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Midland Funding Debt Collection Abuse Settlement Struck Down

By Mike Holter

 

Midland Funding lawsuitA federal appeals court Tuesday struck down a proposed class action lawsuit settlement that would have compensated consumers who were allegedly targets of unfair debt collection practices by Midland Funding.

The settlement would have resolved three class action lawsuits accusing Midland Funding LLC, Midland Credit Management Inc. and Encore Capital Group Inc. of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by robo-signing lawsuit affidavits.

According to plaintiffs, Midland employees routinely robo-signed affidavits claiming personal knowledge that consumers owed debts, despite having no such knowledge of the facts asserted. Court documents showed Midland employees had been signing between 200 and 400 computer-generated affidavits per day for use in debt-collection actions, without personal knowledge of the accounts, in violation of the FDCPA.

In a decision filed Tuesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s ruling approving the Midland Funding class action settlement and vacated the judgment certifying the nationwide settlement class, finding that the settlement was unfair.

The Sixth Circuit agreed with objectors who argued the proposed deal unfairly compensated the named plaintiffs $8,000 each plus eliminated their debts, while Class Members who opted into the settlement would only receive $17.38 each and still owe their debts.

“This disparity in relief is so great that we conclude the district court abused its discretion in finding that the settlement was fair, reasonable, and adequate,” the appeals court said.

This isn’t the only time Midland Funding has been accused of violating federal law in its attempts to collect debts from consumers.

The company is the target of a separate class action lawsuit investigation into allegations it contacted consumers on their cell phones without prior express permission, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The TCPA prohibits companies from placing unsolicited cell phone calls or text messages to consumers unless they’ve received prior permission to contact them. Violating the TCPA can result in stiff penalties of $500 to $1,500 per violation. Class Members of TCPA class action lawsuit settlements can receive hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars in compensation.

If you received an unsolicited text message or phone call to your cell phone from Midland Funding or another debt collection agency, you may have a claim to join a class action lawsuit. Visit the TCPA Class Action Lawsuit Investigation for more details about your legal rights.

 

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Updated March 1st, 2013

 

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10 Comments

  • Remigio Magbanua March 4, 2013

    I received $25.00 from our class action lawsuit against Chase Bank on Feb.27/13 which is not enough for the expenses that I incurred in answering the lawsuit of Midland who claimed that they are the successor in Interest to Chase bank.I have the affidavit that they robo signed,claiming that they have personal knowledge of my account which of course is not true.I want to be included in this class action lawsuit.

  • Leah March 5, 2013

    @remigio magbanua. The 6th circuit struck down the settlement in the midland case specifically because the compensation to the class was insufficient. You may be able to get a bigger settlement. Don’t cash that check and call the attorney

  • Yeah March 5, 2013

    Midland is one of the worst penny debt collectors there is! I am GLAD they finally got busted for their lies! And, it seems to me ANYONE on their mailing list ever should be an automatic plaintiff in this matter x how many different accounts Midland tried to collect from them over the years. I had fraudulent accounts opened in my name; Midland tried to collect from me on those debts saying the very same BS of having personal knowledge the debts were in fact mine without ever providing proper validation, they just posted it all on my CR’s illegally and no one would remove them. I sure wish I could find out who to talk to about this to be included!

  • Rebecca November 6, 2013

    they called me a few years back stated they were with the brevard county sheriffs department ,

  • Rebecca November 6, 2013

    i just read the court document it self not the claim on my settlement claims “states NOV 6th 2013 ” we all should send emails contact whoever,, they are trying to get out of paying us this is BS

  • k November 6, 2013

    i just got a email stating it was in may when in fact it was nov 6 2013 last night , but however i did find the site that has nov 6-2013 ,why is the claims administrator lying?

  • Ann June 2, 2014

    Midland funding is trying to collect $$$$$ and I have no idea who they are an I won’t pay for something unless it shows proof of purchase,,and I want to see my signature as well!!!!!

  • Barb July 8, 2014

    Midland Funding is trying to collect from me as well, they will not provide Validation of the debt as they have been asked to do in two separate certified letters. When disputing the debt they claim they know it is mine without validation.

  • Kelley M February 11, 2015

    Midland recently sued me in August, 2014 for a whopping $2,300 for an old debt I had that probably amounted to a $300 balance I still owed. Midland bought the debt, sent me a demand letter for $2,300, and when I didn’t pay, they filed suit against me in my local district court (Massachusetts). I fought back! I got an attorney who agreed to take my case for just $500. We asked them for debt validation, and just like so many of you, they sent us a “robo” affidavit from some woman who supposedly sworn in this Affidavit that this was my debt,and a supposed transmittal statement showing they purchased the debt–WITH NOTHING ON THIS PIECE OF PAPER EXCEPT THE WORDS “TRANSMITTED”! I’m not even kidding. That was ALL the evidence they had to produce. The small claims court was FULL of people being sued by Midland as well. We declined Mediation and opted for a magistate hearing. Right before our hearing began, Midland offered us a deal-$500 and no W-9 for the remaining balance. Hahaha!! We said “shove it”, we’ll see you at the hearing. My attorney told the Clerk Magistrate that Midland provided no documentation, other than the Affidavit, provided no debt validation, and had no other proof that Midland was entitled to collect this money. Midland’s Attorney stood there dumb-founded. The Clerk a week later sent us a Judgment in favor of Defendant–ME!!! We won!!! Please, please, please–get an attorney, or the very least, fight them yourself in court. It’s not hard–and you will win!! We did!

  • Al April 5, 2015

    Date: 3/22/2014
    To: Officers and Board of Directors of Encore Capital Group
    This letter is to inform the officers and the board of Encore Capital Group I am resigning from my position as Manager, Business Process Improvement effective 3/31/2015 due to an illegal and hostile work environment. Over the last 2.5 years I was instructed by officers of Encore Capital Group to break federal and state laws while managing the Palm Springs Project.
    I alerted the Board of Directors of Encore Capital Group to these concerns late 2014 and I was placed on leave for several months to supposedly conduct an investigation but this ended up being nothing more than a stalling tactic. I provided hours of testimony and handed over 300 documents to the investigating attorneys for the Board of Directors. I provided several witnesses, systems, files and documents for the Board of Directors to review to corroborate my story.
    But during my leave no evidence was provided that any of the witnesses I provided were spoken with, what questions were asked of them and their responses to those questions. No evidence has been provided that systems were tested. No evidence has been provided sellers of debt were spoken with. In fact no information at all has been shared as to whether any investigation that holds up to the duty of oversight the Board of Directors and Audit committee are responsible for took place.
    The board of directors including the audit committee has failed in its responsibility of oversight and has gone a step further and willingly did not conduct a fair and impartial investigation to cover up the actions of its officers. The strategy of breaking the law under the guise of privilege and confidential WILL NOT STAND and I will see to it the federal agency(s) and parties directly harmed by Encore are made aware of what has taken place.
    In retrospect the Palm Springs project was created by Encore leadership to SHEILD and provide cover to CONTINUE its illegal collections practices on unconsented cell phones because a genuine change would impact collections to the tune of millions of dollars per year. I am confident Encore did not go to the length of deceit about its unconsented cell phone practices for no other reason than to illegally (NOT LEGALLY) find a way to reduce its liability in class action lawsuits. I am well aware of the true liability Encore has amassed (knowingly autodialing unconsented cell phones), how you did it and who was involved. And what’s ultimately upsetting is you used me to do your dirty work.
    Several officers of Encore and board of directors either knew about these illegal activities and did nothing to stop them or directed the illegal activities to take place. The individuals include Greg Call, Carl Eberling, Barbara Kennedy, Ashish Masih, Manu Rikhye, Deepak Maheshwari, Jaison Thomas, Kenneth Vecchione, Willem Mesdag, Francis Quinian, J. Christopher Teets, Laura Olle, Michael Monaco, Mike Haubenstock, Brandon Black, Jim Syran, Scott Goodrich, Kaushik Kundu, David Yoo, Manu Sharma, Andrew Asch, and April Linduar. Each person will have to look themselves in the mirror because the day of reckoning is coming.
    As you are aware courts have consistently held intentional conduct by a corporate officer/board member will result in personal liability. Courts have specifically said officers “cannot escape the consequences of individual wrongdoing”. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
    Given the Board of Directors and Officers of Encore have no desire to conduct an ethical operations, facilitate a fair and impartial investigation I can no longer sit idle and since I will have no other work to do given my resignation all of my focus and attention will be used to expose the fraud that has taken place at Encore Capital Group and the individuals involved.
    In addition to the evidence provided to the board for TCPA/FDCPA violations you did nothing with, additional, irrefutable, first hand media exist detailing the illegal actions of Encore officers. This evidence was not provided because I suspected the officers and the board would not give a genuine effort to investigate the initial claims I made and try to shield the information from coming to light. My suspicions were proven correct over these last four months. Encore is a large company with a lot of resources, I am well aware of the background and connections the individuals of the board and officers have. I am only one man, but the first hand evidence I have of wrongdoing will surely balance the scales once it is brought to light.
    We’re already in a tough business to be in, debt collections. It’s a sad commentary that the largest publicly traded debt collection company illegally contacts consumers then send them to suit and gains judgements on them all across the country. What’s even more heinous is Encore has involved other publicly traded companies like Wells Fargo in its effort to conceal, deceive and break the law and this will be brought to light as well.
    Good luck to us all….
    Alfred Collins Jr.

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