Sarah Edwards | July 21, 2023
Edited by Hannah Locklear
Summary: Encore Capital Group is a debt buyer that owns several debt collection agencies throughout the world, including US-based Midland Credit Management. If Encore Capital or one of its subsidiaries contacts you about a debt, you can ask them to verify it with a Debt Validation Letter. If you get sued, SoloSuit can help you respond to the case and resolve the lawsuit through debt settlement.
Receiving a debt collection notice in the mail probably isn’t the highlight of your day. No one likes unexpected expenses, especially when they’re long-forgotten or you don’t believe you owe them. Unfortunately, debt collection is a big business in the US, and creditors aren’t likely to let you off the hook too easily.
One well-known collection agency, Encore Capital Group, purchases overdue consumer credit and utility debts and pursues debtors for the amount they owe. Encore Capital Group is the parent company of Midland Credit Management, Inc., which is probably who you’ll hear from if Encore Capital Group gets hold of an overdue account you’re responsible for.
Encore Capital Group is a global receivables management services company with offices in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America. It operates various subsidiaries that try to collect customer debts, including US-based Midland Credit Management.
The corporate headquarters of Encore Capital Group are in San Diego, California, and Midland Credit Management has locations in Arizona, California, Minnesota, Michigan, and Virginia.
People with general inquiries can call 877-445-4581 to speak with someone at Encore Capital Group. The phone numbers for Midland Credit Management are 800-296-2657 and 877-420-0039.
Encore Capital Group does not have a Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile. However, Midland Credit Management does. Midland Credit Management’s BBB profile does not have accreditation, but it has received hundreds of complaints over the last few years.
People who receive collection notices from Midland Credit Management should note that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sued the company for pursuing time-barred debts and failing to validate client accounts properly. As a result of the lawsuit, Midland Credit Management agreed to pay $79,000 in consumer redress and a $15 million civil penalty.
If you receive a debt collection notice from Encore Capital Group, don’t ignore it. While it can be tempting to throw it away or stuff it in a drawer, that won’t solve the problem and can lead to even more issues. Instead, read the notice carefully to see if you recognize the debt.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you have 30 days from receipt of an initial collection notice to dispute its validity and ask for proper supporting evidence, known as debt validation.
It’s critical to request a debt validation before engaging in any further discussion concerning the obligation, so you can ensure that Encore Capital Group is the proper owner and has the right to collect the money from you.
Debt collection agencies sometimes purchase obligations for pennies on the dollar and try to scare people into paying off the balance without establishing a clear chain of ownership. And oftentimes, there are issues with the debt amount.
The FDCPA discourages this practice by requiring collection agencies to produce proof of ownership and supporting information concerning the debt when customers request it. If a collection agency like Encore Capital Group cannot correctly validate your debt, it must cease all collection efforts against you.
Not sure what to include in your Encore Capital Group Debt Validation Letter? You can use SoloSuit to write a Debt Validation Letter in minutes.
If Encore Capital Group validates your debt, it opens the door to taking further action against you. Typically, debt collectors like Encore Capital Group will give you a few months to respond to their letters. If enough time passes and the statute of limitations for your debt draws near, they may pursue a debt lawsuit.
You’ll want to avoid an adverse outcome in a debt lawsuit — a court-ordered judgment allowing Encore Capital Group to garnish your wages or freeze your bank account. Wage garnishment is serious and can take a hefty bite out of your weekly take-home pay, making it challenging to afford things you need, like shelter and groceries.
If you receive a Court Summons and a Complaint from Encore Capital Group, you’ll know it’s suing you. Take a few minutes to clear your head, then review the Complaint. You’ll want to see if there are any errors that don’t agree with your records, like the wrong amount of debt or mistakes in your account number.
Next, you’ll want to draft an Answer to respond to the lawsuit. An Answer outlines any defenses you have to the claim. Even if you don’t have a defense, you’ll still want to write an Answer because it will prevent Encore Capital Group from asking for a default judgment in your case.
If you know Encore Capital Group will likely win the lawsuit, you have two options: repaying or settling the debt before your court date. If you resolve the obligation, Encore Capital Group will drop its case against you, allowing you to avoid a judgment.
In a debt settlement, you offer your creditor a portion of the total amount due, usually at least 60% of the debt’s value. In exchange for a lump-sum payment, the creditor agrees to drop its legal claims against you and release you from the remaining balance.
Encore Captial’s subsidiary, Midland Credit Management, may consider negotiating a debt settlement if you promise to make a lump-sum payment and clear the remaining amount within a short period. Because of this, debt settlement usually works best if you have some cash saved or expect to receive some money soon.
Settling your debt helps you avoid a judgment and wage garnishment. You’ll save some money and move on from this challenging experience.
Let’s consider an example of how to settle a debt with Encore Capital.
Example: Joan receives notice that Encore Capital Group is suing her for an old credit card debt of $1,000. Joan wants to avoid going to court, so she files an Answer to the lawsuit and then uses SoloSettle to offer Encore Capital Group $600 to settle the debt, which is 60% of the amount Joan believes she actually owes. Encore Capital Group courtoffers at $700, and Joan accepts. The debt is resolved and Encore Capital drops the case.
To learn more about how to settle a debt, check out this video:
Your most potent weapon against a debt collection agency like Encore Capital Group is remaining objective and proactive. Don’t be afraid to request debt validation; don’t let a debt collector push you into a judgment. If you’re likely to lose a debt lawsuit, repay or settle the obligation so you can move on, free of the worry of a judgment.
SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.
You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.
SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.
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Out Debt Validation Letter is the best way to respond to a collection letter. Many debt collectors will simply give up after receiving it.
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