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Midland Funding LLC Lawsuits – Have they sued you?

We receive multiple calls and emails from potential clients regarding Midland Funding and Midland Credit Management every single day. These guys are one of the largest junk debt buyers in the country.  They file lawsuits like nobody’s business.  If you receive a call or a letter or a lawsuit from Midland, 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. They then forward these accounts on to their “servicer” Midland Credit Management.  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.  We’re seeing about 500-750 Midland lawsuits being filed in Pennsylvania courts every single week and 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 for reasons that we’ll explain below.

How Do We Defend Against Midland Lawsuits?

Midland lawsuits can be filed in one of two different court systems here in Pennsylvania.  They can file either in the District Justice court where you reside or they can file in the county Court of Common Pleas.  As of the date of this writing, August 2017, almost every single Midland lawsuit is being filed at the local District Justice courts so we’ll focus on that court level.

The key to defending these lawsuits is to hire a consumer attorney to attend the hearing in your place.  That’s right, you personally should not attend this hearing.  Why?  Because if you show up you are then a potential witness…for yourself and for Midland Funding.  Think about that….you are a witness for either party.  Let’s talk about being a witness for yourself.   What are you going to say?  I had the account, I made purchases, I paid for a while, then I stopped paying because of (put any excuse here, job loss, divorce, salary reduction, medical issue, whatever).  Guess what?  Inability to pay is NOT a defense and should not be discussed in court.  So, have you helped yourself by testifying?  No.  In the alternative, you’ve hurt yourself because you haven’t set forth any real defense.  Now Midland gets to cross examine you.   They’ll ask if you’ve had this account.  Yes, I had this account.  Did you make purchases on this account?  Yes I did.  Did you stop making payments on this account?  Yes I did.   That’s all she wrote folks because at this point you’ve lost the case.

If you send a consumer attorney in your place these questions cannot be asked.  Think about that… if Attorney Greg Artim or Attorney Clay Morrow is attending this hearing, representing you and acting on your behalf, then Midland Funding cannot ask any questions at all.  All they can do is present documentary evidence because they are not going to have a witness either.

So What Documents Will Midland Have?

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 when Midland Funding attends a court hearing, their attorney shows up with only a few of the documents that are necessary to prevail on its case.  In a typical case, Midland will produce one or perhaps a few of your monthly statements.  This is insufficient in a court of law.   They may or may not produce a copy of your contract (otherwise known as Terms and Conditions).  The most important document, an Assignment, is rarely produced.  The Assignment is the document that shows that Midland bought your account from the original creditor.  In place of an Assignment, Midland will often produce a generic “bill of sale” that really doesn’t say much or prove much, and they do this to essentially try to fool the court into accepting this document as proof of ownership of the account.  Upon examination of thousands of these “bills of sale” we’ve concluded that they prove exactly nothing.  With no witness and insufficient documentation, Midland has a tough time in winning these credit card lawsuits if you’ve hired a knowledgeable consumer attorney.

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.