BALTIMORE (AP) — Some 10,000 debt-collection cases against Maryland residents will be dropped under a class-action settlement a federal judge has approved.

U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett on Wednesday approved the settlement reached in June with Midland Funding LLC.

The dismissed claims are mostly for unpaid credit card debt Midland bought from creditors. They total more than $10 million.

Peter A. Holland, attorney for class members, said Midland was operating as a debt collector without a state license.

The suit claimed illegal abuse of Maryland residents.

Encore Capital Group, of which Midland is a subsidiary, said in a statement the court made no finding of wrongdoing.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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