Minneapolis, Minnesota – The state of Minnesota went after Midland Funding, LLC, one of the largest debt buyers in the country after Minnesota accused the debt buyer of targeting people for debts that didn't belong to them and filing bad court papers. Since 2008, the company has filed over 15,000 lawsuits in the Minnesota courts.
Employees of Midland admitted in their sworn testimony that they had signed as many as 400 mass-produced affidavits everyday without reading them, without knowing what the affidavits contained, and without verifying if the information contained within them was accurate, said Attorney General Lori Swanson's office in a statement. The lawsuit against Midland Funding was filed by the state of Minnesota, and Swanson called the debt buyer's practices, "robo-signing."
Due to the company's lack of verification and their reliance on both incomplete and inaccurate information, a number of innocent people were being sued for debts they either never owed, or they paid off a long time ago. According to the lawsuit, consumers were being forced into paying settlements that were far larger than their original debts due to growing interest and attorney's fees.
A consent judgment signed by Hennepin County District Judge Denise Riley obtained Midland's agreement to verify its information before it tried to collect on debts, to provide the full information about the debts to those alleged debtors, and to give those debtors the opportunity to dispute illegitimate demands for payment. Midland agreed that when it does sue debtors, it won't file affidavits with the Minnesota courts unless the individuals that sign them have read and understood them, and have verified the authenticity of any and all related documents.
In the lawsuit, Midland ultimately agreed to pay the state a total of $500,000, and they agreed to resolve both outstanding and future consumer complaints with the Attorney General's Office.
Midland Funding has an office in St. Cloud; however, it is a subsidiary of the San Diego, California based Encore Capital Group, Inc. The company has paid over $2.1 billion dollars to purchase approximately 40 million accounts with a value of $66.4 billion dollars. This figure works out to about three cents on the dollar, and most of these were delinquent accounts from banks, credit card companies, and cell phone carriers, said the Attorney General's Office.
Ronald Wilcox, Attorney at Law is a San Jose, California collection harassment attorney. Attorney Wilcox is well-versed in the laws contained within the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and California's Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
If you or someone you love is currently a victim of debt collection abuse, please
contact the office right away to schedule a consultation where you can discuss your legal rights and all of your options in the matter at hand.