One of the most common reasons people are sued is because of unpaid debt. If you do not pay money debt that you have incurred, the original creditor or a company that it sold the debt to may have the option to file a lawsuit against you. However, these types of lawsuits can be complex, and the debt collector may not have the legal grounds to sue you if the debt or legal filing is not valid.
If you have received notice that Midland Funding is suing you, click here to contact an experienced debt lawsuit defense attorney for immediate assistance.
Who Is Midland Funding?
Midland Funding is a debt buyer – it buys old debts from original creditors for pennies on a dollar. It buys debts that consumers have defaulted on. Usually, after the original creditor attempts to collect the debt, it turns it over to a debt collection company and charges off the account.
Midland Funding reportedly pays 4 cents for every dollar of debt it receives from other creditors. It makes money by collecting the full amount you owed to the creditor, along with extra penalties and fees. Every year, it buys thousands of charged-off debts just like this, hoping to get consumers to pay on the old debts or obtaining default judgments against them.
Midland Funding is a subsidiary of Encore Capital Group, which has offices throughout Texas, other states, and other countries.
It’s one of the largest debt collectors in the United States. Every year, it files thousands of debt collection lawsuits against consumers. It hires a local collection attorney in the state where the consumer is located to try to collect some of the debt.
This is a large company with ample resources, so it’s critical that you hire an experienced debt collection lawyer to help you level the playing field and protect your rights during this difficult time.
Why Debts Are Sold
People accrue debt every day, such as:
• Mortgages on real property
• Car loans
• Credit cards
• Medical debt
• Personal loan
Companies that extend credit may initially try to collect the debt directly from you. However, they may have limited resources to continue pursuing these debt collection activities. Eventually, they might decide to sell the debt to a debt buyer and get something out of the unpaid debt instead of nothing.
Debt collection agencies have a singular focus: collect as much money as possible for the debt they have bought. They often use aggressive collection efforts, including sending letters and making constant phone calls to you. It is important to note that Midland Funding is a debt collector, so it must follow the rules set by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This federal consumer protection law prohibits companies from taking deceptive or harassing activity against consumers while collecting debt.
Problems with Debt Buying Lawsuits
Debt buying lawsuits are plagued with many issues, including:
• No clear chain of title in who currently owns the debt
• Legal action against consumers is taken in the hopes that they will not respond and the debt collector will receive a default judgment
• Collection activity for debts that are too old to be legally enforceable
• Business record affidavits signed by a person who signs hundreds of such affidavits that attest direct knowledge of the amount of debt owed when they have no personal knowledge of this information
The Texas Attorney General sued Midland Funding after finding a problem with robo-signing in which a person vouched for debts without having the requisite knowledge or contact with the debt.
What Happens If I Don’t Respond to a Debt Collection Lawsuit?
If you don’t respond to a debt collection lawsuit, the creditor can get a default judgment against you. As long as the creditor can show that they notified you of the lawsuit and you fail to respond, the court can rule in the creditor’s favor. This can occur even if you had no debt with Midland Funding, they have the wrong person, or there are other viable defenses against them.
If the creditor gets a judgment against you, they may:
• Get a lien against your property
• Get law enforcement to seize property to pay off the judgment
• Get a writ of garnishment against your pay (for some out of state judgments), bank accounts, or investment accounts
Your credit can also be negatively impacted by this action.
What Should I Do If Midland Funding Sues Me?
If you receive notice that you are being sued by Midland Funding, it is crucial that you do not ignore it. You generally have 20 days to respond to a civil lawsuit in Texas. Your answer should specifically address each allegation and assert any affirmative defenses you have. Because there are particular rules and procedures you must follow, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced debt defense attorney to help defend against the lawsuit.
Warren & Migliaccio, L.L.P. has a track record of successfully defending against these types of cases. Contact us today to begin mounting your defense.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me If I’m Sued by Midland Funding?
A knowledgeable debt defense lawyer can protect your legal rights and defend against unsubstantiated claims. You can expect an experienced lawyer to:
• Advise you of your rights – A debt lawsuit defense lawyer can explain your legal rights to you so that you have a clear understanding of the case against you and possible legal strategies that can protect your interests.
• Help prepare your response – A lawyer can prepare your answer to the lawsuit against you that complies with the applicable rules and protects you from a default judgment.
• Seek a dismissal of the case against you – If the lawsuit lacks legal merit or a procedural error has been made, your lawyer may be able to ask the court to dismiss the case against you.
• Assert defenses – You may have legal grounds that prevent the debt collector from seeking a judgment against you, such as not having ownership of the debt or the expiration of the statute of limitations.
• Take action against abusive debt collection agencies – If the debt collector violated state or federal consumer protection laws, such as threatening criminal action, harassing you, or lying, not only may the case against you be dismissed, but you might also be entitled to damages against them.
• Investigate your case – Your lawyer can investigate the case to determine if you even owe the debt. It could be a case of mistaken identity, or the debtor might not have proof that they actually own the debt.
• Negotiate your debt – To avoid a judgment against you, your lawyer may negotiate a settlement with the debt collection agency that is well below the value of the original debt.
• Explore all of your options – Your attorney can explore all possible options available to you. If there is not a viable defense to the collection suit, your lawyer might recommend filing bankruptcy as a way to help protect your financial future and avoid serious consequences like the garnishment of bank accounts or the loss of your personal assets.
If you would like to learn more about how an experienced debt collection defense attorney can help, contact Warren & Migliaccio, L.L.P.