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Be Aware of Midland's Consumer Bill of Rights

Posted by Ryan D. Peterson | May 15, 2022 | 0 Comments

Nobody chooses to do business with Midland Credit Management, but Midland may choose to do business with you whether you like it or not. Midland is one of the largest purchasers of distressed consumer receivables in the United States, which is just a fancy way of saying they're a bunch of bottom-feeding blood suckers who buy charged-off credit card balances for a fraction of their value and then sue consumers for the full balance. 

The thing about Midland is that they don't like being viewed as "bottom-feeding blood suckers," so they advertise on their website something they call the "Consumer Bill of Rights." This so-called "Bill of Rights" contains a bunch of promises from Midland about how they'll treat consumers with "dignity and respect." The vast majority of the Bill of Rights contains either meaningless platitudes and/or promises to obey existing law. But there is one section that is genuinely helpful to consumers and something to be aware of. This is the "Hardship" section of the Bill of Rights, and contains two particularly useful provisions.

In the first provision, Midland promises to suspend collection activity "when a consumer demonstrates that he or she is experiencing significant financial hardship due to medical issues." In the second provision, Midland promises to cease collections when they "receive documentation indicating that the consumer's only source of income is from exempt sources, such as Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits, and that the consumer has access to no other assets."

Interpreting the meaning of those provisions and making sure they're actually honored can be easier said than done. The first time I mentioned the medical hardship section to one of Midland's lawyers from Messerli & Kramer, they had no idea what I was talking about (even though the Bill of Rights had been out for almost a decade). Even now, these provisions of the Bill of Rights seem to be honored more in the breach. 

Nonetheless, if you believe that you qualify under these criteria, you should insist that Midland either suspend or cease collection activity. If they ignore or refuse, then call me: I'll make sure Midland lives up to its promises.

About the Author

Ryan D. Peterson

Attorney Ryan D. Peterson Ryan D. Peterson is a former debt collection attorney turned consumer rights expert and advocate. After graduating from William Mitchell law school in 2008, Ryan opened his own criminal defense firm. In 2010 Ryan joined a Minneapolis-based debt collection firm. Ther...

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