Midland Funding, LLC is one of the nation’s largest buyers of charged-off debt. When you default on your credit card or other personal loans, lenders will eventually charge-off the debt if they don’t sue you first. Contrary to what you may think, when a lender charges off a debt, it does not absolve you of your duty to pay that debt. If you look at your credit report and see a debt that is charged-off, that just means the lender considers your debt to be uncollectable and writes it off their books. Charged-off debts are then sold to debt buyers like Midland Funding for pennies on the dollar. Midland Funding will then call you incessantly to bully you into paying the full amount of the original debt. If they are unsuccessful, they will hire a law firm to sue you.
Why Most People Lose to Midland Funding
Midland’s entire business model relies on the fact that most people will not file a response to a law suit. When you fail to respond to a law suit filed by one of their lawyers, Midland can get what’s called a default judgment against you. A default judgment is the same as winning in front of a judge or jury, and Midland will then start garnishing your wages, seizing the money in your bank accounts, and putting liens on your property.
Be Proactive and Follow These Steps to Increase Your Chances of Winning
- When you are served with the complaint asking the court to award Midland damages for failing to pay a debt, READ THE PAPERS carefully. The papers will often say that you must file a response by a certain date. Calendar that date.
- File a response by the due date. A response must be a legally sufficient answer. You can’t ask the court for leniency because you can’t afford to pay. You must deny or admit each allegation in the Complaint and file your answer with the court. If you feel uncomfortable handling this yourself, hire a lawyer.
Under Georgia law, you have 30 days to respond to the papers served on you. Whatever you do, don’t try to dodge service by not answering the door for a process server. Be proactive and read what’s served. For one, the process server could come back later and serve anyone in your household of competent age. You are then considered served. Have a family member visiting for a few days? They may answer the door for a process server, take the papers, and forget to tell you about it. It’s very common, and it’s usually not a valid defense to being properly served. The worst thing that could happen is the court, after a request from the creditor, allows service of your law suit by publication. If the court allows this because the judge thinks you are dodging service, you’ll likely never get the notice to respond.
Why Should I File a Response?
I’ll let you in on a little secret about debt buyers like Midland Funding, Asset Acceptance, and Portfolio Recovery: when they purchase charged-off debts for pennies on the dollar, they often receive NO supporting documentation. In other words, they buy these debts without being able to prove that you actually owe the debt! When Midland buys a debt, they are usually only provided an account number, social security number, name, and debt amount. In many cases the original documentation that you signed to verify that you incurred a debt is never sent to Midland Funding by the original creditor. Without these documents, Midland cannot prove their case and will have to dismiss their law suit. Other times they may have some documentation but can’t prove how they came to the amount you owe. How can the court be sure you haven’t already paid off the debt if Midland can’t prove how much you owe? Finally, under Georgia law, a creditor has 6 years from the last payment you made to sue you. This deadline to file a law suit is called the statute of limitations. Midland will often purchase debts where the statute of limitations has run, and they have no legal right to collect on the debt. Of course, you MUST file a response with the court presenting this defense to win.
If everyone who Midland Funding sued actually filed a response, they would probably be out of business. Follow these two simple steps, and you may just find yourself on the right side of a winning case.