How to Deal With Collection Agencies on Your Credit Report

How To Deal with Collection Agencies on Your Credit Report
Marc Newman

A collection, also known as a charge-off, is a debt that originated with a first-party creditor. For example, almost any contract can convert to a collection including credit cards, cell phones, auto loan deficiencies, etc.

The original creditor has given up trying to collect which usually happens after about 6 months of non-payment by the debtor. Once your debt becomes a “charge-off” it is written off by the creditor. They get a tax break and it becomes a collection item. A third-party buys the debt for a few pennies on the dollar. Collection agencies like Midland Credit Management buys the debt because they have highly trained specialists who are experts at getting reluctant debtors to pay the debt.

Collection agencies are hired because they are experts at getting you to part with your money no matter what it may mean for your credit history.

Read More about Charge Offs

How Will a Collection Damage my Credit Score?
Marc Newman

Once a debt has been sold, the way it is reported on your credit record changes from bad (late bill) to terrible (collection). Collections may appear in various forms on your credit report including: “unpaid collection,” “paid collection,” or “collection – paid or settled for less.”

Collections are one of the biggest reasons banks reject your credit application. Just one collection on your credit history could stand in the way of getting approved for a credit card or auto laon!

A collection like a Midland Credit Management item – even if paid – is very damaging to your credit history. This surpises people because they believe a paid collection is OK.

Wrong! A paid or settled collection is just as damaging as those that are not paid!

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31 Responses to “How to Deal With Collection Agencies on Your Credit Report”

  1. Angela Brown says:

    Yes, I have had problems with Midland Credit. I have disputed an account that they have listed on my credit. I have called the original creditor and they can find no records of me owing, in fact show that they sent me a refund check. I have sent Midland a check requesting that they send me proof of the debt and I have received no reply. I do not know what else to do.

  2. latonya reed says:

    I have experienced the same problems with Midland Credit, they were calling my job, and my home all times of the day/ night requesting money that I don’t owe them. Can someone please put an end to it, before I get an Attorney!!!

  3. cbb says:


  4. dan welty says:

    i am also tired of them the debts are all outdated by 11 years

  5. marie rosario says:

    Yes, they have even taken me to court for an account that they purchased from household credit card that I had over 8 years ago, finally i’ve made a payment arrangement with them and they refuse to update the information on my credit report, I’m making monthly payments on the account and they will not update the status on my credit report until this is paid in full, I was turned down for a loan recently and another creditor I’ve been a client to for over 8 years, closed my line of credit because of MCM

  6. leigh moon says:

    YES! They were hounding me for a debt that I owed from 1999!!!! I built a report with the guy and was scheduled to make payments. Then I looked up the statute of limitations on CC debt in my state and it was exactly the time he started calling. So for a month I kept talking to him requesting mail and proof of the debt. Finally, I told him what my research showed and that if it effected my credit already, that it was going to remain or be erased because the statute was up.There was no point intrying to clear it up. He tried to defend it-but in the end, he gave up and NEVER called again!!! DO YOUR RESEARCH PEOPLE!!!! IT MAY HELP!!!

  7. Robert Stacy says:

    Midland Credit has mailed, and called me in connection with a debt that is not mine. It stems from a Bank of America Account by someone of the same name. I have been to Bank of America 5 times and provided proof it is not me or my account. They apparently sold the debt to Midland Credit who has harassed me for the last three years. I was served and went to court, where I found out after proving I wasn’t the owner of the debt, that the account was several years past the statute of limitations also, and Midlands Lawyers didn’t show. I then contacted the FBI and Federal Trade Commission an filed complaints, and sent registered letters to Midland Credit, which they have refused to accept. I get repeated calls from an office listed as in San Diego, and the person who answers has a distinctly Indian accent, and on the last call the person admitted he was not the David Watson listed on the letter and the call was redirected to India. I have since forwarded this information to the FBI, FTC, State Attorney Generals Office and Federal Communications Offices. I received a letter from Midland Credit that stated they had never attempted to ruin my credit, completely ignoring the harassment and badgering and that they were contacting the wrong person. Each letter references the same account number, but widely differing amounts due and acceptable payoff amounts. It is pure and simple extortion but proving intent is nearly impossible according to a friend who is an appellate court judge.

  8. Wendell Wylie says:

    I have an old bill on my credit that was actually deleted because of the age of the bill. It was purchased by midland, and, lo and behold, a $25 payment appeared on the account. I assure you I have made no payments on the account, but, I believe, the payment had to be made to reactivate the accunt. I have disputed it on my credit and the dispute shows but it has not been deleted.

  9. Julia Petteway says:

    Midland has sent me several notices and I have sent them disputes back for a best buy account that has never existed. They want $4000! WHAT? I also have NCO trying to collect on a Verizon account that I have never had. I never had any accounts in my life with Verizon! My credit looks terrible but I am actually good at paying my bills :(

  10. dlynn says:

    IFP is a very persistent company to work with. They call about 4-5 times per day. Sometimes it’s a recorded message, other times it’s a live person, other times it rings and no one is on the other end of the line. They won’t say who they are representing. They tell you to confirm all of your personal information, but won’t say who they are or who you are speaking with. They will continue to call until we decide to change our phone number. Funny thing is … we aren’t even listed at the phone number they are calling. It’s a relative’s phone number. IFP, Inc. is horrible!!!!

  11. alberto says:

    Yes i have them on my credit report Does anybody
    know is it better to settled or payoff the debt.
    Thank you

  12. Jess says:

    I have the same problem as all of you. Midland is trying to tell me I owe money on a credit card that I supposedly had BEFORE I was 18 years old. I called and asked for proof of the original debt and they haven’t sent anything. I have called to dispute their claims and they told me that I had to put my dispute in writing, which I did, and have not heard anything. I hate these people!

  13. ROSE says:


  14. ThePix says:

    I had questioned a credit inquiry, on my credit report, that was from Midland. I have no negative accounts on my credit report, only accounts in positive standings. My husband believes that Midland might be checking my report, because he had a collection on his credit report, listed with Midland and that they might be trying to obtain information to get in contact with us.
    Either way, it is frustrating.
    For those of you dealing with these collection agencies, such as Midland. Refuse to speak with them on the phone and never return there calls. Calls can be used against you. Collection agencies are required by law, to provide proof that the debt belongs to you. By refusing your letters, certified or non certified, that is grounds for the collections to stop.
    Check out Bud Hibbs and Clark Howard for more information.
    Also, for many of you who do not know. The credit reporting companies do not properly verify the information being sent by these collection agencies. If anything close matches, close enough, not exact, all they need is a name close to yours, a social security number close to yours, DOB close to yours and that is enough to prove to them it is your debt. How fair is that one?
    Never give any collection agencies more information then they need. Most collection agencies play games with people and trick them into providing information, so that they can now have the missing information to pursue collections.
    Best of luck!

  15. Wilie B says:

    Midland Financial Management is a debt buyer, I believe based out of California, They buy old debt for pennies on the dollar and hire attorneys such as Jay Taylor P.C. in Houston, Texas to sue debtors right and left. Your best protection against abusive collection practices, send a dispute letter, if that is the case, certified mail stating your dispute. If they persist or refuse to acknowledge file a complaint with your state attorney general or the Federal Trade Commission ( ot your state bar association against the collections attorney. Let’s bring these looser to justice !!!

  16. ANTHONY THOMAS says:

    I have had a run in or three with this company. I must admit that since they are local if i have a problem i can drive to there office here in san diego and confront them face to face about it. Since I have the priviledge of doing this they have offered me a reasonable settlement and give me a receipt on the spot. The only problem is they either take too long to update my account or they write charge- off or some other form of deliquiency when they agreed if they got payment they would either delete it or change to paid in full. Bottom line they are a cool company to me to work with if you know you owe the debt and are willing to pay it, but as far as they updating the information after they received payment, they suck badly.

  17. mike says:

    midland is trying to get me to pay a credit card debt for a credit card that was used when i was in jail .and they r telling me they give out credit cards in jail lol

  18. Troy Julian says:

    I just got Midland off my credit report. I was a long process. I finely hired a lawyer to handle it.I now have a clean credit report

  19. L. Sharpe says:

    I have proof that I paid off an account with Gateway computers in 2006 and it was on my credit report. Midland Credit still garnished my wages earlier this week for 3,000 and they refuse to acknowledge it. I called them and told them that it showed paid and they said that there computers said that they did not have that information. I reported them to the BBB and I am waiting to see what happens now.

  20. Joe says:

    I have been dealing with them for about a year now- – -

    First, directly. I asked for validation and verification of the debt. They sent me a copy of a credit card (that I have not used since ‘95 or ‘96) showing a statement dated November of 2007 showing a previous balance of $280.00 and a payment of $1.00 with a new balance of $279.00. Pretty slick way to re-open an account. It certainly wasn’t me that made any payment.

    Then I started getting lawyer letters threating legal action. (I’m kind of thinking here maybe they SHOULD start taking legal action, as most of the actions so far are pretty much illegal.) Anyway first came letters from Riddle and Associates in Salt Lake City, Utah. I asked for verification of the debt, and received the same copy of a statement from November of 2008. Never heard any more from them.

    Then I started getting lawyer letters from Kramer and Frank from St. Loius, Missouri. Once again, I asked for verification of the debt. Once again I got a copy of the same credit card statement.

    There most recent communication is from a Visa card issuer that is somehow tied in with them. They are offering me a chance to rebuild me credit. They will give me a Visa card with a $279.00 balance already charged to it. They will not charge interest on the initial balance, as long as I make regular monthly payments of $20/month. As long as my payments are on time and at least $20/month after 12 months they will “forgive” the other $39. In the meantime, I will have an active Visa card. As I pay down the $279 balance, I will have credit available in the amount that I paid down. Any new charges to the card are subject to 29% interest, however.

    What a deal! I am getting a payment plan on a debt that I don’t think I owe to begin with, and a shiny new credit card that I don’t want in the process.

  21. christina gonzalez says:

    They have bought a debt that is 4yrs old, and reporting as if it was just new. I have disputed it with the credit reporting agencies with no change. Now this means they plan to keep it on my report for an additional 4yrs past the normal 7yrs. So this collection mark is going to stay on my report for a total of 11yrs, this is so unfair!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. christina gonzalez says:

    They have bought a debt that is 4yrs old, and reporting as if it was just new. I have disputed it with the credit reporting agencies with no change. Now this means they plan to keep it on my report for an additional 4yrs past the normal 7yrs. So this collection mark is going to stay on my report for a total of 11yrs, this is so unfair

  23. Joyce says:

    I spoke with them so thats who they are huh. That guy’s accent is so thick I couldn’t understand much of what he was saying. He did say that he was going to have me arrested and I told him mto come on. I hung up on him and he called right back. I answered my work phone as better business bureau and he called me an f…ning liar I called him a f….ning prick and so far I havent heard anything else.

    I’ll never let those guys intimidate me I asked for proof months ago and so far I haven’t recieved it. I just assumedm they were scammers and as far as I’m concerned they still are.

    It certainly don’t say much about credit bureaus who let companies like that ruin good people name either.

  24. Yes, I have been dealing with the same problems. I sent them a letter of debt validation and demanded to stop all calls. It is still showing on my credit report, but they did stop calling me. I will not give up on disputeing the info.

  25. Frances says:

    They tried to tell me I owed for a debt that was paid off. When I told them I had the receipts they said they would make it down. The debt was in 2003.

  26. Laura says:

    I have not dealt with Midland but I have been getting phone calls from Ezelle and associates who are nasty, mean and don’t speak english very well they have threaten to garnish my wages, however, they won’t tell me who they are working for or how much so how do i know they are for real

  27. LaQuitia Logan says:

    MCM is on my report twice and with two credit card companies. The credit card companies sent me a card that I used and paid off I also called the cc company and informed them that i would no-longer like the cards active. I never received a bill after that but then this showed up on my credit report. I have disputed with the credit report people and it still remains.

  28. maria says:

    i had received letters from them stating that i had a debt with them but i wrote them a letter stating that i do not and to show me the signature that shows i opened this account with them, especially since i have a notice that any accounts opened need to be verified first because we had our identity stolen several years ago. The only thing i received from them was the rules on the card. then a few weeks later i started receiving letters from an attorney telling me that if I didn’t pay I would be going to court. So as they filed court papers so did I and we went to court and the day of the hearing for a supposed settlement, the attorney didn’t show up and the judge awarded me the win and I have those documents but I still keep getting letter from MCM that I still owe them money. I am really tired of getting letters from them that I am thinking of hiring an attorney and suing them for damages.

  29. Bertha says:

    I am dealing with Midland presently. They filed suit on me in Leon County, Florida and I had to get an attorney to represent me. The account was charged off over 5 years ago.

  30. Chi says:

    my account with midland was paid in full on my credit file with it showed 90 days behind in payment. I was not late on any of my payments. I called several times left my phone number no one called back.I pulled my receipts and the paper they sent which stated paid in full. I sent copies of payments and a copy of the paid in full.

    They called twice daily every day, finally I receive a very rude collector who told me I opened the account its my debt if don’t send any money they will attached my check threw my job. I hung up, the next call I received a back to back call from the same collector I hung up.

    Midland stopped their collectors from calling 5years ago

  31. alex p. says:

    Midland Credit calls me almost everyday about a debt, they claim that I owe, they wanted me to do some type of settlement over the phone; I aslos have some letters from them.

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