There are several large collection agencies that file lawsuits in Pennsylvania. Cavalry, LVNV, Midland Credit Management, Portfolio Recovery Associates, Second Round Sub, Unifund and Velocity are some of the largest.
For the most part, these companies purchase delinquent credit accounts from credit card issuers like Chase, Citibank, Capital One, Synchrony, Bank of America and so on. They purchase these defaulted accounts in groups or “portfolios”. A portfolio may have a value of several hundred thousand dollars, perhaps even a few million. By value, I mean the amount of outstanding or delinquent debt between all of the accounts in the portfolio. The collection agencies typically purchase these portfolios for between 2 and 5 cents on a dollar. Anything that they collect on the account is essentially pure profit!
Fortunately, if you are being pursued by a collection agency in Pennsylvania, you have MANY defenses available to you. First off, there are several state and federal laws like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that protect you. That law protects you from outrageous threats that collection agencies make (like threats of wage garnishment or jail time or other illegal actions).
In addition, a good consumer attorney can assist you in defending a collection agency claim. In Pennsylvania, there are several pieces of proof that need to be included with every collection agency or credit card lawsuit. I have found that most collection agencies will not or cannot produce these pieces of evidence against you. In that regard, we have a court determine that many of the credit card lawsuits are legally insufficient and have them dismissed (This means that you do not owe the debt!) or we have a judgment entered in your favor.
If you have a credit card company or a collection agency attempting to collect a debt from you, or if you have more questions about debt settlement companies, please contact my office at 412-348-8600 or send an email to Attorney Greg Artim