My first experience with this agency was when my husband and I went to refinance our house. We decided to pull our credit just to see what it looked like so that we could shop our options with different banks. It was then when we found on BOTH of our credit bureau reports Portfolio Recovery Associates stating that we had an account in which we owed $253 on that was reported as delinquent as of 10/2003. Well, our first step was to send a debt validation letter to Portfolio Recovery Associates, and let me say they were really easy to find because of their "stellar" reputation... and then notification to all three credit bureaus in regards to our request that they investigate into this negative information placed on our account.
In our first communication with Portfolio Recovery Associates, we mentioned that my husband was an active duty service member. This was because should they pursue this to any given length, we do have protections in place and access to attorneys who love to deal with scumbags like this. Well, this changed things a little, called they left the hit on all three credit bureaus in my husband's case, and have decided to pursue me alone ( a civilian) by mail and phone instead. Well we got the following back...that this "debt" that they were attempting to collect was apparently owed to Virginia Dominion Power. They are the electric company in the State of Virginia for the most part. We were stationed in Virginia until 2003. I Googled the power company and called them. Not only did they tell me that they have no records of us owing them anything, that they could not collect on an account that old, that it would have been written off. It was explained to me that it was why they asked for deposits when you have the utility turned on, as they have many active duty military subscribers,especially in Virginia, who often have to change duty stations and leave without forwarding addresses. That we very well may have once owed this as a final bill, but since it was 6 years ago (SOL in Virginia is 3 years from the last payment or last charge for goods or services rendered on the account) they cannot pursue collections on it.
I gave this information to Portfolio Recovery Associates in writing. They sent me back a form to file an identity theft affidavit (With their name on the top of it.) I sent back correspondence stating that this is not a matter of identity theft, and that I would not willingly commit fraud. This form wanted the following ( in which I laughed at)...because to me all this is doing is phishing me for information which they do not need...My date of birth, my social security number, my driver's license # and state,my current address, my phone number and that at my place of employment, etc, attach photocopies of all these documents, have the paper notarized and mail it to them...no mention of filing it with your local police department, banks, credit card issuers, which is what you are supposed to do if you have an identity theft issue.
To date...Portfolio Recovery Associates has...sent us three forms to fill out and send to them regarding identity theft, a letter telling us that our requests to remove this hit on our credit bureaus "frivolous" and "irrelevant", and the credit bureaus are saying that this hit "stays" as in the agency reporting it (Portfolio Recovery Associates) states that it is a valid delinquent claim, although Equifax reports state that the date of delinquency was 10/2003. Portfolio Recovery Associates bought this "junk" in May 2008. I otherwise have perfect credit. I have even sent correspondence to the Virginia Attorney General, and a C & D to Portfolio. How do I get them to remove this garbage from my credit bureau??? AFNI tried doing this to me with a bogus Fingerhut Account and I went through the same process, and AFNI did remove their false claim from the credit bureaus after my pursuing them. Do we no longer have protections as consumers?