How to Handle Collection Calls From Midland Credit Management
Midland Credit Management (MCM) is a collection agency based in San Diego, CA. The company buys collection accounts from banks, credit unions, consumer finance companies, commercial retailers, auto finance companies, and telecommunication companies. MCM’s parent company buys delinquent debts for an average cost of 3.1 cents on the dollar. The company also buys debt owed by consumers who filed bankruptcy recently. Midland Credit Management is one of the largest US-based collection agents.
|Midland Credit Management|
|8875 Aero Dr #200 San Diego, CA 92123 (800) 825-8131|
|Midland Credit Management employs 2,200 to 3,000 in San Diego, Phoenix, St Cloud, MN, India, and Costa Rica. More than half of its employees quit or are fired every year. The company’s collections have increased more than 10-fold over the last 10 years. It is a publicly traded corporation (a rarity among debt collectors) using the stock symbol ECPG.|
Sources: BBB, company 10-K filing
Take these steps when Midland Credit Management collection agency contacts you to collect a debt:
1. Learn the Statute of Limitations
The age of your debt and your state’s statute of limitations determines how you respond to a collection call from Midland Credit Management. Answer these three questions to learn the statute of limitations on your debt:
- When did the account became delinquent? When did you make your last payment on this debt? Review your records. If you have no records, get a copy of your credit reports to see what the original creditor and collection agents reported to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The delinquency date in your credit reports may be incorrect: Use your records as an accurate guide.
- What is your state’s statute of limitations for this type of debt? Read the Bills.com state statute of limitations article to learn how much time remains on the statute of limitation clock for this account.
- Has the statute of limitations clock run out? The statute of limitations clock starts when the account becomes delinquent. Add 30 days to your last payment due date plus the number of years in your state’s statute of limitations to learn if the statute of limitations clock expired for this account.
You are in luck if the clock ran out. Under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a collection agency like Midland Credit Management may not file a lawsuit against the consumer to collect an expired debt. A collection agency can ask you to pay the debt, but it may not threaten you or launch any court case against you. If the clock ran out, send Midland Credit Management a written cease communications notice immediately to put a stop to the company's telephone calls.
Is it worth your time to validate a debt? Yes! Collection agents cannot validate 41% of the accounts less than 3 years old. Collection agents cannot validate 64% of the accounts 6 years of age or older. Overall, the debt industry can validate about half of all accounts (The Structure and Practices of the Debt Buying Industry (PDF)). The least likely accounts to be validated are medical, telecommunications, and utility debts.
If the statute of limitations clock ran out, then stop your analysis here and send the cease communications letter mentioned above. If the statute of limitations has not expired, then move on to the next step, validating the debt.
2. Validating Debt
Validate a debt when Midland Credit Management contacts you to collect a debt. You have 30 days to validate the debt, so act quickly. Follow the steps we describe in the Bills.com debt validation article to preserve your rights under the the FDCPA. Validate a debt regardless of your personal belief of you owing a debt.
Is it worth your time to validate a debt? Yes! Collection agents cannot validate 41% of the accounts less than 3 years old. Collection agents cannot validate 64% of the accounts 6 years of age or older. Overall, the debt industry can validate about half of all accounts (The Structure and Practices of the Debt Buying Industry(PDF)). The least likely accounts to be validat-ed are med-ical, tele-com-munica-tions, and utility debts.
Make sure Midland Credit Management validates the debt according to the law. If it doesn’t, then send Midland Credit Management a notice of insufficient validation. If Midland Credit Management cannot validate the debt, then it has no legal basis to collect the debt.
If it can validate the debt and the statute of limitations has not expired, then move to the next step.
3. Negotiate A Settlement With Midland Credit Management
Collection agents typically buy collection accounts for pennies on the dollar. Midland Credit Management buys debts for an average of 3.1 cents on the dollar, according to its government required 10-K filing. Midland Credit Management buys collection accounts directly from original creditors, so MCM’s accounts tend to be fresher than others in the industry.
Midland Credit Management pays its debt collectors on a commission. Collectors earn extra incentives to make deals at the end of the week, end of the month, or end of the quarter. Use this fact to your advantage if you want to negotiate a settlement to the debt.
Because Midland Credit Management usually owns the accounts it is collecting and tends to not work on a contract basis for original creditors, it has a huge range of flexibility in settling the debt. Expect settlements on Midland Credit Management accounts to range from 40 to 60 cents on the dollar.
Unsure how to handle your debt? Let the Bills.com Debt Coach tool give you a customized report on your debt resolution options. It’s free!
If you do not feel comfortable negotiating, then partner with a debt settlement provider. Debt settlement companies employ teams of people who do nothing but negotiate settlements all day. Debt settlement companies rely on databases of past settlements so their negotiators know what range original creditors and collection agencies have accepted for settlements in the past.
Midland Credit Management Lawsuit
Midland Credit Management has a well-deserved reputation for filing lawsuits against consumers it believes have the money to pay-off a debt but have shown no willingness to do so. Therefore, if you have no assets and a limited income, it pays to open a negotiation with Midland Credit Management to explain your financial situation. If you can show you have little to pay MCM, it is likely you will not be on the receiving end of a lawsuit.
Recently, MCM found itself in hot water for overly aggressive collections tactics that did not follow state collection laws. Check with your state attorney general to learn if there is an agreement between MCM and the state regarding collections in your state. For example, in Minnesota, MCM agreed to vacate judgments it had won against consumers between 2005 and 2011 because MCM failed to follow Minnesota's collections laws. If you reside in California, Florida, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, or Washington, you may affected by a class action settlement consumers filed against MCM (Pepper v. Midland Credit Management Settlement).
If Midland Credit Management files a lawsuit against you, consult with a lawyer in your state who has consumer law experience. You must file an answer to Midland Credit Management’s summons and complaint or you risk losing the lawsuit automatically.
If you lose, Midland Credit Management will be awarded a judgment, which will allow it to garnish your wages, levy or freeze your bank account, place a lien on any property you own, or allow the sheriff to seize your personal property. Ignoring a summons will not make it go away, so take action to respond to the lawsuit.
Bills Action Plan
When Midland Credit Management calls to collect a debt:
- Learn your state’s statute of limitations for this type of debt
- Send Midland Credit Management a debt validation notice
- If necessary, negotiate a settlement to the debt. Get professional help if negotiations is not one of your skills.
- Respond to any legal summons you receive.
- Consult with a lawyer if Midland Credit Management files a lawsuit against you.