Midland Funding is trying to collect from me. I don’t know who these people are and never did business with them…but they say I owe them ,and placed a collection on all credit reporting agencies can I have them removed from my reports? they even sent me a letter saying the can collect from me I live in Maryland and have been told they cant do business here
How can I get these people off my credit reports…they say they collecting for another company…
Midland Funding is a debt buyer. They buy unpaid debts, such as credit cards that banks give up trying to collect on. The legal rights to collect are typically transferred to Midland upon purchase. And this begins a collection process that will often look something like this:
- Midland Funding buys up an assortment of unpaid debts from your bank.
- These days I am starting to see banks send their former customers a letter telling you they sold your account to Midland Funding, but this may not have happened with you (or with others reading this).
- Midland Credit Management, part of the Encore Capital umbrella of companies that Midland Funding is also part of, will call you and/or write to you in order to collect.
- It takes a few months for Midland to show up on your credit reports, and you can prevent it.
Starting more than a year ago, Midland Funding started offering many people who want to resolve their debt, a unique opportunity. If you settle with Midland in the first few months after they obtained your account, they will not report to the bureaus… at all. I know that does not help you, with Midland already showing on your credit reports, but other readers may be able to figure out how to make this happen for themselves. Payment plans are part of the resolution that Midland will accept in order to prevent further credit damage.
Midland will often continue to write and/or call you in continued efforts to collect.
There are too many debt collection posts on the internet full of weird theories on whether or not a debt collector is able to do this, that, or the other thing. Call your state debt collector licensing authority and inquire of them directly whether Midland is allowed to collect in your state.
I would be surprised if Midland were not able to collect in all 50 states, as they either do not need a license, or would have met the licensing requirements to collect. There may be past instances where they thought they met the standard for collecting in a state, but were proven wrong, but that is unlikely to apply nowadays.
One of the theories that gets stretched around a lot is that because you never did direct business with a debt collector, you should not have to pay them. But if you did do business with the creditor that sold your account to Midland Funding, you did so under certain terms, and those terms nearly always state that they have the right to assign or sell your account. Assigning or selling debts happens in nearly all consumer lending markets. That goes for loans and accounts that are being kept current too, not just the unpaid debts.
If you are concerned about whether your creditor legitimately sold your debt to anyone, you can always call them and ask. It is a simple call. Let’s say Midland contacts you about your Citibank credit card. You call Citibank’s main customer service line; provide some personal identifiers for the person at Citi to pull up your account; and confirm who they sold or sent your account to.
If it is a situation where you do not recognize the debt at all, such as an account that may have gone unpaid several years back, and your memory of the debt is not clear, you can ask Midland Funding, or any debt collector for that matter, for verification that the debt is yours. They will often send you prior account statements to help you identify the account at issue. Mistakes in collecting the wrong debt have gotten to be fewer in recent years, but they still happen.
Today’s Midland Funding is part of a broader collection evolution.
Midland Funding is one of, if not the most regulated debt collector in the nation right now. That is because of a consent order they signed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last year. That order outlines a ton of stuff that Midland can and cannot do. There are also a slew of state law changes, such as the recent Debt Buyer Protection Act in California, and even state law changes in Maryland from several years back, that further prevent or compel debt buyers like Midland Funding in certain ways.
There are also pending debt collection rules that will come from the CFPB. One thing I expect to apply to all debt collectors nationally, which will be a welcome change, is that all documentation of an account is readily available to those collecting on newly unpaid debts. That means anyone contacting you will be able to substantiate the debt they are collecting to the degree necessary to win in court, but without having to take someone to court. I have a piece coming up shortly about the new age of debt collection that is dawning. We are still in the early stages.
You did not identify the original creditor in your question. For now, I would call them and confirm the debt sale to Midland Funding. I would next identify what your goals are. If you owe the debt and want to limit the credit reporting damage, look to connect with Midland in order to resolve the debt. Because your debt is old enough to have been sold off, you are not going to get any extra benefit from paying it in full, so I am a fan of trying to negotiate the best outcome with Midland by settling for less than what is owed. Your credit report will be updated to show a resolved collection either way. If you, or any reader is not confident in your ability to call and negotiate your account with Midland, call me to get coached up, or for help, at 800-939-8357 ext 2.
Most folks I speak with have no trouble resolving debts with Midland Funding on their own. You will often be speaking with someone at Midland Credit Management, and in some instances, debt collection attorney firms. Results are often better and more flexible when you are able to communicate with MCM directly as opposed to collectors at law firms.
If you are unable to resolve a debt due to financial constraints, it just is what it is sometimes. You can look for opportunities to put bills behind you when your situation changes (hopefully in the near future).
You can also look to chapter 7 bankruptcy as a means to put not just Midland Funding, but many other debts in your rear view mirror.
If you are in a situation where you have little to no assets, and are on a fixed income, you may be able to put a stop to all collection efforts by Midland Funding. They publish a list of hardship scenarios that, if applied to you, could lead to Midland stopping all collection activity against you. Check out the article 2 of Midland’s pledge and see if you meet any of the scenarios listed for consideration.
I do recommend resolving debts they newly purchased in order to prevent being sued by Midland Funding later. Because of the evolution occurring in the collection space, and certainly because of their growing sensitivity to regulatory compliance, it is often the case (as of this writing) that Midland will increasingly have account level documentation to prove their claim.
I know that goes further than your questions, but this post should be helpful to others moving forward. If anyone has questions or concerns about resolving debt with Midland Funding, post in the comments below for feedback.
Michael Bovee founded CRN, a unique company offering debt negotiation education and services, in 2004. Bovee has been contributing articles and free reader feedback on this site for several years.
Michael is a debt industry professional who has volunteered his time to help answer reader questions.
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