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Midland Credit Management “Current Balance” Wisconsin FDCPA Class Action

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Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), consumers are entitled to know the amount they owe and whether that amount may increase over time with the addition of interest, fees, or other charges. This class action alleges that Midland Credit Management (MCM) violated the FDCPA with a debt collection letter that implied that the amount of the debt could go up when that was not true.

The class for this action is all persons

  • To whom Midland Credit Management, Inc. mailed a letter at a Wisconsin address,
  • Between June 28, 2017 and July 31, 2018, and
  • The letter states (a) it is an attempt to collect a debt, (b) the current creditor is Midland Funding, LLC, and (c) the amount due is the “Current Balance.”

All three plaintiffs in this case allegedly owed consumer credit cards debts, incurred for personal, family, or household purposes. Teresa Bishop’s alleged debt is from a MasterCard issued by Capital One Bank, NA. Donna Gould’s is from a Visa credit card issued by Credit One Bank, NA. Felix Grillo’s is from a MasterCard issued by Citibank, NA.

Midland Funding is the current owner of all three debts. At some point, it assigned Midland Credit Management (MCM) to collect the debts. (Both companies are named as defendants in this case.)

  • MCM’s letter to Bishop, attached to the complaint as Exhibit A, is dated November 30, 2017.
  • MCM’s letter to Gould, attached to the complaint as Exhibit B, is dated November 28, 2017.
  • MCM’s letter to Grillo, attached to the complaint as Exhibit C, is dated February 21, 2018.

All three letters have the same problem, according to the complaint. All three label the amount of the debt as a “Current Balance.” The complaint claims that the word “current” implies that the balance may change. Also, all three debts are from credit cards, and users of credit cards know that credit card companies apply interest and fees to unpaid credit card debts.

However, the complaint claims that now that the debts have been charged off and sold, the amounts will not go up, and Midland has no intent of raising them. The implication that the amounts might go up, the complaint says, is to pressure the plaintiffs to pay promptly.

For that reason, the complaint claims that the letters violate the FDCPA, in using false, deceptive, misleading, unfair, or unconscionable means to attempt to collect debts.

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