Portfolio Recovery

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Harassing Phone Calls... On An Account That Doesn't Belong To Me
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ELKRIDGE, MARYLAND -- In October of 2007 I received a letter from Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA) that I owe $1570.56 balance past due on a Capital One Account from 2000-2002. This letter stated that I had not responded to their recent attempt to contact me. How can I respond when this was the first time I was hearing from them? This account does not belong to me. I was told by PRA that they purchased the account in June 2007. Since this time, I have continued to dispute that this account does not belong to me. That have repeatedly continued to call my home, my cell phone and my place of employment. I have repeated requested that they stop calling me.

I was unaware of my rights as a consumer, and last year I started researching those rights. I started by sending a letter requesting additional information pertaining to the account. I was sent a typed letter, not on letter head, basically giving me the same information I was sent in the first letter. Then in October, again I received the information they had been giving me over the phone. On this letter the balance had risen to $1591.71; stating accruing interest on an account which has never existed. How is that even possible?

Now it is August of 2008 and I am still receiving harassing phone calls, at my place of employment no less. This time around I have sent a letter certified mail requesting Validation. Not just a letter typed by them, but proof to provide me with any and all papers that show I agreed to pay what you say I owe, papers that have my signature. I am also asking for proof that they are licensed to collect in my state. This letter also requests a Cease and Desist on all phone calls, that an attempt to contact me must be done in writing. At this point it is another waiting game to find out if this letter will help stop the harassing calls from Portfolio Recovery on an account that does not belong to me.
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Wynkwood on 09/27/2008:
Go to Walmart to the sporting goods department. Spend $2.95 for a referee whistle and hang it by the phone. Every time they call you blow your whistle into the mouthpiece as hard as you can and hang up.

You are asking for it by engaging these crooks in any kind of response, albeit telephone or mail.

That should stop them. If not, continue to blow ad nauseam. You owe it to them to be as persistent as they were.
Not Going To Take This Any More on 04/05/2009:
Portfolio Recovery Associates is relentless. They will chase you forever no matter what you do. They ignore cease & desist request and they will not provide proof of the debt. They did sue me, posted that to my credit report and have tied me up for several years trying to get rid of them and to get the truth established. I have a folder of letters - to no avail. I've reported to the BBB, state attorney general & the FTC - but that doesn't stop their actions, only makes me feel better for telling someone else. I've used the credit report mechanisms to challenge and request proof - with no luck. My mistake was talking to them by phone at all. I changed my phone to an unlisted number and they still tracked me down. They have called my job and left voice messages on phones of co-workers - I guess in an attempt to embarrass me. I believed all I had read on the Internet about how they could not sue if they had false or inaccurate information or if they failed to provide proof of the debt - but that did not prove to be correct - they can sue!
BokiBean on 04/05/2009:
If they sued you and you didn't appear in court they will win by default.
DebtorBasher on 08/20/2009:
August 20, 2009

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Tuesday that he has filed lawsuits against two accounts receivable management companies working accounts in his state that he claimed were “operating scams.” But the two companies tell insideARM that they had no idea the suits were coming and were totally blindsided by the announcement.

Koster’s office issued a press release Tuesday announcing a lawsuit against Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA), the publicly traded debt buyer located in Norfolk, Va., and collection agency Professional Debt Management (PDM), based in Kansas City. The two companies are not related and the suits are separate.

The Attorney General said in his release that the companies “are operating scams to collect debts from citizens who do not owe the money.”

He alleges that both companies attempted to collect on debts that were paid off or discharged in bankruptcy. Koster also accused the firms of using illegal collection tactics, such as threatening to garnish Social Security wages or scaring debtors into calling back by claiming there is an emergency.

Judy Scott, EVP and General Counsel at Portfolio Recovery, told insideARM that her company found out about the lawsuit from reporters. “We were quite surprised to hear from reporters that we were the subject of a lawsuit,” said Scott. “We were not served and given no advance notice.”

Scott noted that she thought PRA enjoyed a “fairly positive relationship” with the Missouri Attorney General. She could not comment directly on the lawsuit, as the company had not yet had a chance to read it. But she did say that the statements made in Koster’s press release did not reflect PRA’s business practices and that the company believes it complies fully with Missouri law.

When contacted by insideARM, PDM told a very similar story. A person speaking on the condition of anonymity said that the company likewise had not been served and had not read the lawsuit. The person was “shocked and disturbed” to learn that the company was the subject of a lawsuit.

Koster’s announcement was very short on specific allegations and investigation findings. The announcement said that the office was “asking that the court impose monetary penalties and require the companies to pay all court costs,” but did not indicate how many consumers were impacted.

Nanci Gonder, press secretary in the AG’s office, told insideARM that their office received 37 consumer complaints against PRA and 21 against PDM, and that "these complaints would have prompted our investigation and eventual suit."

Stephen R. Diamond on 03/25/2013:
Under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you don't have to run hoops to get Portfolio and similar scum to stop calling you. Section 806, subdivision 5 provides (effectively) that repeated unwanted calls where the recipient communicates that he doesn't want further calls is harassment. Moreover, local laws governing harassment apply.

Don't let anyone tell you that you need to send Portfolio registered letter. They don't deserve it. You don't have to send a registered letter to get scum to stop harassing you! Just tell them in no uncertain terms you don't want them to call.

If they continue (and they will) take police or civil action if you have the inclination
DebtorBasher on 03/25/2013:
Stephen, a certified/registered letter IS needed if you want proof showing that you requested them to stop calling. If someone wanted to sue for harassment, and they simply say, 'I told them to stop calling'...that's not going to prove anything. If they want to prove they are violating the FDCPA, they have to show some proof of it, and that will come in the form of a registered/certified letter with a return receipt. The return receipt will have the date they were officially noticed to C&D calling. And calling the police isn't going to help in a matter like this.
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Privacy Invasion and Tactics
Posted by on
KANSAS -- The supposed manager of this collection agency pulls your credit report and asks you how you can afford to buy items when you owe them a debt? He sersiouly asked me about my recent vehicle loan. I asked what gave him the right to scrutinize me and my report? I was told that every sixty days they can access your report and attempt to collect by whatever means within there guidelines. After being enraged by this individuals tactics I said a curse word, and was told that he was trying to help me. He said if I continued to use curse words toward him he could turn this account over to an attorney. Mind you, the account is 4 yrs. old, a civil matter, and was disputed from the start when the original creditor held the account. I am not new to the collection system, so this tactic only upset me further. If they were or could find an attorney to sell the debt to they wouold have by now. I was willing to settle the account and pay off the account in monthly payments, but of course they can not(will not) do this. This manager(?) kept coming back to my credit report and the items that were paid off and the items that were gotten. I asked what business this is of his. He said it is his business because I owe a debt to the company he works for. I can not believe that ANY company could and would scrutize someones credit report in an attempt to bullying them into paying a debt. I guess the Bill Of Rights does not apply to me. Collection Agencies need to be strictly monitored by the government. There are regulations in play for them to follow, but are never enforced. They can not call more than 1 time a day if they reach you, but call 3-4 times a day. They can not call on Sundays, but do. They can not call after 9:00p.m, but they do. They can not bully you into making any payment, but they try all the time. And since when can they tell you what you deserve to have and not have? It is wrong for any one or company to violate the law, so why aren't collection agencies made to uphold the same laws?
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spiderman2 on 09/13/2007:
"I am not new to the collection system." Just about sums it up for me.
Anonymous on 09/14/2007:
You can contact the credit reporting agencies and have a block placed on your reports. If anyone needs access they have to contact you first for permission.
warddw1526 on 09/14/2007:
Answering as a debt collector. First, depending on how they approached the things on your CBR, they may be okay. A collector can ask specifics such as "how are you paying for that car?". However, courts have found that saying something like "why are you buying a car when you can't afford to pay this other debt" to be harassing. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does not actually define the word harassment.

Second, the FDCPA limits a collector to one contact per day. They can call 100 times for example if they do not speak with you or do not leave a message. There is no law against them calling on a Sunday. There is not law against them calling on any holiday either. Yes, the FDCPA does prohibit from calling after 9 pm in the consumers time zone.
Anonymous on 09/17/2007:
ladyfoxfire on 01/10/2009:
I've recently been contacted by this customer and I have no idea of the debt they speak of. They said they purchases this debt from CitiBank in 2002 and the debt was marked as a bad debt by CitiBank in like 1990 something. I recently checked my credit report, neither this company or CitiBank is on there. I wonder if they are for real or if they have the right person. Also, if this is for real, shouldn't a debt this old be non-claimable?
grandma005 on 01/10/2009:
Yes this debt it too old to be bothered with it. Just ignore them. Do not answer their calls and hang up without saying anything if you do. The time limit is anywhere from four to six years. If you send them any money it will make the debt legal and you will have to pay. That starts the time limit all over again.
Csarol on 03/25/2009:
Portfolio called me at work yesterday out of the blue on Chase-Mastercard. That account is over 10 years old, is not on my credit report and I have a MasterCard that is current and rated R-1. I told her never to call my workplace and she continued to scream at me so I hung up on her. I dare they go that far back to find something to cause a consumer grief and stress. I work hard every day for the small salary I receive. My credit score has been lowered due to credit card companies lowering the credit limits and now I am being harassed and treated like scum because of someone's greediness. I will pursue this further with the FTC.
Not Going To Take This Any More on 04/04/2009:
If you are reading this, then you probably have had an encounter with someone from Portfolio Recovery and you are feeling angry, insulted, humiliated, demeaned and frustrated.

This company’s bad business practices must be stopped. If those of us who have been abused by this company fail to speak up then no one with the authority to stop this company is ever going to pay attention or seek to investigate because we sit by and are quiet.

I am writing to say to everyone that we MUST take the time to record statements against this company here on this site, and also on as many Internet sites or blogs or discussion groups as we can each find.

You don’t have to write a long statement when you post – but you need to at least document in several different places on the Internet that you had a negative experience.

Even if your encounter was several years ago, but you still carry the emotion inside yourself from how the encounter makes you feel years later – then you too need to take the time to record your complaint.

If enough of us will stand up and begin to document on this company, then eventually some responsible entity is going to realize that this company is out of control and needs to be stopped.

My hope is that some local or national television news program which is searching for an investigative piece will choose to expose this company – but that can only happen if we will each take the time to write our experiences down and post on the Internet so that the negative PR against this company can no longer be ignored.

If you are just beginning to enter a situation with this company then you should know that everything you read on this site and other complaint sites regarding this company is true. You cannot believe anything they tell you because they lie, lie, lie! And they will harass you at home and on your job, plus they will do all the things that we are told as consumers that collection agencies cannot do. They will ignore you when you ask them questions or refuse to listen when you notify them in writing to no longer call you on your job. They will disclose your personal business on voice mail messages where others can hear what is being said. They will literally yell at you on the telephone when they call. They will say horrible things to you and accuse of things when you cannot pay.

These are heartless people who will say anything and do anything they can to get money. They are rude and will not hesitate to attack you verbally when talking to you. They are giving collection agencies a very bad name. They will make arrangements and then change their mind without any notice.

Their so-called litigation department is a disgrace and if they really are lawyers (which I don’t believe most of them are) – then they should be disbarred for inappropriate and unprofessional actions. They will try to come after you about debt even after you consult a lawyer who says they are too late. They will report false debt to your credit reports. They will issue judgments against you with increased dollar amounts beyond the debt amount. I’ve not experienced all of these things personally but I know people who are dealing and coping just as I am with these crazy people.

This company needs to be shut down and their employees need to be hit hard by our national Internet campaign to warn others about them and to speak up about how they behave.

Most of us who have dealt with any other collection agencies know that this particular company is the very worst of the bad ones.

Please join me in an effort to get this company exposed for how they operate. EVERY time they call you and harass you, post a complaint somewhere on the Internet – EVERY time! Don’t let them continue to do this to you or to anyone else.

Writing to the Better Business Bureau does no good because they will just turn it all around in their rebuttal – so that’s a waste of time. Instead we need to publicly humiliate them in the same way they do us each time they make contact.

If you are willing, send a letter to the Attorney General for your state telling them about your bad experience with this company.

Stop the madness. Let’s all work together to put in writing enough documentation that will enable a state or national agency to finally put these guys out of business!!! Please share the link to this site so others can learn of my call to action against this company.
Mfrreman on 10/14/2013:
Just received summons from portfolio. No prior communications just summons. Logged into my credit report to find payments on this account I NEVER made making the debt current and accepted. Going to seek legal help.
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