Two years ago Midland Funding sued a consumer here in Arizona and began what ended up being a two year court battle through both the Justice Court System and an appeal to the Maricopa County Superior Court. The end result was the court entering judgment in favor of the consumer and ordering Midland Funding to reimburse the consumer their attorney’s fees and costs associated with fighting the junk debt buyer.
If you have been sued by Midland Funding or any of the other junk debt buyers (i.e., Portfolio Recovery, CACH, Cavalry SPV, etc.) you need to understand two things (1) you typically have strong defenses, and (2) the court system is slow and it will take a long time for your case to be resolved.
Arizona Justice Court System
In Arizona most cases filed by Midland Funding are filed in the Justice Court System. This court system is designed to handle cases where the amount in dispute is less than $10,000. The typical time to resolve a case in the justice court is about 10 months – 1 year. In fact, the Arizona Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure allow you as the defendant to file a Motion to Dismiss the case if a trial hasn’t been set or a judgment entered within 10 months from the day the case was filed.
Arizona Superior Court System
The Superior Courts in Arizona are designed to deal with cases where the amount in dispute more than $10,000. Midland Funding cases filed in the Superior Court typically take 1 year up to 18 months to resolve.
This is largely due to the fact that in the Superior Court cases that are more than $10,000 but less than $50,000 are required to participate in compulsory arbitration. This is the process where the court assigns a random attorney to act as an arbitrator. An arbitrator hearing is held and each side is allowed to put on their case and the arbitrator declares a winner. This process is not binding and either party can request that case be set for trial if they don’t like the end result.
Another reason Midland Funding cases take longer in the Superior Court is because many times the judge will order the parties to participate in mediation (sometimes called a settlement conference). This is the process where an independent mediator is appointed and then will work with the parties to determine if there is any middle ground where a settlement can be reached.
The case I referenced above that took two years was initial filed in the Justice Court system. It took a little over a year to get a trial date and when we took the case to trial the judge ruled in favor of Midland Funding and against the consumer.
We thought the judge got it wrong. Midland Funding introduced numerous exhibits from a company it alleged was the original creditor. However the documents submitted were missing pages and Midland Funding failed to bring a witness to trial that could adequately testify about the documents from the original creditor.
Despite all the problems with Midland’s case the judge ruled in their favor and entered a judgment against my client.
We decided we would like a Superior Court judge to review and filed an appeal.
Appeal from the Justice Court to the Superior Court
Rulings in Justice Court can be appealed to the Superior Court if you file a Notice of Appeal and other related documents within fourteen (14) days of the judgment being entered. We did this and were able to submit written appellate briefs to the Superior Court and argue why we thought the Justice of the Peace got it wrong.
The appellate process took almost another year before we finally received a ruling. However in the end the Superior Court judge ruled in our favor, reversed the judgment entered by the Justice Court and subsequently Midland Funding was ordered to reimburse my client the money spent on attorney’s fees and court costs throughout this process.
The moral of the story is that while the battle was not easy we didn’t give up and were finally able to get the court to agree with our position that Midland Funding cases are junk and they simply hadn’t proven their case.
Have You Been Sued by Midland Funding?
If you have been sued by Midland Funding and live in the state of Arizona we would be happy to set up a free consultation. Either call us at (480) 420-4028 or fill out the email box below.
What if you don’t live in Arizona? Midland Funding files lawsuits all over this country and while we can’t represent you in court we have put together a few online courses that will guide you through the strategies, tactics, and defenses you have in your case. Learn more about these courses by clicking HERE.
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