Midland Credit Management, Inc., is a third-party debt collector headquartered in San Diego. If you are receiving letters or phone calls from this company and want the calls and letters to stop, you have come to the right place. This article will walk you through exactly how to deal with this debt collection company and explain how to have an MCM collection removed from your credit report. Communicating with debt collectors can create a stressful situation, so it helps to know how to communicate with them effectively.
How to remove MCM from your credit report
Follow these three steps when dealing with MCM:
Step 1: Require written communication only
Dealing with MCM over the phone is not advised. Although many debt collectors follow ethical business practices, some make promises over the phone and then have no record of them. When this happens, the consumer has no proof of the agreement. It is much safer to limit communication to letters sent and received via US Mail. You can save your mail if you want an even more reliable method.
With that in mind, your first step is to send a letter to MCM asking them to communicate with you in writing only. As a consumer, you have the right to make this request. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes fairness and accuracy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. Under the rules set forth in the FCRA, you have rights, one of which is to require written communication.
Aim to send this letter within 30 days of hearing MCM for the first time. It is important to act quickly, as your chances of having a negative entry removed from your credit report will decrease after the first 30 days.
To get started, access a free copy of your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.
Step 2: Request debt validation
MCM collects bulk-purchased debt from original creditors, such as credit card companies and personal lenders. Midland Funding purchases this debt for pennies on the dollar, then MCM begins to collect on this debt, breaking even and generally making a profit by collecting unpaid debt from consumers. MCM only makes money if it collects the debt, so its representatives can be stubborn.
In order for MCM to be removed from your credit report, you must write another letter – called a debt validation letter – within 30 days of your first communication with this debt collector. The letter should require validation of your debt. The company must prove that the debt in question is indeed yours. When the company responds, review the data they send you. Are there any inaccuracies? If so, the company should stop contacting you and remove the negative entry.
FCRA terms require MCM to investigate the claim against you. If you can prove the claim is not valid, they should remove it from your credit file. It is possible that MCM representatives will prove the validity of the debt. If they do, you’ll have to try something else.
Step 3: Make a deal with Midland Funding
It’s usually possible to haggle with debt collectors and pay less than you owe in exchange for removing the credit entry from your credit file. This type of negotiation happens often. Collection service companies pay less than the going rate for the debt they buy, so they can afford to take on less than the total debt and still make a profit. Anything you pay above their low purchase price is profit from their perspective.
With that in mind, if MCM validates your debt, you should go to great lengths to negotiate. If you don’t, the negative impact of debt on your FICO credit score can become a lifelong burden. This may affect your ability to get credit in the future, such as a car loan, new credit card, or mortgage. And, of course, you will continue to receive phone calls and letters from MCM account managers about this outstanding debt.
Step 4: Negotiate payment for removal
Your next step is to write a third letter and propose a deal. Offer to pay a set percentage of the total debt, such as 30-50% in exchange for removing MCM from your credit report. Remember, never do this type of trading over the phone.
If the company agrees to your terms, write them a check, send it, and avoid giving them access to your bank account. Wait 30 days, then write a final letter asking the company to verify that it has removed the negative entry from your credit report.
If you’re setting up a payment plan, get the terms in writing and be sure to follow them. A written agreement is important because MCM may cash your checks and not recognize your agreement. It would still appear on your credit report, and the original creditor may also appear.
Step 5: Have your debt removed by a professional
The four steps above are quite simple, but you may prefer to have a professional credit repair company take care of your credit problem. Consider contacting Credit Saint. It will take care of you and can usually delete data much faster.
Midland or MCM financing?
You may see two different company names appear. Midland Funding, LLC is a debt buyer. It redeems old debts from original creditors, usually for pennies on the dollar. If Midland Funding redeems your old debt, it will hand over the account to MCM to collect the debt from you. Midland Funding may appear on your credit report when you do business with MCM. If you choose to contact the credit bureaus directly about your debt, be sure to specify which company it is.
What will MCM do if you do not repay an old debt?
Like any collection agency, MCM’s debt collection practices rely on perseverance and a degree of implicit fear. It won’t break the law, but many account holders still view the agency’s practices as harassing behavior. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) receives hundreds of complaints each year about MCM’s debt collection practices.
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits MCM and other debt collectors from calling you at odd hours, such as late at night or early in the morning, especially after you have instructed them in writing not to. The FDCPA also gives you the power to control the phone number that MCM calls. Be sure to request a change of phone number or other contact information in writing. Contact the BBB or your state regulators if MCM does not comply with the FDCPA stipulations.
Will MCM take legal action against you?
If you do not pay the debt, MCM may take legal action against you to collect it. If this happens, check the statute of limitations in your state regarding the type of debt you owe. If the law expires, you can get the case dismissed without seeking the advice of an attorney. These laws vary from state to state. For example, New York State has a six-year law on all consumer debt; California law is four years on most types of debt.
To clarify, debt statutes of limitations refer only to a debt collector’s ability to bring a lawsuit against you. You will still owe the debt even after the law expires, but they could not hold you liable in court. If your first contact with MCM is recent, your debt is probably within the statute of limitations.
Should you pay MCM or wait?
If MCM can validate your debt and if you can negotiate an amount you can afford in exchange for Midland Funding or MCM being removed from your credit report, you may benefit from the three step approach above and remove the debt from your file fairly quickly. However, you must obtain written approval from MCM before paying anything. The benefit of this approach is to remove the detrimental mark from your credit report so you can get better interest rates on loans and regain control of your finances within months.
But there is another strategy to consider: wait until the debt no longer appears on your credit report, which would take at least seven years. If you can’t afford a negotiated settlement and you have no other way to settle the debt, you can decide to wait. If you do this, you must immediately stop communicating with MCM. Any communication may reset the statute of limitations to day one and extend the length of time Midland Funding/MCM remains on your credit file.
Does MCM offer assistance in case of difficulties related to COVID-19?
Student loan servicers, most mortgage lenders, and some credit card issuing banks have COVID-19 financial hardship assistance programs. They may allow you to skip payments or enter an extended forbearance period during the economic consequences of the pandemic. MCM has added a note to its homepage expressing its willingness to work with account holders to keep accounts up to date.
As with all things debt collection, be sure to get any new agreements you enter into in writing, especially if you have an agreement with MCM to remove a debt from your credit report.
You can contact MCM using the following details:
- Call MCM Toll Free: 877-653-4161
- Or write to MCM at: PO Box 939069, San Diego, CA 92193