Unifund CCR Partners agrees to settle Nebraska class action lawsuit

August 14, 2009 by Todd Murray · Leave a Comment 

One of the country’s largest buyers of delinquent debt, Unifund CCR Partners, has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit in Nebraska that questioned its debt collection practices. The lawsuit alleged that Unifund filed numerous lawsuits after the statute of limitations had passed and sought to collect attorneys’ fees it wasn’t entitled to.

The parties agreed to a settlement amount of nearly $150,000. Members of the class that already paid their alleged debts to Unifund will receive between $50 and $65. Class members that haven’t paid their alleged debts to Unifund will get a debt reduction of approximately $125. The two lead class members will each receive $5,500 for their increased roles in the case.

While the award for each class member is minimal, $150,000 is nothing to sneeze at. Hopefully writing a check for such a substantial sum of money will deter Unifund from continuing play fast and loose with its debt collection lawsuits. 

Omaha World Herald: Unifund agrees to deal in Neb. collection case

Who are Asset Acceptance, Unifund CCR Partners, and LVNV Funding?

August 12, 2009 by Todd Murray · Leave a Comment 

Asset Acceptance, Unifund CCR Partners, and LVNV Funding are three of the biggest debt buyers in the collection industry. Other debt buyers include Midland Funding, Cavalry Portfolio, Crown Asset Management, and Palisades. A debt buyer is a company that purchases delinquent consumer accounts from original creditors such as Capital One, HSBC, Discover, and Wells Fargo. The debt buyer purchases the accounts for a tiny fraction of the balance and then attempts to collect the entire balance from the consumer. Debt buyers file thousands of lawsuits and obtain thousands of default judgments each month. They are then free to garnish people’s bank accounts and wages, and as a result, collect millions of dollars. This leads to huge profits, even in the current economy.

But debt buyers have a dirty little secret: they can almost never prove their case in court. Because they didn’t originate the debt, they are at the mercy of the original creditor to provide them with the documents, such as credit applications and billing statements, to prove their case. Sometimes the original creditor refuses or is unable to provide the debt buyer with these critical documents. Debt buyers also have a difficult time providing thorough documentation of their purchase of the debt. Because of this, most debt buyer lawsuits can be successfully challenged. But because the majority of people don’t respond to debt buyer lawsuits, the debt buyers obtain thousands of judgments by default. In most states, this means that debt buyers obtain the judgments without having to provide any proof.

If you have been sued by a debt buyer, you should answer the lawsuit and force the debt buyer to prove their case. If disputed properly, most debt buyer lawsuits can be defeated. Even if they can’t be defeated outright, challenging them can lead to good deals in the form of settlements.

If you live in Minnesota and want help answering a debt collection lawsuit, feel free to contact me by using the contact form in the upper right corner of this page. I offer a number of flexible representation options, so even if you can only afford to pay a few hundred dollars, I might be able to help you.