Attorney General Slatery Announces $6 Million Settlement With Encore Capital Group To Reform Debt Buying And Collection Practices

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III announced on Tuesday that Tennessee joined 42 states and the District of Columbia in reaching a $6 million settlement with Encore Capital Group Inc. and its subsidiaries Midland Credit Management, Inc. and Midland Funding, LLC, one of the nation’s largest debt buyers.

 

Debt buying involves buying and selling overdue debts from creditors and other account owners.

Often purchased for pennies on the dollar, debt buyers seek to recover the full balance from consumers through collection attempts by phone and mail. Debt buyers, including Midland, also take consumers to court. However, they are often unable to afford attorneys to defend the allegations and cases result in default judgments, hurting credit and putting their wages in jeopardy of being garnished.

 

The settlement resolves the states’ investigation into Midland’s collection and litigation practices. Much like the conduct witnessed during the mortgage crisis, the agreement settles claims that Midland signed and filed affidavits in state courts in large volumes without verifying the information printed in them, a practice commonly called robo-signing.

 

“This office will continue to protect Tennesseans from unfair litigation and monetary collection,” said AG Slatery. “This settlement will bring relief to thousands of consumers and should serve as a warning to companies that might act in a similar manner.”


The settlement requires Midland to carefully verify the information in affidavits and present accurate documents in court proceedings. When Midland files a lawsuit, it must have account documents about the debt before they file the case, including the amount of the debt, proof of an agreement, and an explanation about why any additional fees are justified.

 

The settlement offers protections to consumers even if they are not being sued. All consumers must receive accurate information about valid debts. If a consumer disputes a debt Midland is collecting, the settlement requires Midland to review original account documents before it continues its collection efforts. Midland must provide these substantiating documents to the consumer for no charge. The settlement requires Midland maintain proper oversight and training over its employees and the law firms that it uses. The agreement prohibits Midland from reselling debt for two years.

 

As part of the settlement, Midland will eliminate or reduce the judgment balances approximately 4,472 Tennessee consumers for a value of $7,305,299.00 in cases where Midland used an affidavit against them in court between 2003 and 2009. Midland will notify impacted consumers by mail of the balance reduction and no further action is necessary from the consumer.  In addition, Midland will set aside $25,000 per state to compensate consumers who may have paid Midland money that the consumer did not owe.

 


Local Veteran Brings TruBlue To Chattanooga

New Hamilton County Businesses

Dalton Food City Set to Open On Wednesday


Local veteran and entrepreneur Brian Winton is launching his new house care business, TruBlue of Chattanooga. TruBlue is a full-service company that provides handyman, house cleaning, emergency ... (click for more)

Here are the new business licenses from the County Clerk's office: ANOINTED INSPIRATION WORD DAPHNE WILLIAMS 3 INSPIRATIONAL LIFE COACH RETAIL SALES 1075 GREENWOOD RD CHATTANOOGA TN 37414 ... (click for more)

Shelves are stocked in preparation for the opening of the new Dalton Food City on Wednesday. The 48,600+ square foot supermarket is on West Walnut Avenue and will serve as the area’s second ... (click for more)


Business

Local Veteran Brings TruBlue To Chattanooga

Local veteran and entrepreneur Brian Winton is launching his new house care business, TruBlue of Chattanooga. TruBlue is a full-service company that provides handyman, house cleaning, emergency repairs, yard/lawn care and seasonal services for busy families, seniors and anyone who want the comforts of their own home without worrying about critical property maintenance. TruBlue ... (click for more)

New Hamilton County Businesses

Here are the new business licenses from the County Clerk's office: ANOINTED INSPIRATION WORD DAPHNE WILLIAMS 3 INSPIRATIONAL LIFE COACH RETAIL SALES 1075 GREENWOOD RD CHATTANOOGA TN 37414 ASHLEY'S TAN AND BOUTIQUE ASHLEY SULLIVAN 3 SPRAY TAN AND BOUTIQUE CLOTHING 1635 STARBOARD DR HIXSON TN 37343 BARKS AND BUBBLES AMY L JOLLAY 3 DOG GROOMING 9131 DALLAS BAY RD SODDY ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Angry City Council Wants Answers On Incident Caught On Video Of Man Being Beaten By City Police Officer; Asks DA For Independent Probe

Angry City Council members said they want answers on an incident caught on camera of a Chattanooga Police officer shown beating a man after a traffic stop. The council on Tuesday night voted to ask District Attorney Neal Pinkston to carry out an independent investigation of the incident from last March. Councilman Russell Gilbert said, "I want to see a change in our ... (click for more)

"Financial Predator" Gets 43-Year Prison Sentence In Dalton

Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris on Tuesday sentenced Cara Ann Williams (also known as Kaesarea Williams) to serve a total of 43 years without the possibility of parole on 16 total counts including aggravated identity fraud, forgery, financial transaction card theft and false statements. The sentence will run concurrent with a five-year no parole sentenced ordered by Judge ... (click for more)

Opinion

Fake News Strikes Again And Again

Two major stories exploded across the headlines this past week which confirm my opinion that the mainstream media (MSM) is biased, incompetent, and can seldom be trusted to impart the news fairly and accurately. The first instance was the BuzzFeed story regarding Michael Cohen and how he allegedly lied on President Trump's behalf to Congress. Virtually all of the big media outlets ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Walmart vs 535 Morons

There is an anonymous paper on the Internet that tells how Walmart could do a better job running America instead of the pompous flops and duds we send to Washington. Please try to connect the dots on Walmart’s 1.6 million employees and the obscene profits that they make versus our 535 members of Congress who blow through money while “WallyWorld” churns out an average of $20-thousand ... (click for more)