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Notary Bulletin

Settlement Reached Against Debt Collection Company Accused Of Robo-Signing

Robot-Handthumb.jpgOne of the nation’s largest debt collection companies has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a lawsuit accusing it of “robo-signing” practices. The settlement between Midland Funding, LLC, and Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson also includes changes in in the process the company uses to pursue delinquent borrowers.

This is the first government action against a debt collector involving “robo-signed” affidavits used in actions against consumers, according to a statement from the Attorney General’s office.

Among the acts of misconduct, employees of Midland admitted under oath that they signed up to 400 affidavits per day without reading them, verifying their accuracy, or knowing exactly what they contained. Another of the charges was that a Notary Public employed by a Midland employee would sign affidavits falsely attesting that he or she witnessed employees signing affidavits under oath.

Among the changes to its collection procedures, Midland employees must verify the contents of any affidavits they filed and those affidavits must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public, who “acknowledges the signature in accordance with law.”

The company was also ordered to resolve all outstanding and future complaints made about them to the Attorney General’s Office.

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.

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