First lets discuss what it means to settle. Settling a debt collection lawsuit means that you offer to pay Midland Funding some amount less than what they are claiming is owed. While Midland will often set up some type of payment plan, it is usually short term and the monthly payments are high. Alternatively they will want you to pay a lump sum – usually in the range of 65-80% of what is owed. Most people simply don’t have that.
The reason why I don’t typically recommend that my clients settle their Midland Funding lawsuit is because these cases are often very winnable. Under our court system Midland Funding carries the burden of proving their case against you. Not only do they have to demonstrate how they came up with the amount they claim is owed, but they have to prove that the debt was “assigned” or transferred to them from either the original creditor or some other company that allegedly owned the debt prior to it coming to Midland Funding.
Surprisingly, this is something that they really struggle to do.
So how do you know if you should settle or fight? In Arizona, 40 days after you file your Answer to their Complaint, both parties are required to exchange something called a “Disclosure Statement”. This is a document where the parties each lay out what their version of the facts is, what witnesses they intend to call at trial, and what documents they intend to use at trial as exhibits.
After I have had a chance to review Midland Funding’s disclosure statement I can advise a client with more certainty whether they should settle or continue the fight because I will have pretty much all of the possible evidence that could be used against my clients. If there is sufficient evidence to support a judgment, then I would recommend settlement. If their isn’t sufficient evidence I recommend moving forward towards trial.
But here is the thing…and I don’t say this lightly – I have never seen a single Midland Funding case that had sufficient evidence to support a judgment. Not one. Does Midland win cases? Sure. In the end it is up to a judge, and in Arizona it is often up to a non-lawyer Justice of the Peace. The judges don’t always agree with me. But in my opinion, no Midland Funding case should prevail.
Not only that, but many people represent themselves in their Midland Funding lawsuit and don’t raise the appropriate defenses or objections. If you fail to do that the judge is not there to cover for your mistakes.
Settlement is always a personal decision. Some people settle just because the want it to go away and want it go to away now. But prior to settling it is a good idea to meet with a lawyer, have them look at the evidence Midland has provided, and then make the appropriate decision at that point.
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John Skiba, Esq.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your debt problem and help you put together a game plan to eliminate your debt once and for all. Give us a call at (480) 420-4028