1.5.2 Debt Buyers Identified
While debt buyers come in all shapes and sizes—and there are many small debt buyers—most collection lawsuits are brought by large corporate debt buyers that do business on an enormous scale, often collecting debts under a variety of names. Today’s largest debt buyer is probably Encore Capital Group, operating under the names Midland Funding, Midland Credit Management, and Asset Acceptance Capital Corporation.
In 2018, Encore Capital Group paid over $635 million to acquire debt portfolios in the United States with a face value exceeding $4.5 billion, and collected over $1.2 billion that year in the United States.29 Encore has claimed that one in five American consumers either owe it money or have owed it money in the past.30
Debt buyers frequently consolidate with each other and any listing of debt buyers is likely to soon be out of date. The second largest debt buyer is Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA). Another large debt buyer is Sherman Financial, which has debt buyer subsidiaries under the names Alegis, LVNV, and Resurgent Capital Services. Resurgent has also acquired the debt buyer Square Two Financial after its bankruptcy. Square Two Financial also owns the debt buyer CACH. Other debt buyers include Asta Funding, Cavalry SPV, eCAST Settlement Corp., Fourscore, Ophrys, and Unifund Corporation.