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What to do when Midland does not respond to debt validation

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QUESTION

Hi Lisa, I Have a question… I have been wrestling with Midland credit management on two account that were charged off. Quick explanation.. My husband, who was the bread winner in our family, He made plenty of money to support us, then got sick in 2012 (Cancer), the V.A. through him under the bus.. (they removed half his right lung in Vietnam 1978 yet refused to compensate him) finally gave up trying when he passed away at age 60…on 01/06/2015.

The collection accounts on my reports, I tried to settle with the original companies, but they would not settle for what I could afford. So after no success with that, I had to let it go & they charged them off. These card accounts were sold 2 or 3 times ending up with Midland. There were even times when multiple collection companies were reporting the same accounts for collection. I ask the 3 credit reporting companies to verify why so many different companies were after the same accounts, asking for help. They only said the accounts were mine… that was a big help! Not! I sent a letter to Midland (the proper way) asking for validation & documentation. I read that credit card debt can not be collected by junk debt buyers. Midland refuses to validate the accounts. This has been going on for 3 months now.

I’m trying to find the final way to get these off my reports…Do you think my best bet is to send all exchanged letters between myself & midland to the 3 reporting companies, or should I start a lawsuit against Midland? It’s been a rough time to say the least… but, I am determined to see this to the end. I know that as a citizen of the united states I have some rights that only few people are aware of, but I’m trying my hardest to put this behind me as much as I can. Thank you very much if you can help me know what to do next..

ANSWER

Let me first say you are a tough, resilient woman! I am glad to know you are going to see this through, that’s the only way to win. The only advice I can give you is the following:

1. Know that debt validation is a powerful tool against debt collectors, however, it works best when consumers like you are willing to see it through to court action. That’s because the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does not require debt collectors to respond to debt validation.

2. Keep in mind the debt collectors, creditors, banks and lenders keep the credit bureaus running by paying a fee to them in order to report on consumer’s credit files. I say that to mean credit bureaus are not likely to respond favorably to you even though you can reasonably show Midland cannot verify/validate the debt.

3. Before you pursue legal action or send a letter to the credit bureaus, I suggest you make a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The complaint should specifically state that Midland refuses to respond to debt verification but continues to report unverified debts to the credit bureaus. The resolution you are requesting is that Midland delete the negative accounts they are reporting to the credit bureaus. In 2015 there was an Order obtained by the CFPB for Midland to stop collecting debts they can’t verify. What they are doing is in violation of that Order. Submit CFPB Complaints here.

4. If there are still multiple debt collectors reporting for the same debt you can go directly to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to make a complaint about the credit bureaus inaccurate reporting.

The best of luck to you!

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