Portfolio Recovery Associates and Highly Illegal, Fraudulent Debt Collection Practices!

Portfolio Recovery Associates and illegal debt collection

Portfolio Recovery Associates is a very sinister debt collection agency!


Last year I received a phone call and the name that showed up on my caller ID was Portfolio Recovery. I answered the phone and the person on the phone asked me if I was me. That was really strange so I asked them who they were. They wouldn’t answer that. They again asked me if I was me. I said I guess I don’t know, it depends on who this is calling. Then they hung up on me. I thought that was the end of that and it was just weird – boy was I wrong. It turns out that phone call was from a collection agency called Portfolio Recovery Associates and they are one of the shadiest, unethical and even most illegal collection agencies out there (just search Google for their company name and you will find thousands and thousands of lawsuits, fines, governmental inquiries and investigations, etc…)

That was just the start of things. They sent me a letter for an account that was clearly not mine. They didn’t care. They wanted it paid. So upon researching the Internet a little bit and reading up what my rights are in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCA), I wrote them a letter (and of course I sent in return receipt requested to document that they received it) stating that this account was not and could not have been mine. I also demanded proof of the validity of the account as is my right.

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What was their response? They kept calling and harassing at all hours of the day. Now according to the FDCA, a debt collector can only call between the hours of 8 AM and 9 PM. But did Portfolio Recovery Associates about by this? No, I received phone calls at 7 AM and 7:30 AM and I even received one phone call one night at about 11:30 PM. That is in clear violation of the FDCA. Once they called me almost 20 times in a row so I finally got frustrated and picked up the phone and told the person on the other end of the line that this is harassment and in clear violation of the FDCA or Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

They laughed and told me they were going to call me each and every day until I paid the entire account in full and that the amount of the account would increase every day until it’s paid in full and that there was absolutely nothing that I could do about this. They told me they were a big corporation and that I was a puny little prick and thief that didn’t pay their rightfully owed debts. I kept my cool and explainedto the  individual that I had already sent a letter stating that this was not my debt and that I asked them to verify the validity of this debt and that they still haven’t responded to my letter. He didn’t answer that. Instead he said that they had proof that this was my debt and that they were they were going to keep hounding me and that they were going to take me to court and sue me for everything I had and then put me in jail for being a thief.

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I hung up the phone and I contacted a few attorneys in my town, but I live in a very small town and the attorneys here don’t handle things like that. They just handle real estate, probate and one handles criminal matters. So I did the next best thing.  I wrote a complaint to my state attorney general and another one to the Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau was the first to respond and sent a letter restating the complaint to Portfolio Recovery Associates.  They responded by stating that the debt was valid and that I was being uncooperative with them and that they were following every letter of the law of what they are supposed to do in collecting a debt.  Mind you, they never sent any proof of the supposed validity of this debt to the Better Business Bureau either.

In my response I stated that there was no proof of the validity of the debt, but apparently the Better Business Bureau did not care.  Maybe they’re on the take with Portfolio Recovery Associates as they decided that the case was solved and that portfolio recovery Associates was doing what it’s supposed to do.  That doesn’t give me much trust or belief in the Better Business Bureau.  I had better luck with the state Atty. Gen.’s office as they actually demanded proof of the debt from Portfolio Recovery Associates.

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So what did they send as proof to the state Attorney General’s office?  A blank credit application with someone else’s signature at the bottom.  The state attorney general’s response was fast and they demanded that all contact with me be ceased and that they remove any negative information in my credit report and that this matter be permanently closed and that if they got one more case similar to this they would open up a full scale investigation into Portfolio Recovery Associates fraudulant activities.

So if you have a problem with Portfolio Recovery Associates and you don’t think you owe the debt they’re trying to collect on or if it’s out of the statutes of limitations for your state, then by all means your best option is to go straight to your State Attorney Generals office and make a formal complaint.  Don’t waste your time with the Better Business Bureau as I don’t think they can figure their head out from their posterior.  And if you happen to live in a larger city than I do,  feel free to get an attorney and sue PRA into the ground as that is where they belong bankrupt, dissolved and buried.


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33 Responses to Portfolio Recovery Associates and Highly Illegal, Fraudulent Debt Collection Practices!

  1. Thomas Cutts on May 26, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    NOTE — This comment is obviously written by an employee of Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA) collection agency as you can see in the text. — NOTE

    It’s funny that everyone seems to hate collection agencies like Portfolio Recovery Associates. But the reality is that Portfolio Recovery Associates and other similar collection agencies do the work no one else wants to do – holding consumers accountable for their debts. If consumers were to pay their debts on time and not default on their obligations there would be no need for collection agencies. Go fess up to your debts and pay them off like you originally agreed to in your contract scumbag! That way you won’t have to complain about how bad us collectors at PRA are.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 80

  2. Renee Miller on May 29, 2010 at 8:50 AM

    This “employee” ought to learn how to spell.
    Fraudulant is misspelled. The correct spelling
    is fraudulent.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 3

  3. Jessie Skanes on June 9, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    I feel for you. These jackasses from a similar collection agency named Pioneer out of NY kept calling me and threatening me with jail and other illegal threats if I didn’t pay back on a fraudulant school loan. I say fraudulant because they have a blank unfilled out application and are illegally trying to say I owe $600 when in fact I never received one penny from the original creditor (Cornell University). I finally had to get my state attorney general involved and only then did they stop. I advise anyone that has bad collection agencies that think they are above the law to not return phone calls and instead immediately get your state attorney general involved. This will stop them dead in their tracks and if there are enough complaints they will be barred from contacting debtors or doing business in that state. They can also be fined into the millions of dollars. This is the most effective way to put a stop to these scumbags like Pioneer and Portfolio Recovery Associates!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 2

  4. JackNifed on June 15, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    CEO Steven D. Fredrickson at Portfolio Recovery Associates has special board meeting to pay him “bonuses” in order to bypass IRS laws.

    FORM 8-K
    June 4, 2010
    PORTFOLIO RECOVERY ASSOCIATES, INC.
    ANNUAL BONUS PLAN

    Portfolio Recovery Associates, Inc. (the “Company”), a Delaware corporation, hereby establishes and adopts the following Annual Bonus Plan (the “Plan”) to provide incentive awards that are intended to qualify as “performance-based compensation” within the meaning of Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
    1. PURPOSES OF THE PLAN
    The purposes of the Plan are to advance the interests of the Company and its stockholders and assist the Company in attracting and retaining executive officers of the Company and its Affiliates who, because of the extent of their responsibilities can make significant contributions to the Company’s success by their ability, industry, loyalty and exceptional services, by providing incentives and financial rewards to such executive officers.

    BONUS PLAN

    At the 2010 Annual Meeting, Company shareholders also approved the adoption of the Portfolio Recovery Associates, Inc. Annual Bonus Plan (the “Bonus Plan”), which was adopted by the Board on March 19, 2010, subject to shareholder approval.

    The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors (or a subcommittee thereof) will administer the Bonus Plan and, subject to the terms thereof, has the sole discretion to determine the amounts, terms and conditions of each award; however, the maximum amount payable to a participant in respect of any award under the Bonus Plan in any 12-month period is $2,000,000.

    The Company’s Chief Executive Officer Steven D. Fredrickson and any other executive officer of the Company or of any affiliate may be selected by the Compensation Committee to receive an award under the Bonus Plan for any year, and any such selection generally must occur prior to the expiration of 25% of the applicable “performance period” (i.e., the fiscal year or portion thereof that will be used for measuring actual performance).
    For each such performance period, the Compensation Committee will establish (a) the performance goals based on business and financial criteria and (b) a formula for calculating a participant’s award based on actual performance as compared to the pre-established performance goals. The Bonus Plan is designed so that the awards made thereunder will satisfy the requirements for “performance-based” compensation within the meaning of Code Section 162(m).

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  5. JackNifed on June 15, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    A Black Employee Complained He Was Underpaid By Portfolio Recovery Associates – So They Fired Him

    Former vice president Mark Johnson sued ex-employer Portfolio Recovery in October 2008, claiming PRA underpaid him because he is black, and then fired him when he complained. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia.

    Johnson joined Portfolio Recovery in 2003 as an assistant vice president, before being promoted to vice president. He alleged he earned just under $275,000 in compensation in 2006, while another vice president with similar job duties earned more than $900,000, according to the original complaint.

    Johnson was fired in April 2008. Portfolio Recovery said at the time that Johnson had violated a confidentiality agreement because he revealed information to an attorney. Johnson argued he was fired because he questioned the pay discrepancy.

    The Federal Trade Commission last month said Portfolio Recovery is one of nine companies the government agency ordered to turn over information about their purchasing and collection practices for an examination of the industry.

    A confidential settlement was reached between PRA and Johnson.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  6. JackNifed on June 16, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    PRA Talks To Investors LIVE BROADCAST!

    phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=135456&eventID=3165564

    Portfolio Recovery Associates to Present at William Blair Growth Stock Conference
    NORFOLK, VA, Jun 15, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) –Portfolio Recovery Associates, Inc. (NASDAQ: PRAA), a company that purchases, collects and manages portfolios of defaulted consumer receivables and provides a broad range of receivables management and payments processing services, announced today that Steve Fredrickson, CEO, Kevin Stevenson, CFO, and Neal Stern, COO – Owned Portfolios, will be making a presentation to the investment community at the William Blair Growth Stock Conference to be held in Chicago, IL on Wednesday, June 16, 2010. During the course of this event, Portfolio Recovery Associates may disclose material developments affecting its business and/or financial performance.

    A link to the live audio web cast of the presentation as well as the investor slide presentation will be provided on the Investor Relations page of Portfolio Recovery Associates’ website at portfoliorecovery.com, under Event Calendar. The link will be accessible at approximately 11:40 AM EDT on the day of the conference. The replay will be available immediately after the presentation is completed and will remain available for 30 days.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Jocelyn Colindres on July 7, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    Debt consolidation seems to be growing as a realistic option for individuals dealing with debt. I have been tracking the debt market rather closely and it is difficult to gauge what you are getting for the money. I am personally aware there are some debt settlement providers available in the market that provide great service and the clients really receive great benefit, but I am also aware there are a great number of debt settlement providers out in the market that are focused on collecting payments and enrolling new subscribers. This is probably why there is all this new fed regulation regarding the debt negotiation industry. My nephew worked with a debt business and seems to be very happy content with the result.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Brad Smith on July 11, 2010 at 1:30 AM

    Portfolio Debt Recovery is a zombie debt collector. They collect on very old and basically uncollectible debt. This debt is usually outside of the statute of limitations so they can’t do anything but call and harrass. They buy this debt for virtually pennies on the dollar (average is 0.03 cents on the dollar). So, if you have a debt of $500, they buy the debt for around $15 or even less. They buy this debt in huge lots of like 1 million accounts or so.

    Then they hound you in hopes that you will pay them to go away. Even if you pay them 1/3 of the amount (which, for the purposes of our example of a $500 debt would be $167) they still make a huge profit of around 1,000%! And it then becomes a numbers game. If only 10% of people pay they make over a 100% profit on their investment and that’s if they accept only 1/3 of the original amount.

    Many times this debt has changed hands and been resold manytimes so the information can get messed up. Then you can get wrong phone numbers, amounts owed, etc… Portfolio Debt Recovery doesn’t care and will call and keep calling even if its the wrong number, etc… until someone pays. This is illegal and if enough people complain to sites like ReportYourComplaint about it then something will be done about it.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  9. watlonia on August 21, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    My mother passed away a few years ago and Portfolio Recovery Associates keeps calling for her. I tell them that she died and even sent them a death certificate and yet they still keep calling.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  10. NeagLeanymn on August 23, 2010 at 8:08 AM

    Portfolio Recover Associates is a big collection agency that flouts the law in every state. They think they are too big and that they can get away with collection tactics that are both wrong and illegal. Put a stop to them by mailing a letter telling them you want no further contact from them. They legally then have to stop and will. Until you do this they will keep hounding you even if the debt is not yours.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

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