Portfolio Recovery Associates: Tips for Dealing with Their Calls and Lawsuits.

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If you’ve ever received a call from Portfolio Recovery Associates, chances are it didn’t give you the best first impression. From persistent phone calls, and harassment to aggressive lawsuits, Portfolio Recovery is known for its intrusive debt collection tactics—and it can be incredibly overwhelming and intimidating if this company has targeted you for outstanding debt.

But take a deep breath; there are options available that allow you to handle their collection calls and legal actions with ease.

In this blog post, we’ll provide insight into how to deal with Portfolio Recovery Associates in the most effective way possible so that you can get back financially.

Who Is Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC, and Why are they Calling You?

Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC. (PRA) is a debt collection firm that was founded in 1996. They specialize in collecting defaulted consumer debts, such as credit cards, medical bills, and auto loans. PRA is one of the largest debt collectors with over 4,000 employees across four countries and has collected billions of dollars for creditors.

As a debt collection agency, PRA works on behalf of entities, including banks, retailers, healthcare providers, and credit card companies, to collect on unpaid debt. Sometimes, they buy delinquent debts from creditors at a discounted rate and then try to collect the full amount from the debtor.

Like many debt collection companies, PRA starts by calling you directly to collect your debt. If their efforts prove unsuccessful, they may take further legal action against you, such as filing a lawsuit.

If you receive a call or debt collection letter from PRA, it likely means that your original creditor has authorized them to collect on an unpaid debt. Apart from calls, you may also receive emails, collection letters, and texts from PRA. It is important to remember that PRA does not have the power to change your original debt amount or alter the repayment terms.

Portfolio Recovery Associate Consumer Complaints

Although PRA is a Legitimate Company, it has faced numerous complaints for alleged debt collection violations. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a government agency that regulates financial institutions, has reported over 22,000 complaints against PRA since 2011. Some of the complaints include the following:

  • Attempt to collect a debt that is not owed
  • Failure to provide the necessary information to verify a debt
  • Harassment through repeated phone calls
  • Calling outside of the allowed hours (before 8 am or after 9 pm)
  • Calling after being sent a cease and desist letter without providing the required written notice of debt validation
  • Threats of legal actions or arrest.
  • Using falsified information.
  • Used obscene, profane, or other abusive languages

With these complaints, it’s evident that PRA does use illegal tactics that violate the laws of the FDCPA in its debt collection tactics. Suppose you have experienced any of these intimidating practices by the Portfolio Recovery Associate while attempting to collect on a debt. In that case, you have the right to report such actions to the CFPB and sue them for damages sustained.

What are your Rights Under the FDCPA?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that regulates the behavior of debt collectors when attempting to collect a debt from consumers. The law was enacted in 1977 to protect consumers from abusive, unfair, and illegal collection tactics by debt collectors. It applies to personal, family, and household debts, including credit card debt, medical bills, car loans, and mortgage loans.

The FDCPA sets out specific rules and regulations for debt collectors to follow when collecting a debt from consumers. These rules include the following:

  • Prohibition of Harassment or Abuse: Debt collectors must not use any form of harassment or abuse, including threatening violence or harm, using obscene or profane language, or repeatedly calling the consumer with the intent to annoy or harass.
  • Prohibition of False or Misleading Statements: Debt collectors must not make false or misleading statements, including claiming to be a government representative, threatening arrest or legal action that is not legally allowed, or claiming the consumer has committed a crime.
  • Prohibition of Unfair Practices: Debt collectors must not use unfair or deceptive practices, including falsely claiming attorneys, collecting fees or charges not authorized by the agreement or the law, or depositing a post-dated check prematurely.
  • Right to Dispute the Debt: Consumers have the right to dispute the validity of the debt or the amount of the debt within 30 days of receiving written notice of the debt.

The FDCPA is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Consumers who believe a debt collector has violated their rights can file a complaint with these agencies, and they may also pursue legal action against a debt collector.

How to fight portfolio recovery associates

Here’s What to do if You Receive a Call or Letter from Portfolio Recovery Associate

If you receive portfolio recovery calls, it is crucial to take the following steps:

Verify the debt

Before taking any action, make sure that the debt being claimed by Portfolio Recovery Associates is a valid debt. Review your records and check the account number, amount, and other details to confirm that it is a debt you owe.

Request validation of the debt

Under the FDCPA, you can request that Portfolio Recovery Associates validate the debt, and this means they must provide proof that the debt is yours and that they have the right to collect it.

Keep records

Keep detailed records of all communication with Portfolio Recovery Associates, including the date, time, and content of each call or letter.

Dispute inaccurate debt

If you believe the debt is inaccurate or incomplete, you can dispute it in writing. Make sure to include the specific reasons why you think the debt is wrong.

Know your rights

Familiarize yourself with your rights under the FDCPA and any state laws that may apply. This will help you understand what debt collectors can and cannot do when attempting to collect a debt from you.

Request validation of the debt

Under the FDCPA, Portfolio Recovery Associates bears the burden of proof to validate the debt. Legitimate debt buyers will be able to provide you with proof of the debt, including the original creditor, the amount owed, and other details. If they fail to provide you with this information on their first contact, you have the right to demand proof of the debt.

Send a cease and desist letter

As stated above, you have the right to request validation of the debt. If they fail to do so, you can send a cease and desist letter that informs Portfolio Recovery Associates to stop communicating with you. This will prevent them from contacting you by phone, mail, or email until they can provide proof of the debt.

Consider your payment options

If the debt is valid, consider your options for paying it off. This may include negotiating with portfolio recovery associates comfortable payment options rather than a one-time payment or reaching a settlement agreement to pay the debt for less than the total amount. If successful, ensure to document the agreement in writing for future consultation.

File a complaint

If you believe Portfolio Recovery Associates violated your rights under the FDCPA, you can file a complaint with the FTC or the CFPB.

Finally, be aware of credit bureaus and the impact Portfolio Recovery Associates could have on your credit report. Any payment arrangement or debt settlement process you make could be reported to credit bureaus, which may negatively impact your credit score. It’s important to consider the credit implications of any action you take when dealing with debt collectors such as Portfolio Recovery Associates.

What happens if Portfolio Recovery Associates sue you?

If Portfolio Recovery Associates sues you for a debt, you will receive a summons and complaint. The summons notifies you that the debt collection lawsuit has been filed and when your court date is scheduled. The complaint outlines the debt that Portfolio Recovery Associates claims you owe and explains why they are taking legal action against you.

If you were served with a summons and complaint, it is vital to take action immediately. One of the biggest mistakes people make is to ignore the court summons and fail to respond. This could result in a default judgment against you. You must respond to the debt lawsuit within the allotted time frame, typically 20 days, or you may risk a default judgment being entered against you.

1. Review the Complaint

Carefully review the complaint, and all other court papers served on you. This will help you understand the allegations against you and the Portfolio Recovery’s relief. Pay close attention to the date and time by which you must respond. This information will usually be included in the complaint or a separate notice from the court. 

2. Gather evidence

If you dispute the debt, gather evidence supporting your case, such as bank statements, payment records, and other relevant documents.

3. Raise defenses

In your written answer, you should raise any defenses you have to the lawsuit. For example, you may argue that the debt is not yours, that the statute of limitations has expired, or that Portfolio Recovery Associates has violated the FDCPA.

4. File a written answer

In most states, you must file a written answer to the complaint within a specific time frame, usually between 20 to 30 days from the date you were served. Your answer should include a response to the allegations against you and any defenses you have to the lawsuit.

5. Seek legal advice/assistance

Dealing with aggressive debt collectors and the legal system can be overwhelming. If you are facing a lawsuit from Portfolio Recovery Associates and are nervous about how to proceed, seek legal assistance from a qualified attorney. An attorney can serve as a debt defense lawyer and provide the guidance and advice needed to protect your rights from debt collection harassment. Furthermore, an attorney can represent you in court and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Settlement negotiation is an effective way to resolve the debt while avoiding litigation and potential wage garnishments.

Conclusion

Dealing with debt collectors can be stressful and intimidating. Thankfully, a few tips can help you navigate the situation more positively. Remember to stay calm, be polite, and not give away personal information. Be firm in asserting your rights, keep detailed records of every communication, and consult a legal professional if needed. With these tips, you can not only protect yourself from abusive debt collection practices but also make the process of dealing with collectors much less complicated.

If you have received a call or letter from Portfolio Recovery Associates and need help understanding your rights and options, fill out the form below to connect with a professional credit counselor. We can help you find the best solution for your situation.

FAQS

Who is Portfolio Recovery Associates?

Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC. (PRA) is a debt collection firm that was founded in 1996. They specialize in collecting defaulted consumer debts, such as credit cards, medical bills, and auto loans. PRA is one of the largest debt collectors with over 4,000 employees across four countries and has collected billions of dollars for creditors.

Why does Portfolio Recovery keep calling?

f you receive a call or debt collection letter from PRA, it likely means that your original creditor has authorized them to collect on an unpaid debt. Apart from calls, you may also receive emails, collection letters, and texts from PRA. It is important to remember that PRA does not have the power to change your original debt amount or alter the repayment terms.

How do I stop portfolio recovery from calling?

If you receive a call or letter from Portfolio Recovery Associates, it is crucial to take the following steps: Request validation of the debt, Dispute inaccurate debt.
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