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Midland Funding LLC Lawsuits – Have they sued you?

Have you received a collection letter from Midland Funding LLC? or their alter ego, Midland Credit Management? Has a lawsuit been filed against you by Midland Funding in Pennsylvania?  My first piece of advice is to contact a consumer attorney, whether its my firm or another.  DO NOT negotiate with them or pay them until/unless you have first spoken to a consumer attorney who has explained your rights and who has explained exactly what Midland is.  We have rarely, if ever, advised a client to make a payment to Midland Funding or Midland Credit Management. You first need to see if there is a legitimate debt out there, if the amount is correct, if its within the Statute of Limitations, and most importantly, if Midland actually owns the debt.  (There are very limited circumstances where you would negotiate, such as the debt amount being very small or there being a need to immediately improve a credit report).  Do not ignore the letter or the lawsuit, and do not put your head in the sand. Call a consumer attorney before you call Midland…it’s not hard and the consultation is free.

What is Midland Funding LLC?

Midland Funding is a company that buys bad debt (credit accounts that are in default are referred to as “bad debt”) to try to make a profit. Midland buys large groups of allegedly defaulted credit card accounts for pennies on the dollar for the sole purpose of attempting to collect whatever they can on those accounts from individuals just like you. According to statistics that we have seen, they pay on average between 2 and 3 cents per dollar on the debt that they buy.  They file hundreds of lawsuits daily in hopes of collecting on old debt claims that have been charged off by the original creditor. Yes, they really can do that, it is perfectly legal and it happens every day.

It is also perfectly legal for you to force them to prove a case, and, it is highly recommended. Please do not think that you “owe the debt” just because they say so or just because they can identify an old account of yours. You possibly owed some debt to the original creditor at some point in time, but you likely do not owe anything to this debt buyer.

How Do We Defend Against Midland Lawsuits?

Our approach to defending lawsuits filed by Midland is twofold. First, we defend the case based upon what I term a lack of legal sufficiency. In general, when a party files a lawsuit in Pennsylvania, there are several issues that need to be pleaded (placed) into the lawsuit. In other words, facts must be established by Midland that tend to prove that you had a credit account with some original creditor, that you defaulted on it on a certain date, that you agreed to pay a certain amount of interest, that you owe a certain amount, and most importantly, that Midland Funding has the right to sue you and collect on the alleged debt.  Its quite a burden for Midland to prove all of these issues in a court of law.  Proving ownership of the account is the single biggest hurdle that Midland faces when it files a lawsuit in Pennsylvania.

In my experience, I have found that the lawsuits filed by Midland Funding are usually legally insufficient, at least when they are initially filed. In a nutshell, the lawsuits are defective.  We object to these lawsuits on insufficiency grounds with great success.  Midland has a difficult time in correcting these defects in most cases.  This is based in part on the tremendous volume of cases that they file and also the small amount that they pay for these accounts.  When you buy something “on the cheap” you don’t always get good value.

In the unlikely event that Midland Funding is able to cure the insufficiency objections, (make the lawsuit comply with the minimal legal requirements) we then move on to defending the claim on its legal merits, i.e. whether you actually had the account, whether you actually defaulted on it, when the alleged default occurred, whether Midland actually owns the debt, et cetera.

While objections are the proper course of action in a Court of Common Pleas case, if your lawsuit is filed at the local District Justice then things change quite a bit. There is no written response requirement at the magistrate level. We simply attend the hearing, armed with our massive amount of precedential case law, and go to work. The Midland attorney will likely be lacking in evidence and we will seek a judgment for our client.  In most cases, our clients never see the inside of a courtroom.

What if Midland Funding Violates Debt Collection Laws?

We have also filed several FDCPA claims against Midland for unfair debt collection practices. If a representative of Midland has contacted your neighbors or employer or relatives, or has threatened wage garnishment, or has committed any other illegal act, please contact our office immediately. We have seen several instances where they have filed lawsuits after the Statute of Limitations expired and we have seen several others where they have sued for more than was actually due and owing.  Anytime a debt collector violates the FDCPA it gives you cause to file a claim against them.  The great part about filing a claim against a debt collector such as Midland is that they have to pay the legal fees that you would incur for suing them.  That’s right…they have to pay us to sue them.   If they have violated the law, they’ll pay you too.

Our firm has a great deal of experience in defending credit card collection cases. If you have been sued in any Pennsylvania county, by Midland Funding or another collection agency, our firm can help you defend this claim at minimal cost, with a great chance at success. Contact our office here, call me at 412-823-8003 or visit our Pennsylvania Credit Card Legal Center here.