Encore Capital Group, Parent of Midland Funding, One of Largest Debt Buyers Punished by NY AG

You arepayfineshere probably vaguely aware of “debt buyers” by now. These are the massive companies that buy up old, stale debt for almost nothing and try to collect it from the unsuspecting consumer. Midland Funding, a subsidiary of Encore Capital Group, is one of several debt buyers active in Missouri courts. Debt buyers like Midland and Encore have been repeatedly sued for illegal collection tactics. Over the past few years, courts and regulatory agencies across the country have been fighting back, but this practice is still a huge problem. We battle companies like Midland and Encore every day, and their lawsuits are seemingly as ubiquitous as ever.

Well, there is some good news out of New York. That state’s Attorney General is leading the regulatory charge against debt buyers. The New York Times reported last week that the NY AG’s office is preparing to announce a settlement with one of the largest debt buying conglomerates in the country, Encore Capital Group.

The settlement will reportedly include a fine of $675,000 and force Encore to vacate—or give up—at least 4,500 judgments it obtained against consumers in that state. The whole article is definitely worth a read, as it neatly summarizes the debt buying industry as a whole. It also lists the usual parade of horribles that Encore is alleged to have committed on the state’s citizens including the following:

  • Mass filing lawsuits with false or robo-signed affidavits
  • Suing on old debts that are past the statute of limitations
  • Generating “account statements” many years after the account was charged-off

We see these same types of things every day here in Missouri and Kansas, so it is encouraging to see a state AG aggressively go after these folks. We can only hope our local states show the same resolve.

 

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