The top 10 debt buyers in Minnesota obtained more than $223 million in court judgments against debtors in the state from 2005 through 2009.
Cases filed Total amount
Midland Funding LLC 9,857 $37,841,759
Dakota Bluff Financial LLC 6,510 $36,238,888
LVNV Funding LLC 5,529 $24,809,909
Asset Acceptance LLC 5,122 $25,436,614
Arrow Financial Services LLC 4,384 $18,830,700
North Star Capital Acq. LLC 4,257 $10,385,831
Unifund CCR Partners 4,004 $34,970,162
Palisades Collection LLC 3,363 $11,405,805
Portfolio Recovery Associates 1,875 $11,099,115
Credit Acceptance Corp. 1,633 $12,260,163
Total 46,534 $223,278,946
Source: Minnesota Judicial Branch data, analysis by Star Tribune.The $260 debt that grew to $5,818 Bonnie Hanson of Rockford, Minn., once co-signed for a Best Buy credit card used by her daughter, who defaulted in the late 1990s. The debt grew even though Hanson wrote a check to pay it off. Sept. 5, 1997 Hanson pays off the defaulted card. June 30, 1999 An unpaid balance of $260 shows up on the card, unknown to Hanson. March 31, 2001 Account is written off as a loss by bank that issued the card for Best Buy. April 21, 2001 Bank sells the debt to Sherman Financial Group of New York, which resumes collection efforts by phone. June 25, 2004 The debt on the closed account grows to $2,747. Court records don't explain the increase. Oct. 5, 2006 Sherman Financial sells the debt to Dakota Bluff Financial LLC, a debt buyer associated with the Messerli & Kramer law firm of Minneapolis. July 12, 2007 A Messerli lawyer signs court papers against Bonnie Hanson trying to collect the ballooned debt of $2,747, plus another $3,071 in fees, costs and interest. Jan. 18, 2008 Hennepin County District Court enters a judgment against Bonnie Hanson and her daughter for $5,818. Hanson's paycheck later is garnished for repayment. June 8, 2008 A Faegre & Benson attorney helping Hanson at no cost writes to the Messerli firm questioning its conduct in the case. The garnishment soon ends and the money is returned. Source: court documents, Star Tribune research. Most litigious debt buyers The top 10 debt buyers in Minnesota obtained more than $177 million in court judgments against debtors in the state from 2005 through 2009. Cases filed Total amount Midland Funding LLC 7,774 $30,907,334 LVNV Funding LLC 5,103 $23,249,257 Asset Acceptance LLC 4,603 $22,797,516 Unifund CCR Partners 3,813 $33,994,371 Dakota Bluff Financial LLC 3,496 $19,066,097 Arrow Financial Services LLC 3,049 $13,654,523 North Star Capital Acquisition LLC 3,026 $7,086,730 Palisades Collection LLC 1,779 $6,019,681 Portfolio Recovery Associates 1,514 $8,860,133 Credit Acceptance Corporation 1,607 $12,109,319 Total 35,764 $177,744,961 Source: Minnesota Judicial Branch data, analysis by Star Tribune.