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Portfolio Recovery Scumbags

Established Contributor

Portfolio Recovery Scumbags

I suddely received a couple strange phone calls that I was able to trace back to Portfolio Recovery, so I decided to call them back today.  Unfortunately, my phone does not have a record function, but I decided to bluff anyway hoping to keep them a little more honest.  When I got someone on the phone, I told him that I was recording the call.  He said that if I was recording the call, he would have to disconnect it, so I said "fine, just send me a letter then" and hung up.  Right after hanging up, I got angry and called back because they obviously are well aware of what scum they are if they won't even talk if they know they are being recorded.  I know I don't have any valid debts that are within SOL, so I knew that I have the leverage, so I called back again.  I told the next representative I talked to about my first call and she said "you don't need to worry about recording the call because we follow the law here".  I of course asked why there was a problem with me recording it then if that was true and she said she didn't know since she wasn't  the representative that said that.


Anyway, she told me what debt they were trying to collect.  I am very familiar with this one as they are now the 3rd different CA to try to collect this one.  The problem is that it is not even mine AND it is past SOL anyway.  So, I told her to send me a dunning letter and that I would respond to that dunning letter with a cease and desist letter of my own.  I also told her that they are not to call me again (especially since one of the calls they tried making to me was on Friday on my office phone).  She said that they would not stop calling until they received notice in writing.  I said I will send it in writing, but in the meantime, I am telling them verbally.  She said that they don't have to listen to verbal request because the law states that only WRITTEN notices are valid. 


Is that really true?  I know standard procedure is to put it in writing, which I will definitely do, but I always assumed that was just for the sake of having proof that you told them to stop calling.  Are they really legally allowed to ignore verbal requests?  I really wish I actually had been able to record that call.


Also, she asked if I needed their mailing address, and I said that they need to send me a dunning letter and I will send an official response to that letter and that I will get the address from their letter.   Her response to that was that it was my responsibility to send them a letter and that they didn't need to send me anything.  Again she said that was the law and I told her that I obviously know the law better than she doesn then... so she hung up on me.  I have not received ANY written communication from them, and I know the law states that they have to send me something in the mail now that they have established communication with me--especially since I specifically requested it (someone can correct me if I am wrong here, of course).


I can't believe how much these people can irritate me.  At least I do have the satisfaction of knowing that at least I had enough leverage to get them to hang up on me for once instead of the other way around.

Message 1 of 5
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: Portfolio Recovery Scumbags

The statute:



If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communications with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to the debt.......


As for dunning notice, yes, FDCPA 809(a) requires that they send dunning notice within 5 days of any initial communication with you.

If they have not, then it is an FDCPA violation.  But enforcement of FDCPA violations is essentially toothless.  You can complain or file civil action.....

However, this could work to your advantage. 

Not having sent dunning notice, you have no 30 day period running against you for submitting a DV.

A timely DV is actually more powerful in restricting their collection activities than a cease communication letter.  It puts them under a total cease collection bar until such time as they provide the verification.  Thus, you might consider use of a DV to obtain the cease collection bar, and reserve the less restrictive cease communication letter until such time as they have provided debt verification.  Then you at least have debt verification.



Message 2 of 5
Established Contributor

Re: Portfolio Recovery Scumbags

Thank for your reply, Robert.  I guess I learned something new today.  I always thought verbal notice was enough to get them to stop calling and that the purpose of putting it in writing was just so you have proof that you gave them notice (as well all know, any verbal communication is difficult to prove).


I am not too worried about this one since I know there is nothing the can do because the debt is not mine and, based on the "verifications" I have seen on this same account from other CAs, both SOL and CRTP have been reached.  This debt has been passed around like a hot potato from CA to CA.  I am just particularly annoyed this time because the first communication I received from them was a voicemail on my office phone at work.  In order for someone to get to my office phone voicemail, they have to talk to at least one of my coworkers in order to get transferred there from the main company phone line.  And, when anyone calls, their company name shows up on the caller ID of every phone in the building, so everyone knows who the call is coming from.  That is the main thing that prompted me to call them immediately instead of just sending a letter.  I then got extra annoyed with them when the first representative said they were not allowed to talk if I was recording the call.

Message 3 of 5
New Contributor

Re: Portfolio Recovery Scumbags

I then got extra annoyed with them when the first representative said they were not allowed to talk if I was recording the call.


What if you live in a state that allows you to record calls as long as one party is aware of it (ie: I know I'm recording, so it's ok, but I can't record my husband on the phone with someone else if he doesnt know).  I live in Vermont, and that is the law here.


You may want to check recording laws in your state.  

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Message 4 of 5
Valued Member

Re: Portfolio Recovery Scumbags

It is true that you do need to put a C&D in writing, however a collection company can not call you on a date or at a time they know to be inconvienient to you. So, if you let them know that communicating with them by phone is inconvinent to you... then there you go, but unless you record it.... good luck proving it. No collector would document that and I can almost assure you she did not document your verbal C&D.

Message 5 of 5