that they had no paperwork of any such transactions, and that I needed to make a payment. I told them that I would not pay any more money in a credit card which was already settled. Washington Mutual did send me a letter stating the case was closed however with time a accidently misplaced the letter.

        I recall writing out a check for 650.00 and give or take a dollar to Washington Mutual for the settlement. All of the sudden Chase took over and now there is no paper trail of my payment.
        And now more than 5 years have passed and today 2-24-2014, I was contacted by my bank and they advised me that Midland Funding had placed a Levi (hold) on my bank account. They once again would like for me to make a payment on an account that I settled for back in march of 2009.

        And to make matter worse they want 3000.00 this time. I don’t know what to do. This company has made no attempt to contact me in the last year or so, and all of the sudden my account is frozen. I settled with Washington Mutual it reflects on my credit report and a check made out to them in march of 2009. Why is my funds frozen I feel like I am pressured to pay for something that I do not owe. The fact that Chase took over and has no paperwork of this is not my fault. And here I write this desperate as my account has been frozen and I do not have access to one single penny. As a father of four I am worried, bills need to be paid and rent is due along with all everything else, food gas for work etc. I don’t know what to do
        please help

        • Michael Bovee says:

          David – You mentioned settling a case with WAMU, and Midland has levied your bank account. In order to levy the account there would have been a judgment. Was the judgment from 2009, or is there a judgment after that. My feedback will be different depending on the answer.

      • Michael,

        I called Midland Funding and when I gave them my social security number they told me that they do not have anything with my name or social on their records. When I told them that there’s a judgement on my credit report they didn’t know why… I’m having a difficult time finding an attorney that is willing to work with a judgment that is 6 years old.
        My goal for resolving this issue is to purchase a home. My wife and I were approved for an owner financed home and we were not able to close on the house when this judgment was discovered.
        What I would also like to know is that when a judgment becomes 7 years old and it no longer reports onto your credit report, are you able to purchase a home or does it still come up?
        Thanks for your advice

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Nelson – A title company and other types of credit checks can turn up matters of public record too. The tendency is to rely on the credit reports, but it is still possible for the judgment to get in the way. And judgments to not go away like other debts. They can grow over time, and be renewed for a very long shelf life in most states.

          Do you have a copy of the judgment?

  174. Th judment occured in october 2013, well over 4 years after my settlement withWashington Mutual..however the paperwork was finalized and give to my bank on February 25th….

    • Michael Bovee says:

      David – What happened with the lawsuit last year? You were served the summons, then what? Please offer a chronology of what you did from there, as it will help me better offer feedback that is more than just generalized.

  175. Hello, MC and their attorney at the time Steven Spechman won a bank garishment, against. And was oder to pay remaining balance, court fees,attorney fees and interest. It was paid. Now I receiving another letter from a different attorney representing themselves asking for interest on the same judgment that was paid. How do I go about handling this?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Audrey – If you have not called the attorney or Midland Credit to ask what is going on with this new collection effort on an amount you know to be paid, call them, or the new attorney. Post what you learn and lets go from there.

      Is the judgment showed as satisfied in the court record?

  176. Kristin B says:

    I don’t know if anyone can help me, but I have been sued by Midland. I was served by a sheriff a couple weeks ago, being told that if I did not show up to court tomorrow, I could be arrested. Apparently, the court sent paperwork to a residence I have not lived at for over a year, in August 2013, for a court date for October 2013. Since I never got this paperwork, as it went to an old address, I left a forwarding address with the Post Office when I moved, however the court told me they do not forward court paperwork, I was found guilty and a judgement was made against me for $1,564.52. Now, I am going to court tomorrow, however, I have a 17 year old, a 13 year old, a 19 month old and a 4 month old, and I am on SS Disability. I am a single mom, I have NO idea what this debt is for, I’m stressed over this and scared!! I am doing my best to support my children on my own with no help. How am I ever going to pay this, and can they put me in jail if I cannot pay??? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank-You

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Kristin – Show up at court tomorrow. Let the judge know this is all new to you, and why. From what you shared, you may be uncollectable, but lets get more into that after you get back from court. It is important you show, as that is how situations like this lead to big problems. It is the not showing up when compelled by the court part of this that leads to jail, not the fact that you owe this type of debt, and cannot pay.

      The court is not scary in these situations. The process is about as exciting as contesting a traffic ticket. But being nervous is normal. Post an update when you get back with what happened.

      Because of what you are dealing with, I should point out that it would be a good idea to run all of this by your own attorney. You may qualify for low income legal aid assistance, so look for an office near you, and call in the morning if you have time.

      • Kristin B says:

        Michael-
        TY for replying. I don’t have an attorney, I had previously called around, but no one would take me without me paying. I will post an update after court. Ty again, I have never had anything like this happen to me. I just plan on pleading my case in front of the judge and going from there.

        • Kristin B says:

          Michael – So I went to court yesterday and met with the lawyer in the little room, there was no judge. I brought my supporting financial documentation, and he dropped it due to inability to pay, he was definitely not happy! I just want to add a couple things in case it might help anyone. At the court, I looked closer at the old address where the original court paperwork to appear last year went to. It went to an address that I have not lived at for 6 years! When I asked the gentleman what this was for, he said it was for an old debt to Credit Management! Once he said this, I knew exactly what it was! It was a starter credit card I had 13 years ago with a limit of $300. Somehow, Midland bought it out, got a default on me and raised what I owed to $1,564.63. Other than knowing the name of the original creditor, the guy knew nothing about that debt, or me! However, because I have a good memory, I remembered! Please understand, I realize people need to pay their debts, but circumstances sometimes come along that we are unable to control, and the debts go unpaid, sometimes food is more important. My heart broke as there were about 15 other people there with me for the same reason, most of them elderly. Morally, I have a hard time understanding how a company can legally go around acquiring minuscule debts, more than tripling them, and coming back on a consumer, years later to take monies that never belonged to them in the first place. Unfortunately, I was put in a position where court paperwork was sent to an address, whereupon I never would have gotten it in the first place, therefore, never knowing there was a court date, I couldn’t state my case, ask for supporting documentation from them on what I owed, to whom, and why, so I was defaulted on! If I had been able to, and given the amount of time that had lapsed, I believe I could have stated my case back then and won against them, being on disability or not, knowing what I know now. Morally and ethically, I think these people are wrong for doing what they do, but that is my own opinion. My advice to anyone in this situation would be to do your homework, investigate the original debt, get as much info as possible and ask for original documentation on the original debt and empowered with all the information you can get, stand up to them. 9 times out of 10, they won’t have all the information you require, and you might possibly win your case. Again, this is only my personal observation and opinion. Thank-You again for your time and attention.

          ~Kristin

  177. I had a default judgment against me for roughly $1900.00 from a credit card debt incurred back in 2001. The judgment was issued in 2010 and there was a garnishment against my bank account by Asset Acceptance Corp in 2012. There was Satisfaction of Final Judgment filed acknowledging full payment dated 2-1-12. Midland has now contacted me to try and collect on this debt referencing the original creditor from back in 2001. What can I do to make them stop? Thank you in advance for your input.
    ~Jim

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Jim – You could pull the summary from the court, or the satisfaction of judgment filing, and send that to Midland Credit Management along with a letter outlining the history of the account. Send any mail certified return receipt and keep a copy of all. If you want calls to stop about a debt you are certain you no longer owe, request they cease trying to communicate with you in the letter you send along with the account history. But I only recommend that you ask that phone calls and letters from Midland stop, if you are certain the debt is resolved.

      • Thanks Michael. I do have a copy of the satisfaction of judgment that was filed by the court. Is this proof enough if I send this to them along with the other information you suggest to put an end to any further action that may pursue? Is a copy sufficient or do I need to have something with raised seal? I appreciate your time.
        ~Jim

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Jim – If it were me, I would only use a copy. They can look up the court record to authenticate. I would also call and open dialogue, and then send the documentation by mail.

  178. Hello Michael:

    Over three years ago Midland sued me over a card balance owed to Citibank. The papers during a rough period in our marriage and got ignored. Once they got a default judgment, I came to my senses and filed a motion to vacate. It got denied without even a hearing. I filed a motion to reconsider. It got denied without a hearing. They got a judgment for $14K. Its now costing me more for insurance, preventing me from refinancing, etc. I’m in a better place than I was three years ago and have about 5K saved up which I could use to settle this if they’d take it. What should I do? I need this off my credit report. I’m in NJ. Thanks for the help.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Joe – Settling judgment debt is pretty common with debt collectors like Midland Funding. I would realistically be prepared to pay more than what you have available (depending on how collectable you look on paper) – more on the order of 50%.

      Check out this page, and the many comments, for more tips and things to consider when negotiating judgment debts:

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Joe – You may also want to read up on some realities related to judgments on your credit report: http://consumerrecoverynetwork.com/question/judgment-collection-removed-from-credit-report-public-record/

      • Thanks Michael — I’ve read the threads you directed me to and they’re very informative. I have a couple more questions, though.

        The lawyers who’ve obtained the judgment for Midland are Pressler & Pressler in Parsippany NJ. Should I try to negotiate a settlement with them or with Midland Financial directly. I see an address for them in NYC.

        Second, I want to resolve this but I’m a little scared to stir the pot. I haven’t been hiding and I’m easy to find. I have a bank account in a bank 3 blocks from my home address that my paycheck gets direct deposited into and my house is in my name and my wife’s and has a mortgage in my name and my wife’s that’s current.

        Midland has done nothing at all in 3 years to collect from me. If I suddenly “perk up” and can’t reach an agreement with them are they then inclined to garnish or levy on my account? Thanks again. You & this site are a fantastic resource.

  179. Dear Mr. Bovee,

    MCM is sueing me for a charged-off Credit One account that I stopped paying on in 2012. I had gone through an extended period of unemployment and in November 2011 I had to have my right carotid artery cleaned out due to a 99% blockage. In 2008, I had a triple heart bypass. The last credit card statement I received showed a balance of $1400.
    MCM is sueing for $1900 and I was served in December of last year. I immediately filed an answer with the small Justice of Peace court here in Fort Bend County, Texas. A mediation hearing has been set for April 1o, 2014. Or a month from now.
    Since December (after the suit was filed) I have been receiving 2 to 3 calls a day from Midland. I have ignored them, but kept a record of each call on my cell. This afternoon I finally decided to talk to the caller.

    After I filed my answer back in December I e-mailed the attorney of record acknowledging the debt and saying I could pay 50 t0 $60 per month but wanted some type of concession on the amount. Never heard back from her. The balance has now grown to $2100. I was informed of this today.

    My health is poor due to other blockages in my body and the doctor who did the carotid procedure said a couple more years will probably be it for me. We will see. I started drawing my social security retirement early at age 62. It started last August. $1525 per month and I have moved in with my son and his family.
    The so called legal assistant on the phone today said they would accept $100 per month for 21 months. I refused and know they may have paid 10 cents on the dollar for my debt.
    He is supposed to call me back tomorrow with some kind of offer.

    At this point, I would just as soon take my chances with the JP as accept this deal. A huge company sueing a 62 year old in bad health. Doesn’t the over 250 phone calls from them since December seem excessive? Especially since the suit is in motion and a court date is already set.
    Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.

    Robert

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Robert – It is strange to receive that many calls after litigation started. Is social security your only source of income?

      • Thanks Michael. I do have a part-time night job that pays me $1200 per month and I am limited to $15,420 annually by the social security administration. I will earn that this year.

  180. Hey Michael,

    I just worked out an agreement with Midland. Wasn’t easy, but couldn’t have done it without you and the website. They reduced my so-called debt from $2100 to $1200 and I will make monthly payments of $100 for a year. Basically what I owed Credit One when I stopped paying 2 years ago. They are making money and i am fulfilling an obligation. I proposed it and he agreed to it. (After some heated conversation, I might add)

    Thank you very much for giving me the courage to stand up and hopefully resolve a very painful issue.

    Sincerely,
    Robert

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Congratulations Robert. Settling with Midland Credit is often a matter of a phone call or two. Be sure to get everything that was agreed to in writing too.

      Was this the last debt you had to resolve, or were there more?

      • I have 2 more credit card debts for smaller balances that I am sure will surface at some point. Little bites, one at a time. Hopefully i will get squared up eventually. Thanks again for your help.

        Robert

  181. Hi, I received a letter from MCM today for a debt that they are trying to collect on for HSBC Card Services. Honestly, I don’t even remember having a card with HSBC and if I did, its been more than 10 years ago. The letter offered me a 90% discount on the debt, stating that it was a one time offer and only good through March 30th.
    With that being said, there is a statement underneath the signature line that says “The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, we will not sue you for it, we will not report it to any credit reporting agency, and payment or non-payment of this debt will not affect your credit score.” The way I’m reading this statement is that, there will be no affect on credit score, if I pay this debt or not and that they have no legal right to pursue the debt collection. I pulled my credit report and nothing in regard to this debt was listed, other than “customer closed account”.
    So, I don’t want to pay this, if I don’t have to, but will, if its going to cause my a headache in the long run. Any thoughts?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      BB – Based on what you shared, and how debt collection on really old account like this work, there would be no headaches from not paying. And if there were head aches, any can be eased fairly simply.

      At this point, whether you take the settlement offer from Midland Credit Management or not, it should be based on personal choice. All of the typical collection leverage is gone.

  182. I have a situation with Midland that has been going on for almost 7 years. They started calling a relative’s home in 2007 about a supposed credit card debt. When the relative finally gave them my phone number, it became clear that this was not my debt! I had my identity stolen in 2002 and over a few years found out about accounts that were opened using my name. It took a while, but I thought I had resolved all of them…until 2007. Midland began sending me statements and when I requested documentation\n, I got a call from one of their agents telling me that there was none and that the only way they were going to stop calling and writing me was if I paid the debt. Everytime they got a letter from me requesting documentation, they added the account to my credit report, and each time I disputed it and it was removed. Well, it has been quite for two years until this week when once again, I received a statement in the mail from Midland for almost double what they wanted two years ago. This time, they acknowledged that the statute of limitations was up, but now they are offering me a settlement of $200 on a $2700 debt and have explicit language indicating that the rest will be reported to the IRS as income! As you can imagine, after almost 7 years of this I am just at wits end…I have contacted a local attorney who deals in collection agency violations, but can you tell me what options I have…can I sue them for emotional distress and harrasement at this point?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Debra – I am not sure what you would get out of the suit. I suspect little. Did the Midland account show back up on your credit reports?

      If I had to guess, it appears your file in Midland’s system, at least at one point, was coded correctly as ID theft. But something was introduced to the system to spit out form letters to older accounts, and yours was included in that mailing. A simple phone call would likely get this corrected, but I understand if you do not want to pick up the phone on this. Sending a letter would be a good alternative.

      What did the attorney suggest?

  183. rec’d a call from midland but they didn’t leave a message. i’m assuming it’s about an old credit card debt from 2009. i’m not going to call them back but I know the SOL in my state is PA. Could they try to sue me even if they know, i’m sure, that it’s too late? thanks for any help.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      lisa – They could sue, but if the SOL is expired, your response would be real short and to the point. You could pick up the phone and just let them know your intentions. It could help eliminate additional collection phone calls.

  184. Hi I own $237.23 to mcm I been calling them like every week to make a settlement to pay them $100.00 but they keep on telling me no! people there are just to hard to talk to I don’t have a job to pay in full so I don’t know what to do anymore.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      NELY – Smaller balance accounts like yours do not generally settle for the best savings – no matter who is collecting on them. See this report for more details about this issue.

  185. Just received a call from Midland. They say I owe for a credit card issued by first national bank in 2005 and last used in Feb of 2007. I do not remember ever owning a credit card from first national bank and when I asked for more details they said they had an account number which does me now good if I do not remember ever having one. They could not even tell me if it was a Visa or Mastercard. They then told me it could be identity theft and wanted me to go file police reports and they wanted other documents. All i wanted was more information. What should I do. She was not easy to talk to and her only answers were pay the $500 ish I owe or file a police report. Ideas?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Lisa – Never pay a debt you cannot fully recognize. Is there anything about this showing on your credit reports? Were you ever an authorized user on someone’s accounts?

      I am not sure I would take this so far with ID theft yet. It could be just a bad set of information passed on to debt collectors (it happens). Post an update after checking your credit report and lets go from there.

  186. I was served by Midland Funding last year. I went to a lawyer to get advise on what a should do. Midland had my address in the wrong county, the lawyer had sent a responds denying the lawsuit do to a wrong address. Midland had served me again with the right address. My lawyer told me to deny again to buy sometime. I had to go to a pre trail conference and the Lawyer representing Midland Funding told the judge Midland is withdrawing the suit. Can and will they sell the debt to another debt collector..

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Lori – Midland states on their website that they rarely resell debt, but reserve the right to. My opinion… no, Midland Funding will no resell your debt.

      • Michael, Would Midland send me a letter as to why they have decided to with draw the case? Can I be served again or have a judgement served?
        Thank you,
        Lori

        • Michael Bovee says:

          Lori – I would only expect to be able to understand the reason for the case being withdrawn to the extent the reason is provided in court, or through a filing in court. I would not expect to get a letter from Midland Credit about why, nor do I think you are likely to get a meaningful response if you request one.

          Given the information about your situation you have shared so far, I would not say that Midland could not file again. But you should run legal questions by an attorney in your state. In order to be met with a judgment, they would have to sue, and of course you would be aware of that like you were this time, so, no judgment served.

  187. Cortez M says:

    I wanted to know can a debt collector like midland credit management sue you if they are not the
    original creditor from the start? Also if the person doesn’t have any money or job can they still sue you and put a judgment on your credit report?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Cortez – Debt buyers like Midland Credit can and do sue to collect debts purchased from original creditors. The fact that you may not have a job or other money at this time does not always deter a debt collector from suing, but it can depending on the circumstances.

      If you can share more details I may be able to offer more than just general feedback.

  188. I wanted to ask I have been making payments to midland on a credit card I took out in my son’s name , i know it was wrong, but, now my question is, Midland actually let my son and I put the debt in my name and took it off my son’s credit report. The date the card was charged off was May of 2010, Midland reported in November of 2013 on my son’s credit report, then they took it off, at that time the balance was $1004.00, February 20, I called to ask if I may skip a payment, they said Yes, well i got a notice today stating my balance now is over 1500. which on Jan. statement it was down to 900.00 I called and asked why, and they stated since I skipped a payment and they have that i called on that date, that they added the interest from the very beginning since I didn’t follow through with my obligations to continue making payments. Can they do this? Can they add back all this interest when i never signed anything or agreed to anything, and on the phone call on Feb. 20th I was never told that? Can you please help, since I have no where to turn at this point.. thank you

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Diane – If they made a deal to settle for less than what was owed, and you agreed to it under certain terms, not following through can lead to the deal being let go. Did you get all of this in writing?

      If it were me, and given everything that you have going on with this account, I would call Midland Credit and ask to talk with a supervisor. Explain all that has transpired, and that when you called to skip a payment, and they said okay, that no one said you balance would revert back. That had you been told, you would have found some way to get the money, but you were not given that chance by them just saying okay.

      Let me know how you progress.

  189. Hello, I received a letter from Midland Credit Management.

    They report that they want to settle a 2,200$ Debt from CITI Bank that they are now owners of. They are asking for 1,200$ in a lump sum. I do remember owing this debt and i want to pay it, however i don’t remember how much of the original credit i payed off if any. Is it wise to request information on the debt and risk losing the 30 day window they have given me to pay?

    Should i Negotiate a lower amount? I am not able to pay their asking price in full for about 15 days after their due date. I want to pay it, but i don’t know what move i should take next.

    Negotiate lower price? Request information on the debt? Or just go ahead and pay it in full and request that they extend their due date?

    Any information would help, Thank you.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Midland Credit Management stopped adding interest and fees to much of the debts they collect on, but you can call Citi bank direct and confirm the debt was sold and the balance at that time. This would eliminate your lost time concern if you sent Midland Credit a debt validation through the mail instead.

      You can call MCM and negotiate a lower settlement than what you see in their offer letter. Just be sure to get any new agreement documented before making the payment. If they do not budge on the amount they will settle for, let them know you are going to work on getting the money together. Call a week before the offer expires and let them know you found a way to pool together the money, but need a couple extra weeks. Give them a date you can pay by at that point, and ask them to send you the new agreement with that date, then pay by that day.

  190. I also wanted to say that ther letter claims they will consider the entire debt payed in full if i am able to pay the asking price by the deadline and that they will notifiy the three major credit reporting agencies.

    Is this a legitimate thing they do? I just want to know as much as possible. I don’t have time to contact them at the moment but i will do so in a few days. I just want some tips and any information you believe will be helpful to me before i speak to them, Thank you.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Tom – Midland Credit will update your credit reports as paid, so yes, a legitimate thing. Do you recall how long it has been since you made a payment to Citi bank on this account?

  191. I am being sued by midland and have to appear in court may 16, 2014. I contacted legal aid in montgomery alabama. Since I do not work or have anything to my name they adviced me to go to court and fight it. Even if I lost the case they would not be able to collect anything from me since i am not working or have anything to my name. I know they are a third party according to my credit report and the card was closed in 2011. The legal aid said i could win since the debt might be to old and its a third party trying to collect is this true?

    • Michael Bovee says:

      carla – It is true that people can successfully defend themselves against debt collectors like Midland Funding, but it is very hard for me to describe the amount of time and energy you would commit to fight a lawsuit on your own with the assistance of an attorney (which is how I read your comment… legal aid is telling YOU you can do it, not that they are able to help you).

      It would be much simpler if the debt is passed the limit in Alabama to legitimately use the courts to collect by suing. But lets hone in on that date. Can you respond with certainty when it was you last made a payment on the account?

  192. Thanks Michael. The last payment was probably made some time around 2008. I know my state has a 6 year statute of limitations on bank credit, but i want to pay this. Their offer is not much higher than what the initial cost of the credit was ( around 800$ ) I probably only made a few payments of 50-100$.

    I am going to contact them in attempt to go slightly lower, if not then i’ll give them a date on when i can pay their offer in full. I will update on how it goes, thanks for responding.

  193. Hi– I received a letter with a court date about a lawsuit filed against me by midland, but was never served with the original paperwork. What are MY options at this point? BTW- I am in California if that helps.

    • Michael Bovee says:

      Shannon – Can you offer more details? What is the court date for (any type of hearing etc)? Please post more details about the original account, when last paid, amount sued for, how much money you would be able to raise, and how quickly if you chose settling with Midland as the path you take?

      Do you have other unpaid debts out there other than this one with Midland Funding? If so, how many? Add them all up and what is the total?

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