In this article we gonna see how to remove Protfolio Recovery From Your Credit Report
Who is Portfolio Recovery Associates?
Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC (PRA, LLC) is one of the United States’ largest debt collection agencies. The company was founded in May of 1996 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, but it is currently located in Norfolk, Virginia.
Kevin Stevenson and Steven Fredrickson founded the company together, and Stevenson currently holds the title of CEO and President.
PRA purchases bulk debt—medical debt, overdue loans, past due utility bills, unpaid tuition, etc.—at a discount from banks and creditors. Then, PRA contacts the borrower to collect payment.
You should also know that Portfolio Recovery Associates doesn’t have the most reputable history as a debt collection agency.
In 2014, New York State’s Attorney General won a settlement against Portfolio Recovery Associates for improperly collecting debt from consumers in New York. This was one of several actions taken against PRA for improper practices in recent years.
Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?
When a company you’ve never heard of appears on your credit report, it’s natural to wonder if they’re real or a scam.
Portfolio Recovery Associates is a legitimate collection agency. However, that doesn’t mean the debt they’re collecting from you is 100% legit or that their practices are 100% proper.
Since PRA buys debt in bulk, mistakes can happen, and Portfolio Recovery Associates might not be able to prove that you owe anything.
Before making any payment to PRA, you must verify the alleged debt. If not, you could end up accidentally paying money you don’t owe.
How Portfolio Recovery Associates Works
Portfolio Recovery buys multiple accounts with old debt from companies that have given up and “charged off” the accounts.
In other words, when the original creditor has been unsuccessful in collecting on a debt, it will write off the debt as a loss. This is called a charge off.
Companies can still make a small amount of money by selling off their old debt to third-party collection agencies.
This is where Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, comes into the picture.
Portfolio Recovery will buy old debt for pennies on the dollar. By purchasing old debt, Portfolio Recovery becomes the debt collector, gambling that it can collect on the debt and make a profit.
Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC, is not a scam. If you’re hearing from this Norfolk, Virginia-based collection agency, you owe the agency money, and it has a strong incentive to collect on your debt.
How to Remove Portfolio Recovery from a Credit Report
When you owe Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC money, your account will also be reported to the three credit reporting agencies.
Having a debt collection company on your credit report could pull down your credit score by as much as 100 points — if you had excellent credit to begin with. Borrowing money will become more difficult.
1. Prepare Yourself for the Task at Hand
Taking on a debt collection agency is far from the easiest financial endeavor you will ever engage in. The problem is that collection agencies are professional debt collectors.
Not only do they know the law — and exactly what they can get away with — but their years of experience have shown them how far they can push a consumer to get them to pay.
You’ll need to be fully prepared for that onslaught from the first robocall blowing up your cell phone or correspondence you receive.
The number one strategy is knowing your rights under federal law. That refers to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which has been designed specifically to provide consumer protections against debt collectors. You can learn all about the basic provisions of the law by familiarizing yourself with the Debt Collection FAQs provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
When you first make contact with Portfolio Recovery, be sure to reference the Act, and even one or two provisions of the law. That lets the collection agency know you’re aware of your rights. And that will keep your exchanges more civilized.
The next step in the preparation phase is to get a recent copy of your credit report. You can get a free copy of your credit report from all three credit bureaus from an online company, AnnualCreditReport.com. They’re the only source officially authorized to provide you with a copy of your credit report from all three bureaus. What’s more, the reports are free of charge under federal law.
Once you get a copy of your credit reports, trace the Portfolio Recovery debt to any other obligations you may have owed in the past. If nothing matches up, the debt may be a mistake. More on that in just a bit.
2. Require Portfolio Recovery to Validate the Debt
A collection agency like Portfolio Recovery — that buys past-due debts in bulk — often receives inaccurate information on each debtor. That may include you. Oftentimes, it’s a matter of mistaken identity. Someone with a similar name or Social Security number is the actual debtor, but your name is erroneously associated with the account.
At a minimum, every debt collection agency is required to provide you with a debt verification also known as debt validation. That’s a listing of the original creditor, the amount owed, the dates of the obligation, and any other relevant information.
You must demand they supply you with this verification of a valid debt. If they can’t, or if the information provided is in error, they must stop pursuing you and correct any negative information they reported to the credit bureaus.
There’s an important detail in dealing with debt collection agencies that you must understand and accept as a bedrock reality. Also keep in mind you have 30 days from the first time they contacted you to demand validation. After that, it can become tricky disputing anything but not impossible. All communication with a debt collector must be in writing.
There are two reasons for this:
- The written correspondence provides you with a paper trail that you can use as evidence against the agency, and
- Collection agencies may make verbal promises, but they’re not required or likely to keep them.
3. What to do if the Debt Isn’t Yours
If Portfolio Recovery fails to prove a collection is legitimately yours, demand that they remove the negative information from your credit report and stop contacting you.
But first, you’ll need to get them to send you a letter acknowledging that the debt is not yours. That will help your cause if you need to go directly to the credit bureaus to have negative information deleted.
However, if Portfolio Recovery can’t verify that the debt is legitimately yours, and they refuse to send you a letter to acknowledge as much, you can open a dispute with the three credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
They are legally required to open an investigation within 30 days of receiving your request. If upon contacting Portfolio Recovery, the company is unable to fully verify the debt, the credit bureaus will be legally required to delete the entry from your credit report.
4. What to do if the Debt Is Yours
If, after doing your own investigating or having the debt fully verified by Portfolio Recovery, it turns out to be a legitimate obligation, you’ll have two choices: pay the debt in full, or make a settlement for a reduced amount in satisfaction of the full balance, whether in a lump sum or payment plan.
The one reality you have working in your favor is that Portfolio Recovery wants to get paid on the collection. For that reason, they may accept less than the full amount in complete satisfaction of the debt. And that should be your first offer.
Offer to fully satisfy the collection for no more than 50% of the full amount due. This is much easier to do on very old debts, since they are likely to fall off your credit report after seven years.
When you make your first offer, Portfolio Recovery will counter with a higher amount. Hopefully, you’ll meet somewhere in the middle between your initial offer and the full amount of the debt.
Whatever Portfolio Recovery agrees to accept, be sure to get the agreement in writing before sending any money. The letter should specifically indicate that Portfolio Recovery is accepting XX% or $XX in full settlement of the collection balance.
If you fail to get this confirmed in writing, Portfolio Recovery will accept your partial payment, then continue to pursue you for the full balance.
It’s not fair, but it’s the way collection agencies work.
Having the Collection Account Deleted from Your Credit Report Using “Pay-for-Delete”
This is a tactic you can attempt, though there’s no guarantee it will work. Pay-for-delete is where you make an offer to the collection agency to pay off the debt in exchange for removing the entry from your credit reports completely.
Some collection agencies will agree to do this, but it’s not certain if Portfolio Recovery is one of them, or if they will do it in all circumstances. But it never hurts to ask.
Here’s the problem: they may agree to delete the information from your credit report, but not follow through.
If they don’t, you have no recourse — legal or otherwise.
That’s because pay-for-delete is not a legally recognized process. Creditors and credit collection agencies are required to report negative credit information. They can’t simply delete negative information unless it’s proven to not belong to you.
Though the collection agency may agree to delete the negative information, it may not happen.
There’s another important piece of information you need to know: even if you do pay off a collection, it will remain on your credit report for seven years from the time the account first became delinquent.
Still, a paid collection is always better on a credit report than an open one. And by paying it off or settling the account, your credit score may take a small bump up.
5. Getting Legal Help if Portfolio Recovery Associates Gets Ugly
It is possible that despite your best efforts and good intentions, Portfolio Recovery refuses to settle with you.
Or worse, they threaten to pursue a judgment against you. If that’s the case, you’ll need to get legal representation.
Especially if the statute of limitations set by your state is nearly over or past.
Fortunately, there are law firms available that specialize in consumer credit issues. One of the best in the industry is Lexington Law.
If the loan amount in question is large, or if the entry on your credit report is particularly damaging, you may need to engage the services of an attorney to level the playing field with Portfolio Recovery.
Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC Contact Information
Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC
120 Corporate Boulevard
Norfolk, Virginia 23502
Toll-Free Customer Service Line: (800) 772-1413
Customer Support Email: [email protected]
Portfolio Recovery Associates FAQs
Who is Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC (PRA, LLC)?
Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC (PRA, LLC) was founded in 1996 and is one of the nation’s largest debt collectors. Our core principles include:
- Fair and respectful treatment of our customers
- Affordable plans and comfortable payment options
- Consumer-friendly policies
Working with our customers throughout the United States, we’ve successfully helped millions of people resolve their debt with us.
How did Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC (PRA) get my account?
If you’ve been contacted by us it’s because your original creditor sold us your account, and we now own your debt. We think this is good news as we are setup to work with people in resolving their debt.
I received a call or letter from PRA, LLC. What do I do?
If you received a phone call or letter from us, please reach out to us. The sooner you do, the sooner we can help. The more we know about your situation, the more we can help you. Have you lost your job? Have you had unexpected medical bills? Once we understand the issues you may have experienced, we can help you work out comfortable terms for repayment.
How do I make a payment to Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC?
We offer a variety of options to make payment as easy and convenient as possible.
Online: Make a payment and view your account information from your computer or mobile device anytime at PRApay.
By Phone: Call an Account Representative toll-free at 1-800-772-1413 during our hours of operation:
- Monday–Friday 8am–11pm ET
- Saturday 8am–8pm ET
- Sunday 11am–10pm ET
By Mail: You may send checks and payments to:Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC
PO Box 12914
Norfolk, VA 23541
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