Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dealing With Midland Credit Management

If you've ever dealt with Midland Credit Management then you already know that this subsidiary of Encore Capital is one of the nasties. A common misconception among consumers is that all third-party bill collectors are lawbreaking, abusive scum – which simply isn't true. That's like saying that all car salesman are out to cheat you. Many are, but some are honest, hardworking individuals simply trying to get by just like everyone else. When applying this logic to collection agencies, Midland Credit is the slick sales guy with a gold Rolex and no conscience who'll dupe you into paying $1000 a month for a used car you didn't even really want.

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

Midland reports to all three credit bureaus. If that weren't bad enough, MCM is particularly creative regarding how and what they report. Part of the "wearing down the debtor" campaign requires this collection agency to damage your credit as much as possible. Thus, don't be surprised to find Midland Credit reporting as an installment account rather than a collection – or to find the company on your credit report twice.

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.

Related Posts:

Collections on Your Credit Report

Debt Validation After 30 Days

How Collection Agency Debt Can Turn Into a Default Judgment

58 comments:

  1. That picture of the guy with a gold rolex=LOL:D These people need to get a grip.Here's what people feel about them..

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  2. That was just too disappointing! I hope debt collectors will get rid of this kind of harassment. Midland Credit Management deserves a downfall indeed!

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  3. But if you take the help of the most coveted business debt consolidation, then there are chances to try to pay off all the debts manageably.

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    Replies
    1. Debt collectors will not work with credit counseling "(debt consolidation)" agencies as this may prevent them from continued collection activity. Many will post payments but will not agree to the terms of these programs. Some will even return payments received on the debtor's behalf.

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  4. Just reported it to the FTC, but the photo is wrong wrong wrong, its from Mitt Romney, please remove it.

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  5. They call and call and call on both cell phones asking for somebody we don't know. I finally got them to tell us who they are. It's always the same accent, which I can't place. The caller ID always says "Unavailable."
    Finally, as they were not identifying themselves as debt collectors, I assumed it was somebody looking for their friend.
    Still, being skeptical I took a stab one day and asked them to put me on their do not call list. "Yes, sir. I can do that." was the immediate reply.
    They must have been sued recently... again...

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  6. So have I been ripped off by paying off my debt with them? I've been paying them on my bi-weekly pay check hoping to get the debt off my record :/

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  7. Is there ANY way to get these people to leave me alone?? At least drop it down to 5 calls a day, even that would be nice. I'm at my wits end, these people are so rude and they ALL have Indian accents. I have no money, no car, no job, 2 kids, no child support, living with my broke parents on food stamps and they hold it against me that I have a cell phone! Wtf... help!!

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  8. Thank you for the succinct description!
    I've been dealing with this company on and off and it's been troubling to say the least.
    These guys called me at 9:00 AM on a Sunday morning, at least I know they aren't honest church-going folks, haha.

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  9. Tey also are calling for someone I don't know. I have a common name and they are harrassing me day and night. Last night they called me 3 times at 4:45 AM. They call many times and hang up. I have had it with this abusive company I am reporting them to Federal Trade Commission, Attorney General, and Better Business Bureau. This abuse and stalking must be stopped!!!!

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  10. Received a supposed bill from MCM stating a large sum was owed from aT-Mobile account. This was the samething from a Sunrise Credit out of New York, never had any bills from T-Mobile nor phone requesting payment of said bill. This is an attempt obtain information, DO NOT GIVE THEM ANYTHING. Send a letter registered to them requesting signature, !)Ask why you never received bills etc. from T-Mobile; 2)Do not admit that this bill is yours;mentioned "IDENTITY THEFT); 3)Ask them to validate outstanding bill;Ask if bill is a "Time Barred Debt"; Then ask them for no further communication until they produce said bill; Then do some research and report them to the FTC, State Attorney General of your state of residence, and the State from which operate, as well as the Better Business Bureau; Good Luck, maybe if there are enough complaints there can be a Class Action Suit against their actions

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  11. They will say anything to get money from you. They lie! And, they never go away!!! Beware!!!

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  12. They harass you! They lie to you! They will do whatever it takes to get money from you. They do not tell the truth. They don't even acknowledge when you have paid your debt. They harass you as if you never paid it. Then, when you try to reach the person you settled your debt with they try to transfer you to someone else saying they can't help you. Beware of these people! Frauds!

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    Replies
    1. if you have a debt... pay what you owe as simple as that...

      you all make me laugh

      regards

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    2. You obviously didn't read most of the comments written here Blass. You're an asshole.

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    3. Blass, you are an IDIOT. You make me laugh, you must work for MCM...

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    4. @Blass, Wow you must be one of those college educated people. Must be great to be you.

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  13. I paid MCM a fair amount of money several years ago to pay off an account. I am now receiving letters from them stating that I need to pay the account. I've already once sent them proof of payment, but I don't remember what I did or how I found that proof. Does anyone have any ideas?

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  14. Most junk debt buyers have little or no information on the wortless distressed debts they buy for pennies on the dollar; moreover, there are no warranties or guarantees when these worthless are sold to them.Stand up to junk debt buyers and make them prove you owe them money.

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  15. it`s really simple pay what you owe and you will not get calls from any collection agency....isn`t????

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    1. I wish it were. You wouldn't believe the number of people I've seen who don't owe a dime yet because someone input a debtor's ssn incorrectly or shares the same name with them, are put on the hook for a debt that isn't theirs. Collection agencies hang on like pit bulls, even after getting solid proof that the debtor they're after isn't the debtor that incurred the debt. It's a jungle out there.

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    2. You don't get it, the "debts" these companies say you owe them are not owed to them and even if you pay them it doesn't pay the original debt nor get it off your record. In fact these same companies will try to get you to pay it twice or more times. None of this is legal.

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    3. It is quite obvious Blass, that because this situation hasn't happened to you as of YET!, that you assume that everyone who has made a statement owes a debt. Such is not the case. I had a message left on my cell for someone else from people who claimed to be from the state process server and that I needed to call before a lawsuit was filed against me. Its called a scare tactic and many people fall for it. So, stop being judgmental about people who have received these types of phone calls.

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    4. People, this Bl Ass person is simply here to get attention. Don't respond, its like candy to the poor little person. It has no life so it comes here for the attention its parents never gave it. As for me and MCM....they sent me a 'privacy Notice" I have never talked to them, never had any old debts unpaid, and really had no clue as to why they sent me this so I found this blog to find out more. Its amazing after I just bought a home how the scammers get to work.

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    5. Look not every one takes out loans or buys things on credit ,or gets a credit card with the sole purpose of screwing people, jobs are lost things happen that we cant see coming. I think you are a very lucky person to be able to be so condescending, and cruel. It must be nice to be you!! And judge.

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  16. Your Romney photoshop illustration is offensive. Cowardly, too. I'd love to see you do the same thing with Obonics. After all, isn't he the hollow politician whose "reform" of the credit industry did nothing to stop predators like MCM?

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    1. Is that Mitt Romney? ROFL. I had no idea. I didn't even know what the guy looked like.

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    2. He doesn't need you to defend him, he has 50 mouthpieces to cover up his BS ethics.

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    3. It is too funny. And yet you are anonymous which makes you even MORE of a coward. And you take a pot shot at Obama with your Obonics. you sir are a retard.

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    4. Obonics is not offensive??? the hell with you Coward

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  17. Has anyone have them harrass you at work?

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    1. yes constantly and the calls on my cell start at 8:15 a.m. from "Unknown", no message left. They just keep calling cell and then work, cell then work I finally picked up and told them stop calling me constantly and before 9:00 a.m. I told them to send me all the information via mail - and it wasn't my debt - it was my husbands. I didn't get a call after that on either phone.

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  18. These people call everyday Sunday thru Saturday at 8am almost every morning . I don't understand I thought that was illegal . They are also calling my mother in laws house daily early in the morning and she has told them I don't live there and they still call and she says they are really hard to understand . They basically just yell out my name to her not really asking for me

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    1. It's not illegal. The FDCPA requires collection agencies to call at "reasonable hours" and gives a ballpark time frame, but that isn't set in stone. A collector could argue that 8 a.m. is a "reasonable" hour and would probably win that argument in a courtroom. If the collector were calling at 3 in the morning, THEN it would be very clearly illegal.

      Federal law lets collectors call a family member ONCE. They can only do so a second time if they have solid reason to believe the family member is hiding your location. Your mother-in-law can stop these calls by sending MCM a cease and desist letter letting them know that they must stop calling her house and that continuing to do so is illegal under the FDCPA. If the SOL has expired on the debt, you should do the same. That will stop the 8 a.m. phone calls.

      If the SOL has not expired, you can send MCM a letter notifying it that calling you before 10 or 12 or whenever on a weekend is an inconvenient time for you. Once they know their timing is inconvenient, calling during those times becomes ILLEGAL. Make sure to send all letters CRRR and keep documentation.

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    2. Lee, that stuff is all well and good. Except that MCM does not pay attention to it.

      I have a debt due to a scam I fell for in 1996 when I was very young and stupid. I got absolutely nothing except a bogus "membership" which was a piece of paper, and a huge loan to pay for it. Now, 1996 is 17 years ago right? Way past statute of limitations. The debt keeps showing up under different agencies. I have had it removed from my credit several times, but the last time the agency refused to remove it as the collector (MCM) supposedly verified it as legit. The fact is, there has been no activity on my part on that debt for nearly 17 years, the LAW says they can no longer report it. But they do, but slightly altering the account number each time, by changing the name of the collections agency each time, and updating the last active date. So it still shows 1996 as when the account opened, but looks like the account was active for many years that it wasn't, to bring it under the statute.

      Currently, they have managed to get hold of a PREPAID phone # I have that was bought under someone else's credit card. I have never given the number to any person or business. The only people that have it are my mother & sister, who I have called directly without google voice, and it shows on their caller ID, and thus they added it (against my request) as my number in their contact lists. Which then sync to facebook... So essentially, Facebook is selling name matches. Not that I can prove it...

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    3. Facebook may or may not be doing that. Collection agencies often make Facebook accounts to track debtors. I don't use Facebook (I'm starting to think I'm the only person on earth who doesn't) so I'm not sure if they would have access to it by adding themselves to your family members' friends lists or not.

      Your case is extreme and my guess is that this sort of abuse isn't going to stop unless you make a nuisance of yourself and sue. If it were me, I'd gather up as much much of a paper trail documenting this BS and head to a lawyer. Keep in mind that you can also sue for legal fees. I'd also write a letter to my attorney general documenting the problem. A call from the attorney general's office will usually straighten a collection agency out immediately.

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  19. My question is I had a bill with tmobile that was way passed due. I paif the bill over a year ago and now MCM started calling me about a month ago trying to collect the full amount paid on it. To top it all off tmobile contacted them via the phone and told them this was paid and im in good standing before the so called debt was bought and they refuse to remove it. Now I dont understand how they got a debt account on me starting a month ago from something I paid over a year ago and no matter what they wont remove it.

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    Replies
    1. If T-Mobile knows that the debt is bogus, you need to go through T-Mobile here. First, make sure to get something in writing from them stating that your account is paid in full and, if possible, when it was paid in full. Then contact T-Mobile and ask to speak to a supervisor. Explain the situation and demand to know who to talk to to remedy this problem. You'll probably need to mail in a copy of the zero balance letter. It isn't legal to sell debts that don't exist. Keep fighting until you get to a department or individual that can help you. Write the CEOs if you have to. Take legal action if you have to. You CAN fix this, but you'll have to use T-Mobile to do it. They can call off the dogs since they're the ones who sold the debt.

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  20. Oh boy... I just got a notice from these folks regarding a T-Mobile account. I have NEVER had an account with them, looks like I'm in for a fun fight.

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  21. I see i'm not alone, T-MOBILE has told me I don't owe, they even sent me a "zero" balance as I paid them off before switching to ATT. They call me over and over but still refusing to show me why i owe. They tell me to call T-Mobile, T-Mobile says I don't owe it's between MCM and I. They claim i had two accounts, how and why the heck would i have "two accounts", i had the same one for 17 yrs.... This is now on my credit and they DON'T STOP... I finallly sent them a letter to sest and assist all calls on home, cell, work and to make all communication through mail, along with telling them they had "30" days to show "PROOF" of why I owe this bill. All they sent was "another bill" agreeing to lesson it. It now shows in "dispute" on my credit but i want it OFF... I"m currently sending all credit agencies my proof along with the letter i sent them that required signature of them recieving it..and the demand of "proof" but failed to prove it, I hope this works cause this is damaging my credit!!!!!!

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  22. Out of the blue yesterday, I got a call from MCM for a credit card debt I paid off in 2010. As I tried to talk to the guy on the phone, he kept talking over me...he would not shut up!! I tried to tell him I had paid off the debt, had proof of that & he still would not shut up & let me speak. I am so upset, they called me 4 times & called at 8:05am today. Who does that??
    I recently lost my job due to business closing & the last thing I can do is pay a lawyer to get these people to go away over a bogus debt. I guess I'll be making a complaint to the BBB & FTC as this is a load of crap!!

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  23. They are trying to get me for a credit card I had right out of high school. It fell off my credit report about 2 years ago and they are trying to say I owe a little over $2,000. They're crazy! They never leave a voicemail when they call and call a heck of a lot of times. I just blocked the number and monitor my credit report very closely.

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  24. Heyyy i also get harrased with that i owe a T mobile bill so it is a scamm its always a young guy with a indian axcent caling and caling and caling even on sundays

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    1. If its midland its not scam the only thing dat u have to do is talk wid him take information as they have ir info as well as ssn.if u have used the account then its u to decide to pay or not and if u haven't used then u can dispute and yes its all about debt accent is not an excuse.

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  25. I also got the same call that i owe T MOBILE beware its all a scam

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  26. These clowns called my cell # 16 times in 9 days leaving no msg. Looked the number up on the net and found that it was this place. Called them today and some foreigner picked up the phone and I said I'd like to settle my debt--he said do you have an acct #--I said if I had a debt I would have one you A**hole--You've called this number 16 times in 9 days--now you better stop calling this number at once or I will call the police DO YOU UNDERSTAND--I repeated it and the guy says "we will not call you again" Yeah--we'll see

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    ReplyDelete
  28. Don't pay them.
    phone bills are time barred after three years. Legally they can not collect it
    Don't feel bad about not paying them because they are not collection department, they are debt buyers they get it on 20 cents on a dollar ratio.
    you don't owe them aything.
    Don't pay it

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  29. Superb posts with lots of information!!! This is really the most miraculous blog site dude….
    free credit report online

    ReplyDelete
  30. Midland is definitely a joke. I had a problem with a neighbor and she needed to "get busy" to keep her nose out of everyone else's business. I pulled the public records and Midland sued her having 3 open judgments. I call them to give them address, phone, place of business, and she recently sued the apartment complex getting a large settlement and decided to hide the money in an account that was in her mother's name. She kept the account open when the mother passed away about 10 years ago. Midland didn't know how to look up the Docket number, or how to find the woman in the system so it was "too difficult" to collect. WTF? Yet they can harass people for bills they do not owe or hound them for someone else's debt,

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  31. Debt collectors are just doing their job as everybody has to do something to make their living.Midland is most consumer centric collection company and regarding sol if its expired it is informed to every consumers that they cannot be sued and also if its reported or not.This is the matter of fact and yes the consumer who have paid their debt or have intentions to pay the know about it.

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  32. Yes these people call all day everyday, weekends and late night and they will call and hang up, use different numbers and also call and block their number just to get you to answer the many calls the make to you all day. If that is not harassment I don't know what is. I would think they would get a day off from harassing people.

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  33. I've been using my Comcast phone (free calls) to call them back and not say anything as my personal revenge :) They keep calling my cell phone and leave long messages with nothing said on them, so I figure I'll tie up their lines the same way.

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  34. I have been getting calls from them off and on for a coupe of years now. Never
    leaves a message.....they call my cell phone rather than home phone which is
    odd. I never answer. If a legit business, they will leave a courteous, business
    like message. Beware!! Do not give them your personal info...my best advice.

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  35. They Just started calling me about three weeks ago. I work nights and the phone calls start at 8am!!! I get about four a day. I started blocking their number and that worked for a while but now they are calling from a new number to which i have already blocked... I owe no debt and have a perfect credit score. I really wish these people would stop.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. If you inform the collection agency of the hours that are inconvenient to you, they have to restrict their calls to the times of day you stipulate. Federal law also gives you the right to force the collector to stop calling you by putting your request in writing via a cease and desist letter.

      Unfortunately, if Midland's after you your perfect credit won't be perfect for long. Rest assured, they DO report to the credit bureaus. If you don't owe this debt, you need to get to the bottom of this issue right away. Ignoring it will just leave you with an even bigger credit mess to clean up.

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  36. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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