Portfolio Recovery Associates or PRA is a third-party debt collection agency based in Norfolk, Virginia. PRA has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including improper contact or sharing of information and threatening to take actions that cannot legally be taken. If you have been contacted by Portfolio Recovery Associates, make sure you understand your rights before responding.
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If you are getting phone calls from Portfolio Recovery Associates and are worried that it is a scam, you should understand that Portfolio Recovery is a legitimate debt collection agency. Also called PRA or PRA Group, the business has over 1,400 employees and is based in Norfolk Virginia. Portfolio Recovery Associates is a debt buyer, meaning that they purchase packages of charged-off debt and then attempt to collect from customers.
Portfolio Recovery Associates has had its own share of run-ins with the government. In 2014, the debt collection agency entered into an agreement with the State of New York, which had billed Portfolio Recovery Associates with violations of various state laws, such as those prohibiting deceptive practices, fraudulent or illegal actions, and threats to take actions which aren’t legal to take. The country also accused Portfolio Recovery Associates of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by using false, deceptive, or misleading representations when collecting a debt. While Portfolio Recovery Associates didn’t admit to any wrongdoing, they agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty to the nation, and agreed not to sue customers for debts which were beyond the statute of limitations. They also agreed that, when sending written communication about debts to New York customers, they would include the title of the original creditor, the last four digits of the first account number, and the date of the customer’s last payment.
The CFPB accused PRA of robo-signing court records so as to file lawsuits against customers, of threatening to sue customers over time-barred debt, along with other offenses. Portfolio Recovery Associates agreed to pay $8 million in penalties, to refund $19 million dollars to customers, and to stop selling debt portfolios to other businesses, among other states.
As of May 2017, the Better Business Bureau reported 1335 closed Portfolio Recovery Associates complaints over the previous few decades, and Justia recorded hundreds lawsuits filed in federal court in the past year alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In addition to that, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recorded 1434 closed PRA complaints for 2016.
Portfolio Recovery Associates
120 Corporate Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23502
Phone Number: 800-772-1413
It is illegal for a debt collector to threaten to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely PRA would sue you for a debt you may not owe or they cannot validate. However, debt collection agencies are known to have summoned debtors to court and garnish wages after a default judgement. Contacting an attorney BEFORE this could possibly happen would be a smart move. We’ve helped thousands of consumers fight back against unscrupulous debt collection harassers. Find out if we can help you too today!
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You sure can. Here are some past Press Releases of cases filed on our clients’ behalf at no fee to them:
February 4, 2017. On behalf of our client, Lemberg Law filed a complaint in U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan. The case, against Portfolio Recovery Associates , charges the debt collection agency with violating federal law and asks for $1,000 in statutory damages, plus other relief.
Owing a debt is tough. Owing a debt that you can’t pay is worse. Our client says that Portfolio Recovery Associates called him, and that he told the debt collector that he couldn’t pay the debt because his only source of income was Social Security. Portfolio Recovery Associates called him a “deadbeat.” Fast forward five months, and our client says he again spoke to PRA and told the debt collector he wasn’t able to pay the debt. That time, he says that the debt collector said they would continue to call anyway. When our client told Portfolio Recovery Associates that he had hired Lemberg Law, he says that Portfolio Recovery Associates told him he should still pay the debt.
The lawsuit charges that Portfolio Recovery Associates violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by engaging in harassing behavior; by using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt; and by using abusive language.
February 2, 2017. Owing a debt is bad enough without broadcasting the information to your friends and loved ones. Our client tells us that Portfolio Recovery Associates contacted her fiance in an attempt to collect the debt from her. Portfolio Recovery Associates disclosed that the call was an attempt to collect a debt, and demanded that her fiance make a payment. Needless to say, our client was embarrassed and stressed.
The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, charges that Portfolio Recovery Associates violated the FDCPA by engaging in harassing behavior; by communicating with a third party about the debt, and by using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt. The suit asks for $1,000 in statutory damages, plus other relief.
January 30, 2017. On behalf of our client, Lemberg Law filed a complaint in U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina. The case, against Portfolio Recovery Associates, charges the debt collection agency with violating federal law and asks for $1,000 in statutory damages, plus other relief.
Imagine trying to explain to a debt collector that you can’t afford to pay the bill. Then imagine them calling your parents’ house and telling them about your debt! That’s what our client says happened when Portfolio Recovery Associates called her and she told them that she was having financial problems and couldn’t repay the debt. She says that PRA kept calling her, and then called her folks and left a voicemail saying that the debt collection agency was trying to reach her in order to collect a debt.
The lawsuit charges that Portfolio Recovery Associates violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by engaging in harassing behavior; by using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt; and by telling third parties about the debt.
September 15, 2015. On behalf of our client, Lemberg Law recently filed a complaint in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, against Portfolio Recovery Associates. Our client alleges that Portfolio Recovery Associates started calling her at work in an attempt to collect a debt. Our client told Portfolio Recovery Associates that it was inconvenient for her to be called at work, and asked Portfolio Recovery Associates not to call her at her work phone number. Nevertheless, Portfolio Recovery Associates called her again at work. In addition, our client told Portfolio Recovery Associates that it was inconvenient for her to receive collection calls on her cell number between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., and asked them not to call her during that time period. Yet PRA continued to call her during these hours.
The lawsuit charges that Portfolio Recovery Associates violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by contacting our client at a place and time known to be inconvenient; by contacting our client as her workplace after she asked them to stop calling her there; by engaging in harassing behavior; and by using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt. In addition, the lawsuit charges that Portfolio Recovery Associates violated the Texas Fair Debt Collection Act by using a phone with the intent to annoy or abuse our client.
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The FDCPA regulates the behavior of collection agencies by prohibiting actions such as the use of abusive or threatening language; harassment; or the use of false or misleading information to collect a debt.
The FCRA regulates how collection agencies and creditors report delinquent debts to credit reporting agencies. Additional consumer protection laws include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). The complaint above illustrates how these laws can be extremely effective tools to hold accountable collection agencies who fail to adhere to their provisions.
These laws also provide individuals with a means to seek monetary damages in court. For example, the FDCPA allows consumers who have been violated to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs.
Seek legal assistance to find the relief you may be entitled to if you are having difficulty resolving disputes with a debt collection agency.
Consumers have reported this agency harassing them from the following numbers:
Your debt harassment checklist:
- You are receiving multiple calls per week from third party collection agencies
- You are receiving early morning or late night calls from debt collectors
- You are receiving calls at work from a debt collection agency
- Debt collectors are calling your friends, neighbors, or coworkers
- Collectors are threatening you with violence, lawsuit, or arrest
- A debt collector attempts to collect more than you owe
- You are being threatened with negative credit reporting
- A debt collector attempts to intimidate you
- Criminal accusations are being made towards you
- Use of obscene language during an attempt to collect
- Automated robocalls are being made to your phone in an attempt to collect
If you’ve been harassed by debt collectors and even one of these has happened to you, we can help. We will fight for your rights.
We can make them STOP!✋
The Lemberg Law legal team is committed to holding debt collectors accountable, so complete our form for a FREE case evaluation, or call ? 844-685-9200 NOW.
What Our Clients are Saying
“We were so impressed with how the attorney listened to us and understood the position we were in. Thank you for stopping the calls. The check was a nice bonus, but mostly we’re glad we’re not being hounded anymore.”
“Lemberg Law contacted me within a couple of hours of me submitting my info on their site. That same day Daniel emailed me instructions on what to do the next time the collection agency called. Within a week, the calls had stopped. Today marks week 2 and we’ve not had a call in three days. I can’t say thank you enough.”
“I can’t praise your service enough. I was lost and just really wanted my credit report cleaned up. You have gone beyond my expectations. Thanks again!”
These are the types of questions are clients are asking:
Question: I just got I called from this number 469-609-4027 here at work I asked the reason of the call they said personal matter I replied by saying I can’t accept personal call at work to stop. Can they called me after that?
Answer. Yes, if PRA continues to call, you sue if they continue calling.
Question: Portfolio Recovery seem to have increased my amount owned. Is that illegal?
Answer: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Section 1692f says that debt collector may not collect any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law. So, unless the law allows the increase in the debt or your contract does, this could be violating the law and we might be able to help.
Question: Numerous phone calls and letters from PRA. Now they have sent me a court summons from a debt I am sure is incorrect or beyond 7+ years.
Answer: This could be illegal. If you live in a state where the statute of limitations is shorter than 7 years, then suing you on that debt could be a illegal and PRA could be violating the law.
Question: I have been trying to get PRA to remove 3 accounts that they have been reporting . They have used unethical collection practices such as reporting false dates, balances, addresses, etc. Is this illegal?
Answer: The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires collectors to report to credit bureaus truthfully. Any information that is disputed with the Credit Bureaus and cannot be verified within 30 days must be removed. So, if PRA is reporting your debts inaccurately even after you disputed, or if the accounts aren’t marked as DISPUTED, then you might have a case we would help with.
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