Who are ANJ Corp., Midland Funding, LVNV Associates, Portfolio Recovery,and why are they suing me?

Imagine getting a knock on the door and finding a deputy sheriff outside. He hands you a fat envelope and departs without much formality. You’ve been sued. If you’ve fallen behind on your debts, chances are its a creditor who’s suing you.

But when you look over the paperwork, the plaintiff is a name you don’t recognize doing business with. The lawsuit is ANJ Corp. versus You. Or Midland Funding. Or LVNV Associates. Or Portfolio Recovery. Or any one of about a dozen others.

Welcome to the world of debt buying. These companies are in the business of buying up past due debts from the companies you actually do do business with — Citi, Macy’s, and so forth for 5 cents, or even a low as two cents on the dollar. And then they chase you in court for it, using one of a handful of local law firms to do the collecting for them.

It stands to reason that if you buy an account for 5% or 2% of its nominal value, you don’t have to collect very much — or very often — to make it a profitable business. Although Midland Funding and the others are filing these cases in the Lawrence District Court, Haverhill District Court, Plaistow District Court, and so on, they are doing the same thing all over America. Collect enough of these cases and the profits, small in any individual case, can add up to big money in total.

Filing bankruptcy is very effective in dealing with these firms. No matter what stage the litigation against you is in, it has to stop immediately once a bankruptcy case is filed. And if you have been in settlement negotiations with them, you can stop making payments to them immediately. In a few circumstances, some people might even be able to get back payments they have already made.

And at my law office, we even specialize in getting liens removed from houses and other real estate if the debt buyers have gotten that far (and if you just ignore them, eventually they will).

If you have even one lawsuit by one of these companies against you, a bankruptcy case may be the quickest and most effective way of getting them off your back. If you’d like to discuss the particulars of how to do it, just give me a call in North Andover at (978) 975 – 2608.


By Doug Beaton

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