Portfolio Recovery Associates lawsuits can be intimidating and financially devastating. You need a debt defense attorney from Chicago Consumer Law Center, an experienced debt lawsuit defense law firm, on your side.
Being sued by a debt collector is an unpleasant experience. However, you do have rights as a consumer, and you need to know how to respond and when you can fight back with the support of a Chicago, Illinois debt collection lawyer that focuses on debt-collection lawsuits.
In our experience, most people have never heard of Portfolio Recovery Associates. They only learn of their existence after Portfolio Recovery Associates serves them with a lawsuit. Portfolio Recovery Associates, also referred to as PRA, has been in business since 1996. Since then, they have become one of the largest debt collection companies in the world.
What is Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA)?
PRA is a collection agency that purchases old debt from companies and tries to collect on them. Because the debt is old, they can buy it at extremely cheap rates in most cases. They then start collection calls to get the money as fast as possible to obtain the total amount of the debt plus interest and penalties.
Portfolio Recovery Associates knows that 90% of people won’t show up in court, and 8% of people enter into a payment plan (usually with terrible terms); their business model depends on it. Two percent of people hire an attorney, and most of these attorneys don’t know how to litigate a collection case.
If Portfolio Recovery Associates has served you with a lawsuit, you already know that they use aggressive debt collection tactics, including multiple daily calls, harassment, threats, and citations. It’s important to remember that under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collection companies such as Portfolio Recovery Associates cannot do the following while trying to collect a debt:
- Contact anyone who doesn’t own the debt
- Call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. unless you have permitted them to do so
- Cause your phone to ring for extended periods or make repeated phone calls
- Contact you at work if you have asked them not to
- Make false statements to collect the debt or misrepresent the amount you owe
- Make threats of harming your credit or wage garnishment
- Send collection letters that appear to be from a court or government office
- Threaten to arrest you if you do not pay the debt
- Threaten to take legal action against you
- Use obscene or profane language
Suppose a debt collection agency sued you for a debt. In that case, it’s natural to investigate your options, especially if you’re headed to Cook County Court against Portfolio Recovery Associates, a formidable opponent. Have you already received a lawsuit and court summons? Timing is of the essence, and it is critical to hire an experienced consumer law attorney to help guide you through the process.
Why Is My Debt Being Sold?
When you open a credit card, take out a loan or line of credit, or even generate a balance somewhere like a doctor’s office or hospital, that company will usually attempt to collect the debt from you in the short term. However, many of these companies have limited collection departments and sell the debts to debt buyers and collection agencies. These collection agencies are much more aggressive in their efforts to get the debt paid because their only purpose is to collect the debts they bought for pennies on the dollar.
Debt collection agencies then begin a campaign to get you to pay it, which can include letters, phone calls, and even illegal and harassing behavior. For example, many consumers don’t realize that a debt collection agency will sometimes sue someone for a debt after the statute of limitations, the time they’re allowed to sue for a debt, has expired. Since the agency stands to make enormous profits if they can even get you, or force you through a lawsuit, to pay, their methods are ruthless.
Debt collectors often use threats and claims of legal action to coerce a consumer to make payments or settle the debt, relying on the fact that most consumers might not be aware of their rights and will either ignore the collector or pay the debt just to get the collection efforts to stop.
Debtors have rights, and they can take legal action against debt collection agencies who cross the line, such as those telling you they are with the police department, calling you at work after you’ve asked them to stop, or lying about the amount of money you owe or its current status regarding the statute of limitations.
Don’t Deal with Portfolio Recovery Associates Alone
Portfolio Recovery Associates may contact you multiple times to encourage you to settle with them directly. However, this is not always in your best interest. Their representatives might try to convince you that this is your only avenue for resolution, but you deserve to know your rights and have a lawyer advise you about your options.
Hiring an attorney in Chicago, Illinois, to fight back can provide the legal support and experience you need to take on this powerful debt collection agency and increase your chances of winning a lawsuit. The Chicago Consumer Law Center knows how debt collection agencies like Portfolio Recovery Associates operate — and how it feels when a debt or credit dispute threatens you and your family’s future. If Portfolio Recovery Associates is pursuing you, our debt defense attorneys are here to help.
Contact Chicago Consumer Law Center, P.C.
Our law firm has a track record of protecting consumer rights and explaining your options to you when a company like Portfolio Recovery Associates takes you to court and before they get a default judgment against you. Although the earlier you contact us, the better, no matter where you are in the process, you deserve to know your rights and what to expect. Give us a call at (312) 858-3240 or complete the form on our website to schedule your free strategy session.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.