|Midland = This guy. Run, run run!|
How Midland Credit Management Does Business
Midland Credit – or MCM, as its often called – plays in two camps. They purchase debt directly from creditors (Citibank is in bed with this one, just for reference) and they also purchase debt from other collection agencies. Although MCM occasionally buys newly defaulted accounts, their business practices more closely resemble that of a junk debt buyer than an contract collection agency.
If Midland buys your debt they'll call...and they'll call...and they'll call. I know what you're thinking, "But all collection agencies do that, right?" Not like this they don't. If you hang up on a debt collector from MCM, your phone will immediately ring again – and it may continue to ring without so much as a five minute break for hours. Midland places a very high importance on "wearing down" the debtor.
Illegal Credit Reporting Violations
If MCM owns a debt of yours, keep a close eye on your credit report. This is one of the few cases in which I highly recommend purchasing some sort of credit monitoring program that allows you to check your credit freely whenever you wish and updates you by email whenever a creditor changes any aspect of your report.
Debt Validations and MCM
MCM doesn't like to validate debts. As a matter of fact, lack of validation is one of the most common complaints levied against the company. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states that third-party collection agencies must provide consumers with proof of debt upon request, providing the consumer makes the request within 30 days of discovering the existence of the account.
Collection agencies must send you a written notice within five days of first contacting you about the unpaid debt explaining your right to request validation. Unfortunately, if the collection agency sends all communication to the wrong address, you may never see the collector's initial notice. That does not, however, strip you of your right to a dispute.
Because of this, the 30 days rule is hard to enforce. It's difficult for a collection agency to prove that the consumer had knowledge of the debt prior to sending his request for validation. Midland Credit takes it a step further by just not responding at all. Until a collection agency sends a validation, collection activity of any kind is strictly prohibited under federal law. Does this bother Midland? Not a whit. You can spend hundreds of dollars on postage for validation letters to no avail.
Out of Statue Lawsuit from Midland Credit
The statute of limitations is supposed to protect you from lawsuits on particularly old debts and, to some extent, it does. If an unethical collection agency sues you anyway, however, you must use the expired statute of limitations as an affirmative defense – lest the collection agency get a judgment against you and use it to garnish your wages and bank accounts.
|Contest your judgment from Midland Credit|
Midland credit is one such junk debt buyer. Most consumers do not realize that the statute of limitations even exists – giving Midland the ability to obtain default judgments from consumers too scared to show up in court. While you can contest a debt collection judgment and have it overturned, most states give you a limited amount of time in which to do so this before the judgment is set in stone and Midland Credit is happily dancing to the bank each week with a part of your paycheck in tow.
Report Midland Credit Management to the FTC
If Midland Credit Management has violated your rights, I urge you to report the company's indiscretions to the Federal Trade Commission. Although the FTC does not investigate individual reports, please don't believe that your report does no good. If the FTC receives enough complaints from consumers about a certain collection agency, it will investigate. The FTC has the ability to fine MCM and force it to adhere to the collection laws it should have been following all along. Here is the link to the FTC complaint form. Submitting a complaint only takes a few minutes and by doing so, you are helping other debtors who've fallen victim to harassment from Midland Credit Management.
*Note: All of this is based on my personal experiences with Midland and experiences my clients have related to me over the years. I have no idea if Midland has changed their policies in an effort to better adhere to federal consumer protection laws or if they're still up to their old bad behavior. Have a story to tell about Midland? Let me know in the comments section.
Collections on Your Credit Report
Debt Validation After 30 Days
How Collection Agency Debt Can Turn Into a Default Judgment