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By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | March 10, 2011
Midland Funding LLC will drop more than 10,000 debt-collection cases against Maryland consumers under a class action settlement approved Wednesday in Baltimore federal court. The dismissed claims, mostly for unpaid credit card debt that Midland bought from creditors, total at least $10.2 million, according to a court document filed Wednesday by the plaintiffs. Consumers filed suit against Midland, a buyer and collector of debt, in September 2009, alleging "prolonged, illegal, and systematic abuse of thousands of Maryland residents.
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BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | July 31, 2013
The fastest growing consumer complaints? In order:  Towing disputes, landlord/tenant problems, abusive debt collection practices, telephone billing issues and unlicensed contractors. That's according to an annual survey releaseed today by the Consumer Federation of America and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators. The CFA's Susan Grant says consumers are still suffering from recession-related problems such as foreclosure rescue scams, and landlords skimping on heat or ignoring repairs to save money.
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BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | July 20, 2011
Maryland's District Courts are putting a freeze on about 900 debt-collection lawsuits after the local company that filed them tried and failed to get a license. Sunshine Financial Group, a Catonsville-based firm that buys consumer debts and collects primarily by suing, was turned down for a collection agency license this month by the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The agency said the company filed affidavits in court cases that "misled and deceived both consumer defendants and the courts" about key issues, from the amount of the debt owed to whether the company could prove it had the right to collect.
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | July 9, 2013
The Federal Trade Commission announced it had reached a settlement with the world's largest debt collector that has been accused of harassing consumers. Texas-based Expert Global Solutions agreed to pay a $3.2 million penalty, the largest sum the FTC has leveled at a debt collector. The FTC said the Expert Global and its subsidiaries harassed consumers by calling them multiple times per day - even after being asked by the consumer to stop. The debt collector also called consumers at work, late at night and early in the morning, and left phone messages about the alleged debt for others to see, according to the FTC. That's not all. The FTC also says the company continued trying to collect on debts - without any verification - even after consumers said they didn't owe the money.
NEWS
July 28, 2011
The Baltimore Sun highlighted a significant issue involving the use of the courts by debt buyers to recover consumer debt they have purchased ("A push for more proof in debt-collection lawsuits," July 25). As the leading voice for credit and debt collection professionals, we want Marylanders to know that ACA International and its affiliate Mid-Atlantic Collectors Association are advocating for reforms to ensure both proper debt documentation and responsible litigation in the collection of consumer debts.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | August 26, 2010
Collections agency Worldwide Asset Management has agreed to pay an $85,000 penalty and change its business practices as part of a settlement with state regulators, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said Thursday. The agency said it has "reasonable grounds" to believe that the company — which also goes by Worldwide Asset Purchasing and West Asset Purchasing — was breaking state law barring unfair and misleading collections practices, as well as attempting to collect debts from Maryland consumers without a required license.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | October 28, 2011
Maryland financial regulators said Friday that they have suspended the debt-collection licenses of two affiliated companies and ordered them to stop attempting to collect on consumer debts. The state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said it has "found grounds to allege" that LVNV Funding and Resurgent Capital Services violated several debt-collection laws. The companies have collectively filed more than 27,000 cases in Maryland courts over the past six years to seek judgments on old debts, including defaulted credit-card accounts.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | November 22, 2010
Maryland's financial regulators said Monday that they have ordered a Kansas firm to stop collecting debts from Maryland residents, alleging that the company repeatedly tried to collect on illegal payday loans despite being warned not to do so. Smith Haynes & Watson's debt-collection license was suspended last week by the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation after complaints from residents, a temporary action that will become final if...
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | July 24, 2011
Marquis Jones doesn't believe she owes money on a credit-card account that a debt-buying company sued to collect from her. More importantly, though, the firm never proved she did. But because the Severn woman wasn't given notice of the lawsuit - the company's process server claimed her nonexistent "wife" accepted the summons - she wasn't in court to point this out. So an Anne Arundel County judge approved a $992 judgment against her last...
NEWS
By Steve Kilar and Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | September 7, 2011
Maryland's highest court on Wednesday approved changes to a set of rules that require debt collectors to provide greater proof that they are entitled to sue consumers, according to a Baltimore-based legal advocacy group. The Maryland Court of Appeals agreed to revise three rules of the Maryland Rules of Procedure that will, in part, force companies that buy past-due consumer debts — and attempt to collect by suing — to present sufficient evidence to back up their claims, said Jonathan F. Harris, an attorney with the Public Justice Center.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2012
Marquis Jones remembers Peter Holland clearly. He's the lawyer whose work, with his law clinic students, led to the dismissal of a claim against her - a credit card debt she said she knew nothing about. "If it hadn't been for Peter and his team, I have no idea what would have happened," the Severn woman recalled, saying a debt-buying company had the wrong person and claimed it served the legal papers on her spouse. She's not married. But unlike Jones, most of those who've benefited from Holland's consumer advocacy never met him. Few of them know that in December he will receive an award for his legal work from the Maryland Legal Services Corp.
NEWS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | October 11, 2012
The Maryland District Court said Thursday that its chief judge has dismissed 3,168 debt-collection cases against state residents and ordered that any liens associated with those cases be released. The move, involving Worldwide Asset Purchasing cases, is a result of a settlement in a federal class-action suit. Attorneys for the plaintiffs alleged that the debt-buying firm wasn't licensed, sued for the wrong amounts, filed cases after the statute of limitations had expired, and included consumers' Social Security numbers in publicly available court filings, the state judiciary said.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | November 2, 2011
Maryland's District Court said Wednesday that it had frozen nearly 3,900 debt-collection lawsuits because the state suspended the licenses of the affiliated companies that filed them. Ben C. Clyburn, chief judge of the District Court, ordered the stay to temporarily prevent the cases from proceeding or the companies from collecting. State regulators announced Friday that they had suspended the collection licenses of the firms, LVNV Funding and Resurgent Capital Services, and ordered them to cease attempting to collect on consumer debts.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | October 28, 2011
Maryland financial regulators said Friday that they have suspended the debt-collection licenses of two affiliated companies and ordered them to stop attempting to collect on consumer debts. The state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said it has "found grounds to allege" that LVNV Funding and Resurgent Capital Services violated several debt-collection laws. The companies have collectively filed more than 27,000 cases in Maryland courts over the past six years to seek judgments on old debts, including defaulted credit-card accounts.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2011
The University of Maryland School of Law's consumer-protection clinic is trying to get key documents stricken from potentially hundreds of debt-collection cases over an issue more commonly thought of as a foreclosure problem — robo-signing. Midland Funding, which buys old consumer debts and sues to collect, filed affidavits signed by representatives who swore they had personal knowledge of the debts even though they did not, a federal court in Ohio found as part of an August class-action settlement.
NEWS
September 21, 2011
A Maryland District Court judge has dismissed 314 debt collection cases against Maryland residents who were sued by Catonsville-based Sunshine Financial Group. Chief Judge Ben C. Clyburn dismissed the cases on Wednesday under the terms of a settlement announced last week between Sunshine Financial and the Maryland State Collection Agency Licensing Board. The settlement allows the lawsuits, which sought to collect debts, to be re-filed in the future. The judge also ordered that attorney fees will be noted as satisfied on 323 other Sunshine Financial cases that have gone to judgment.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2012
Marquis Jones remembers Peter Holland clearly. He's the lawyer whose work, with his law clinic students, led to the dismissal of a claim against her - a credit card debt she said she knew nothing about. "If it hadn't been for Peter and his team, I have no idea what would have happened," the Severn woman recalled, saying a debt-buying company had the wrong person and claimed it served the legal papers on her spouse. She's not married. But unlike Jones, most of those who've benefited from Holland's consumer advocacy never met him. Few of them know that in December he will receive an award for his legal work from the Maryland Legal Services Corp.
BUSINESS
By Kevin L. McQuaid and Kevin L. McQuaid,SUN STAFF | August 14, 1998
Creditrust Corp.'s earnings skyrocketed to $3 million in the second quarter of this year, seven times the $420,000 the credit card debt collection company posted a year ago.Yesterday's report, for the three months that ended June 30, marked the Baltimore-based company's first since its initial public offering late last month.Creditrust, which collects unpaid principal on delinquent credit PTC card portfolios it buys from banks and finance companies, sold 2.5 million shares at $15.50 a share.
BUSINESS
By Gus G. Sentementes, The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2011
About 3,500 people will have about $10 million in personal debt forgiven by a collection agency, thanks to a settlement in federal court Friday that resolved a lawsuit over the agency's right to sue debtors in Maryland. As part of the settlement in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, an average $2,800 in debt will be erased for all 3,500 plaintiffs. Each of the two lead plaintiffs will receive a $2,000 payment as well. The settlement was reached between two Frederick men who led the class action suit — Jason Hauk and Freddy Velazquez — and LVNV Funding LLC, a Greenville, S.C.-based company that buys consumer debt from companies and often sues debtors to collect payment.
NEWS
By Steve Kilar and Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | September 7, 2011
Maryland's highest court on Wednesday approved changes to a set of rules that require debt collectors to provide greater proof that they are entitled to sue consumers, according to a Baltimore-based legal advocacy group. The Maryland Court of Appeals agreed to revise three rules of the Maryland Rules of Procedure that will, in part, force companies that buy past-due consumer debts — and attempt to collect by suing — to present sufficient evidence to back up their claims, said Jonathan F. Harris, an attorney with the Public Justice Center.
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