Portfolio Recovery Associates Lawsuit?
Have you received a collection letter from Portfolio Recovery Associates? or a telephone call? Have you been sued by Portfolio, either in Magistrate Court or the Court of Common Pleas? Fortunately, you have found this website and you have found a Consumer Attorney who is willing to help defend you. Please do not negotiate with them or make a payment to them until you have had a consult with our law firm or with another reputable consumer law firm. There are very few instances where I would recommend sending money to Portfolio Recovery and I certainly would never do so without seeking legal advice.
Portfolio Recovery Associates is a company that buys bad debt to try to make a profit. They buy large blocks of allegedly defaulted credit card accounts for pennies on the dollar (we have seen data that shows that their cost is approximately 1.7 cents on the dollar) for the sole purpose of attempting to collect whatever they can on those accounts from individuals just like you. They file dozens of lawsuits daily in Pennsylvania in hopes of collecting on old debt claims that have been charged off by the original creditor. As of the date of this writing, late 2013, they are one of the largest debt purchasers that we deal with. They are so big that they are a publicly traded company...buying bad debt is a very big business and it is very profitable for the buyers.
Our approach to defending lawsuits filed by Portfolio Recovery is twofold. First, we defend the case based upon a lack of legal sufficiency. In general, when a party files a collection lawsuit in Pennsylvania, there are several points of evidence that need to be included in the lawsuit. In other words, facts must be established that tend to prove that you had a credit account, that you defaulted on it and most importantly that Portfolio Recovery has the right to sue you and collect on the alleged debt. These facts are supposed to be included in the lawsuit by means of documentation. They need documents, and they need stacks of them. Your lawsuit should be as thick as a small phone book when you receive it. Chances are that it is not that thick.
If the lawsuit isnt that thick, then its very likely that the lawsuit is legally insufficient, or defective. In my experience, I have found that the lawsuits filed by Portfolio Recovery are usually legally insufficient, at least at the onset of the litigation. We object to these lawsuits on insufficiency grounds with great success.
In the event that Portfolio Recovery is able to cure the insufficiency objections, we then move on to defending the claim on its legal merits, i.e. whether you actually had the account, whether you actually defaulted on it, when the alleged default occurred, et cetera. This is generally the only time that we consider settlement on a Portfolio case, that is, after they have provided us with substantial documenation showing that they own the specific account and that they can prove the exact amount of the debt. This occurs very infrequently.
Our firm has a great deal of experience in defending credit card collection cases whether they are filed by PRA or not. With the rise of delinquent debt and the outsourcing of that debt to shady collection agencies, having an attorney to protect your interests has become vital. This is not something that you should try to handle alone. If you have been sued in any Pennsylvania county, by Portfolio Recovery Associates or another collection agency, our firm can help you defend this claim at minimal cost, with a great chance at success. Contact our office here, call me at 412-823-8003 or visit our Pennsylvania Credit Card Legal Center here.