Portfolio Recovery Associates, or PRA, aggressively works to collect on old debts that it purchases. If you’re caught in Portfolio’s crosshairs, you may be the victim of unethical and perhaps illegal debt collection tactics. Even if Portfolio doesn’t violate the law, however, you probably have a significant amount of debt if they’re coming after you with letters, phone calls, and lawsuits. Your goal is to put the debt behind you once and for all, so what are your options?
Debt settlement allows debtors to save significant sums of money, not to mention time and stress, by paying a fraction of what they owe on bad debts. At The Fullman Firm, we have extensive experience negotiating on behalf of our clients so they can pay less and get Portfolio Recovery out of their lives. We’re ready to help you today.
Who Is Portfolio Recovery Associates?
The name of this company may not readily indicate what business it’s in, but we know it’s a debt buyer. This means they purchase bulk debts, primarily defaulted consumer credit card accounts, and then go to work to collect on them. Portfolio has been accused of predatory debt collection practices for years, including:
- Harassing debtors
- Calling debtors repeatedly
- Switching phone numbers when debtors block them
- Refusing to verify the debt
- Filing baseless lawsuits
- Attempting to collect judgments based on those lawsuits
Can Portfolio Recovery Associates Sue Me?
If Portfolio claims to have bought your debt, they can and likely will sue you. Even if Portfolio complies with the law, you can expect a lawsuit if you don’t properly respond to the company’s collection attempts.
If Portfolio sues you, the lawsuit will begin with a complaint. The complaint contains allegations about the debt such as your identity and how much you supposedly owe. The company will then serve you with the complaint and a summons, which is a document that orders you to respond to the lawsuit. In most cases, debtors will have only 30 days to answer a lawsuit.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming you can dodge service and escape legal action. Portfolio will hire process servers who are very skilled at making sure defendants are properly served. It’s next to impossible to avoid these servers, and even if you manage to do so, the company has other legal options for effectuating service against you.
I’ve Been Served With The Lawsuit; Now What?
One way or another, Portfolio will serve you with the lawsuit. As mentioned above, you have 30 days to file an answer, a step that a skilled attorney is best trusted to handle. Failing to properly answer the lawsuit, in the correct manner, in the correct court, and before the deadline, could give Portfolio the chance to obtain a default judgment.
A default judgment means the debtor failed to properly answer the complaint on time, so Portfolio went to court and asked for a judgment as allowed by law. Some debtors believe if they refuse to participate in the court proceedings, the case will go away. Actually, it just makes it easier for Portfolio to get what they want: your money.
You have the right to file an answer to the complaint, and should. However, this is only one step and one that will likely not make the problem go away. While the answer is important for laying out any legal defenses you might have, and for correcting any inaccurate information in the complaint, there’s not much you can do if you actually owe what Portfolio claims you do.
So what’s the solution? Debt settlement could be it.
What Is Debt Settlement?
Even if you’ve been sued, or had a judgment (default or otherwise) entered against you, debt settlement is an option. And it certainly works if Portfolio is only in the phone call or letter stage of trying to collect from you.
Debt settlement allows you to negotiate with Portfolio to make a lump sum payment for less than you owe on the debt. The larger the lump sum, the more negotiating power you have. It’s a good idea to let a knowledgeable attorney handle this process. The Fullman Firm is well-versed in Portfolio’s collection and litigation tactics, and we know how to make an offer that will get the company’s attention.
Let The Fullman Firm Protect Your Rights
We want to review your debt account with Portfolio and determine whether the company has violated your rights under state or federal law. Violations could allow the debt to be cleared more easily, or a lawsuit in the matter to be dismissed.
Regardless of Portfolio’s collection efforts and whether they complied with the law, we know you’re ready to get rid of your debt. Let The Fullman Firm get started on a debt settlement proposal that may do just that. Reach out to us to schedule a consultation.