WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE HOUNDED BY A DEBT COLLECTOR LIKE MIDLAND FOR A FRADULENT DEBT?
Midland will report your debt to credit Unions Immediately
So, you have been contacted by a creditor or debt collector like Midland Credit Management for a debt that is not yours and it seems impossible to keep ignoring it. As frustrating and difficult it may seem to deal with an account that you never opened and is likely the result of identity theft, you cannot put your head in the sand and continue to ignore it as it will only get worse and harder to remedy. Once a debt gets into the hands of a debt collector like Midland Credit Management, the original creditor has charged it off as an uncollectable bad debt and sold it for a few pennies on the dollar. While the original creditor may not have reported it to the credit bureaus, you can count on a debt collector like Midland Credit Management to start reporting it right away. If you think they are going to remove the inaccurate Midland account just because you have disputed the account and told them that it is not yours, think again.
You must dispute the claims directly with the credit bureaus
You can call, write, email and send telegrams to companies like Midland Credit Management, and they are not likely to tell the credit bureaus to take the inaccurate Midland account off of your credit report. Worse yet, if they don’t, there is nothing you can do about it. The Fair Credit Reporting Act only applies if you dispute directly with the credit bureaus (“CRAs”: Experian, Equifax and Trans Union). Whether you dispute by mail or online, the CRAs have a duty to notify the furnisher of the information and tell it that you have disputed the accuracy of the debt. In the case of Hinkle v. Midland Credit Management, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed Midland’s investigation practices and pointed out all the reasons that it was defective and failed to comply with the FCRA. Midland tried to justify its failure to conduct a reasonable investigation, but the court rejected the explanation.
A qualified lawyer can help hold Midland Credit Management accountable
Unfortunately, even if you draft detailed letters to the CRAs explaining why the account was not yours and the CRAs forward those letters to Midland, don’t expect Midland to correct the account data. More often than not, it is going to verify that you owe the money and keep the account on your credit report. As frustrating and disappointing as that sounds, there is one sure way to get it corrected and get some justice for their failure to conduct a real, thorough and reasonable investigation: hire a lawyer that focuses his/her practice on identity theft and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. There are certainly many lawyers that represent that they practice this sort of law, but only a handful that know how to hold companies like Midland Credit Management liable for its violations of the law and force it to pay appropriately for their violations of the law. Tom and Hugo at Blankingship & Christiano, P.C. can guide you through the process, correct the fraudulent credit file data and hold the CRAs and furnishers like Midland Credit Management liable for their failures to follow the law and delete inaccurate and unverifiable credit file data.
If you have an error on your credit report and need legal help getting it corrected contact the Virginia Credit report error lawyers at Blankingship & Christiano, P.C. (571) 207-8331 or fill out our contact form to discuss your case.