If you’re receiving threatening phone calls and letters from a debt collection company, it’s likely because you’re feeling stressed about your financial future. This is understandable; most people don’t expect to be harassed by an aggressive debt collector. But there are ways to deal with the situation and take back control.
If you are being harassed by a debt collector, it is important to know that you have legal rights and protections. There are also certain defenses you can raise if the debt collector sues you. These affirmative defenses could help you win in court against the debt collector.
What is Portfolio Recovery Associates and Why are They Suing Me?
Many people are unaware of debt collection companies like Portfolio Recovery Associates until they are served with a lawsuit. This is because many debts are sold and resold to multiple third parties, including purchasers of delinquent debts like Portfolio Recovery Services. As a result, you may not remember making a purchase or taking out a loan with this company. If you’re wondering who Portfolio Recovery Associates is and what they do, here’s some general information on their operation:
PRA was founded in 1996 with the goal of becoming one of the largest debt collection companies in the United States. Their innovative business model and aggressive tactics quickly made them a force to be reckoned with in the industry. Today, PRA collects debts under alternate business names like “PRA III, LLC” and “Anchor Receivables Management.”
Portfolio Recovery Associates has been in business since 1996 and is known for its aggressive debt collection tactics. Many consumers have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, alleging serious violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). These complaints include the use of false or misleading information to collect on delinquent debts and neglecting to provide written verification of the outstanding debt.
Questionable Debt Collection Tactics Commonly Used by Portfolio Recovery Associates
Debt collectors working on behalf of Portfolio Recovery Associates have been accused of using some highly questionable and troubling tactics when contacting consumers. Some of these tactics include:
- Using inappropriate and profane language during phone calls
- Calling consumers prior to 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
- Making baseless threats such as claiming they can “destroy” your credit or that they can arrest you for breaking the law
- Calling consumers at their place of work
- Contacting consumers multiple times per day or per week
If you were contacted by Portfolio Recovery Associates and experienced any of the following questionable tactics, you may be eligible to take legal action against the company and receive financial compensation.
You Have Rights and Protections Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
As mentioned earlier, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that gives consumers the ability to take legal action against debt collectors. The FDCPA was enacted in 1977 with the goal of protecting consumers from being harassed and threatened by debt collectors who used abusive and unethical tactics to try to collect payments for delinquent debts. Under the FDCPA, a consumer has the following rights and legal protections:
- Dispute a debt and request no further contact from a collection agency
- Tell the debt collector not to call them at work if such calls are not permitted by the employer
- Request proof that a debt exists and the collector is authorized to request payment
- Be represented by an attorney in a debt resolution case
Advice for Beating Portfolio Recovery Associates in Court
If you are being sued by Portfolio Recovery Associates, you may be feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do next. But there are some simple steps you can take to give yourself the best chance of success in court. For example, simply responding to the Complaint shows that you are willing to engage with the process, which sets you apart from most consumers.
If you are being sued by a debt collector, it is important to take the complaint seriously. Ignoring the complaint will only make matters worse, as the collector will likely file a motion for a default judgment. If the court grants this judgment, the collector will be able to take actions against you that could include wage garnishment or seizure of assets. Don’t let yourself be caught off guard by ignoring the complaint – take action and defend yourself in court.
- Garnish your wages
- Take money from your checking account
- Place a lien on your personal property (e.g., car)
Don’t let Portfolio Recovery Associates take advantage of you, take action and file a response to their Complaint. In your response, point out some of the major flaws and shortcomings in their lawsuit. For example, request that Portfolio show evidence (e.g. documents) of the following information:
- You are the person in fact responsible for repaying the alleged debt;
- Portfolio Recovery Associates possesses the right to take legal action against you; and
- You owe the specific amount listed in the Complaint
If you’re being sued by a debt collection company, it’s important to request evidence that establishes the basic facts of your case. These companies often sue the wrong person or lack essential financial documents proving that the debt is actually owed. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of, make sure you have all the information you need to fight back.
If the statute of limitations has expired, you may have an affirmative defense against a debt collection lawsuit. The statute of limitations is the time limit for taking legal action. If Portfolio Recovery Associates filed a lawsuit after the expiration of the statute of limitations, you could file a motion to dismiss the debt collection lawsuit. SoloSuit can help you with this process and with completing the necessary documents for filing with the court.
What You Should Do If You are Taken to Court by Portfolio Recovery Associates
If you are being sued by a debt collection company, there are some things you can do to protect yourself. First, it is important to understand your rights.
- Do not agree to pay the debt just because the collector says you owe it. The burden is on the debt collector to establish that you actually owe the amount they say you do.
- You have a limited time to respond to a complaint filed against you in court. In most debt collection cases, you have between 20 and 30 days to file an answer. Be sure to take action within this timeframe to avoid any negative consequences.
- If you have been contacted by Portfolio Recovery Associates, it is important to take action to protect your rights. In your response to the complaint, be sure to raise any affirmative defenses that may apply, such as the statute of limitations. You should also demand that the debt collection company prove that you are responsible for the amount owed. By taking these steps, you can increase your chances of defeating Portfolio Recovery Associates in court.
No one should have to put up with threatening phone calls and letters from debt collectors. If you’re feeling stressed about your financial future, know that there are ways to deal with the situation. Stay calm and polite, and remember that you have rights!Clearone Advantage, Credit Associates, Credit 9, Americor Funding, Tripoint Lending, Lendvia, Simple Path Financial, New Start Capital, Point Break Financial, Sagemore Financial, Money Ladder, Advantage Preferred Financial, LoanQuo, Apply.Credit9, Mobilend