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Experience with Portfolio Recovery Associates?

New Member

Re: Experience with Portfolio Recovery Associates?

Okay so send them the DV and send certified return receipt? Hope it is worth the 15.00 I think it costs to send that way. Then what wait a month and go to the 3 reporting agencies and tell them to remove the old debt? Thanks

Message 51 of 111
Regular Contributor

Re: Experience with Portfolio Recovery Associates?

You could send them the dv but PRA will most likely ignore you.  There is no legal precedent where the consumer contacting the JDB is initial contact.    In Campbell v Credit Bureau systems the court said:


At one point in his pleadings, he seems to indicate that his certified letters constituted initial communications that placed upon the Defendants a duty to respond to him within five days. The clear language of § 1692g(a), however, is that an initial communication is sent by the debt collector, not by the debtor. The notifications to be sent are in the possession of the collector, not the debtor, so any other reading would be nonsensical. And, when a court interprets the FDCPA, its starting place should be the "language of the statute itself."Barany-Snyder v. Weiner, 539 F.3d 327, 332-33 (6th Cir.2008)(quoting Schroyer v. Frankel, 197 F.3d 1170, 1174 (6th Cir.1999)). The statute clearly places the burden of sending an initial communication on the debt collector, not the debtor.



This was kind of a messed up case where the debtor was in prison and there was some confusion with the mail.  However, the 6th district has decided that the FDCPA clearly states that the debtor cannot initiate initial communication.  That's why I say that you can try to send for dv before the JDB contacts you but they probably will ignore you.


What you definately should do is dispute the debt because this is something you can ask for and the JDB would be required to list their tl as disputed.  Some JDBs don't list a tl and that's why you should dispute the debt to the OC to cover all your bases. 


You would not need to send the dispute certified to the OC.  There is no time limit and you can send another letter if they don't respond.  They likely will on the first letter but if they don't then send a certified letter.


I would send the dispute to the JDB certified.  I would always send any letter to a JDB certified.  You could send for dv also but this is kind of putting the horse in front of the cart.  The JDB has to tell you about your dv rights before you can ask for them and the JDB is then obligated to send dv.  Your dispute, depending upon subsequent events, could intiate initial communication where the JDB feels obligated to send you your dv rights but it is more likely that they will simply ignore you. 


You might try something a little different with the JDB.  Just make a simple contact to tell them that you understand that they now own your debt and that you'd like to talk to them.  If you ask for dv before they are obligated to send it to you then they may just put your file in the dead zone and never contact you.  There are many other easier fish to catch than an informed consumer.


Or, you could just simply wait because PRA will be contacting you, especially with a debt of 11k.  I would still dispute the debt to the OC. 


Trade lines are not removed from a cr unless the data furnisher does not respond to a dispute you have sent to the CRAs.  This is a separate issue past the dispute to the JDB or OC. 


Message 52 of 111
New Member

Re: Experience with Portfolio Recovery Associates?

Okay Im really confused. I called them acted real nice ouch to get info about what I owe to who I owed and when they told me the 3 accounts I let them know these were back in the early 90's and guess what he told me yes they were "rather old" and launched into how's he could make a payment plan and I stopped him and told him I wanted sent to me when they were opened, how much at time of collection and when it was stopped paying on. He told me he couldn't get me that and I said how can you report to the cb when you can't supply me and they are so old and he told me they are not being reported at all but that since they are owed they are required to collect. okay confused here how can they send letters, call you yet not be reporting it to the 3 agencies and if they were over 10 yr old to boot? So what is my next move? I am going to request the 3 reports now but if I don't see them what do I do to stop the mail and calls? Thanks

Message 53 of 111
Regular Contributor

Re: Experience with Portfolio Recovery Associates?

You can always send them a certified C&D letter.  You probably won't hear from them again.  If you do then you have clear FDCPA violations and can sue them. 


However, since you have talked with them about the debt you may have initiated initial communication.  Yes, you called them but they responded.  If it was by cell phone then take a picture of your calls then keep a copy of your cell phone bill when you get it.  Wait a couple of weeks to see if they send you your dv rights.  If they don't then you have a FDCPA violation.  You can then sue. 


You should get your credit reports from the Big 3 and see what's listed.  The accounts can be over 10 years old and still be on your cr because they probably did not become delinquent until about 7 years ago.  I forget how they list the last delinquency but it's something like Date of last Delinquency, or Date of Major Delinquency.  You'll find it.  Since the debt is legitimate you probably know when you stopped making payments.  That is where the clock starts ticking for the 7 1/2 years.

Message 54 of 111
New Member

Re: Experience with Portfolio Recovery Associates?

Thank you will do the C&D letter once I figure out how to word it. Also yes it was via cell phone. They had sent me letters so wouldn't that make them the ones that did 1st contact? I was just trying to fish for info on the names of the accounts in question and dollar amounts. So I just do a C&D and not a letter asking dates and such of debts? Yes I am going to get my reports but why would they if opened in 1992 and stopped paying in 1995 been reported 7 years later I thought they get reported as soon as last payment is sent and no more was sent after it? Can a cc wait 7 years to report it? Thanks

Message 55 of 111
Regular Contributor

Re: Experience with Portfolio Recovery Associates?

If you stopped paying in 1995 then those accounts should not be on your cr.


I did not know that PRA had already sent you letters.  I was going from the premise that you had recently called the OC and the OC said that they had sold the debt to PRA.


If PRA has sent you letters then your time to dv has long passed.  You can still dispute the debt.  Refusing to pay triggers a C&D. 


You may have some TCPA violations if PRA has been contacting you on your cell phone. 

Message 56 of 111

Re: Experience with Portfolio Recovery Associates?

Looks like right after I decided to post about contacting them I got their initial contact.

First a letter in the mail, then a phone call.

Both sounded polite, the phone call caught me off guard, she identified herself, said "looks like you paid your account in good standing up until April last year... what happened?" - I did not talk about the account, assume any ownership, and just said "uhhh..." and tried to make it sound like my phone died.

Attached is the letter saying they own the debt, and the other saying they sold it.

So it looks like they officially DO own it. I should still send a DV, right? Because if they don't answer it in time, they forfeit their claim? and/or it makes them realize I am not just a pushover?

I also have to reply to them within 30 days or I forfeit my right to dispute, and the clock has been counting now for a bit...

PRA saying they own it now (click for larger version):

Cardmember services saying they sold it (click for larger version):
Message 57 of 111
Regular Contributor

Re: Experience with Portfolio Recovery Associates?

You should always send for DV.  It's simple, does not require a lot of legal mumbo jumbo and prevents the collector from continuing any collction activities until they do return DV.  They won't forfeit their claim if they don't respond but they can no longer assume that the debt is valid. 


The US Bank paper is a form letter.  I don't see a date on the letter which would indicate when the debt was sold.  If this thing gets into for you, I would attack the form letter as hearsay.  No dates or signatures or amounts owed.  I'm assuming that the account number and your name were correct but there is no way to tell if the debt is yours.  It certainly is not validation and I would not accept it as such until they come up with the contract and an affidavit from US Bank with a signature.  Sure they got your name and number right but the amount owed should have been on the form letter along with a date and signature by someone who would stand behind the form letter.


You have 30 day after you receive their dunning letter to ask for DV otherwise you forever give up your right to DV.  Send it now and send it certified. 



Message 58 of 111

Re: Experience with Portfolio Recovery Associates?

Thank you Smiley Happy The US bank letter does include the last 4 of the account number, and the transition date, it's just inside of the redacted stuff (for privacy) I will send the DV though anyway. I will probably be back to the forums when I get a reply... Smiley Tongue
Message 59 of 111
Regular Contributor

Re: Experience with Portfolio Recovery Associates?

On my experience with PRA, I asked for dv, and they sent a last statement.  I wrote them back and told them that a last statement was not dv.  They sued. I filed a C&D with their collection attorney but they still kept contacting me via their attorney during the proceedings. The case was eventually dismissed because PRA would not produce assignment of the debt.  I think they have a lot of luck with lawsuit intimidation where the debtors are scared into making a settlement.


PRA is one of those JDBs which are not intimidated by a request for dv.  They may try to send you another copy of the form letter from US Bank but that won't work for at least two reasons.  (1) There is no amount owed  (2) PRA did not send to US Bank for validation after you requested dv.  Collectors cannot use what they already have for validation.  The must actually send to the OC to verify that the amount they are trying to collect is the right amount.   


Once you tell PRA that their dv is not dv, expect PRA to send the debt to their collection attorney.  The attorney will also send you a dunning letter with the same validation rights.  The attorney will most likely send more garbage, maybe the same form letter.  Once you tell the attorney that their dv is not dv expect the attorney to sue. You'll win because they won't pay for verification from the OC. 


You should start working on your counter claims and you may come away with some money.  Once you file counter claims PRA can dismiss their case against you but your counter claims must still be heard.

Message 60 of 111