Minnesota Attorney General sues Midland Funding over robo-signing

Yesterday, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson sued Midland Funding, one of the nation’s largest debt-buyers, over robo-signed affidavits. Here’s more from the press release:

The Attorney General alleges that Midland aggressively filed thousands of lawsuits against individual citizens for collection of old, purchased debt, often supporting those lawsuits with “robo-signed” affidavits generated at its St. Cloud offices. Midland filed the robo-signed affidavits in state courts in Minnesota and around the country to obtain judgments against individual citizens.

“Robo-signing” is the practice of signing off on mass-produced, computer-generated legal documents without reading them or verifying the accuracy of the contents in order to speed up the collection process. In recent months, the mortgage industry has come under intense national scrutiny for supporting mortgage foreclosures in court with “robo-signed” affidavits. Like the mortgage industry, some debt buyers, including Midland, have used false, robo-signed affidavits to support their debt collections lawsuits.

Although robo-signing is widespread in the debt collection business, all of the attention until now has been focused on mortgage lenders’ use of the practice. It will be interesting to see whether Midland capitulates early or whether they engage Swanson’s office in lengthy and drawn-out litigation.

Press Release | Office of the Minnesota Attorney General | March 28, 2011