These are the steps that you need to take and DOCUMENT against Portfolio Recovery Associates: Make all communications with them in writing. If you do have to talk to someone, get a name, ID number and title. They will not want to give it out, but demand it. If you get a recorded message from them, SAVE it. You will need it. Write to them certified mail only. Save a copy of what you send them. Save your postage receipt and green postcard that they sign.
In the letter, tell them that this is in dispute and that they need to provide you with a statement from the original debtor and a list of transactions. Also tell them that they can no longer call you at this number. Next, call your local BBB and file an official, written complain with them. Save a copy. Next call your Attorney General Office of Consumer Protection and file a written complaint.
Call your local CONGRESSMAN and let his office know what is going on. Send them all your documentation. If they send you a 1099:C form, get IRS form 3949A and report them. You will have to pay taxes on the written off debt, but with all this documentation, you will then be able to take them to small claims court. You can sue for three times what is on the 1099:C. Credit card debt expires in three to seven years in most states, so they cannot legally collect it, nor will they be able to provide any supporting documentation about your account.
If this shows up on your credit report, dispute it with the reporting service. Check all three of the reporting agencies, they use the sleaziest one. Check out www.budhibbs.com and find a lawyer in your area to sue the in court. Do not quit, do not give up. They are bottom feeders and need to pay. I am working on getting a class action suit against them, so stay tuned. I'll report it here WHEN it happens.