• Report: #262768
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Mon, July 23, 2007
  • Updated: Sun, August 05, 2012

  • Reported By:lakewood Colorado
Riverside Commerce Center, 120 Coporate Blvd. Norfolk, Virginia U.S.A.

PORTFOLIO RECOVERY ASSOCIATES Debt settled and released for over 2 years/PRA continues to report as unpaid debt Norfolk Virginia

*Consumer Comment: PRA are the absolute bottom feeders of the debt collection industry

*Consumer Suggestion: Suggestion

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PRA delivered, via curior on a sunday morning, a summons for a debt that I ha d previously tried to settle with MBNA. At one time with the original debtor, I had an arrangement and owed less than 2K. Despite my best efforts, my contract job ended prematurely and i failed to fulfill to MBNA. Arrangement Ended and Penalties, Late Fees, Over the Limit Fees Accrued. My debt ballooned to 9750. (please note, i had made many payments ,prior to all of this, but the debt only seemed to increase)

A very difficult period followed and I pleaded with MBNA to work with me but they insisted upon 1000+ payments and I didn't have to means to comply. MBNA charged off...PRA bought it and quickly increased the debt to 11,000K+. So they sued me. Fearful of what could happen, I managed to hire a Lawyer.

After paying 1200+ in legal fees, he reached a settlement with the Sawaya Law Firm, representing PRA, for 7866. By this time, PRA had manufactured my debt to be well beyond 13,000K. The 'settlement' terms were agreed upon. I paid with a Cashier's Check, in person, to the Sawaya Rose Law Firm, in downtown Denver. I never spoke with the Lawyer, Mr. Rose, even though i arrived in person to pay a significant settlement.

Instead, they sent out an intern who gave me a cheap handwritten receipt stub. Shortly thereafter, I got a release form which i signed and mailed to Confirm that the payment was received, fully settled, and released. I called both PRA and the Sawaya Law Firm and experienced a frustrating lack of concern or acknowledgement.

Both entities were disinterested, uncooperative, and particularly non-committal in terms of providing me with a piece of mind that I had fulfilled my obligations to PRA. PRA conveniently passed responsibility to Sawaya. And Sawaya conveniently passed the responsibility back to PRA. This was January 2005.

Today, my credit report shows an UNPAID debt to PRA for well over 6000K. This is absolutely false. Additionally, MBNA continues to report (twice) the (9750) original debt. I don't know why. More important, I don't understand how PRA can do this without regard or consequence. My family and I suffered through this in agonizing ways. We sacrificed what we had and did our best to reach, what i understood was an amicable agreement. What I now know, based upon their own mission statement (if you can call it that), it PRA still made a very considerable profit on what I paid to them.

As they says, they buy debts for 'PENNIES on the DOLLAR' and proceed to make exhorbitantly high profits. I feel strongly that the majority of these people (victims) are normal, everyday people like myself that have experienced some misfortune, for whatever reason.

In this case, PRA was very agressive, extremely impersonal, and even moreso cavalier at having ravaged yet another 'debtor' with whatever means they felt necessary. So even today, it is as if I am still in debt to them. Can they not be held accountable for their actions, or more specifically in my case, willful inactions?

Their practices may be legal but, if so, they are scraping down to the bare minimum and it's definately unethical, at best. I would feel no remorse whatsoever in joining together in a Class Action case against them. My debt has long since paid but they are still causing a great deal of stress, uncertainty, and anguish directly to my family. I no longer have debt, except a mortgage, but my credit continues to look shabby, primarily because of PRA.

lakewood, Colorado

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/23/2007 09:56 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/portfolio-recovery-associates/norfolk-virginia-23502/portfolio-recovery-associates-debt-settled-and-released-for-over-2-yearspra-continues-to-262768. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

PRA are the absolute bottom feeders of the debt collection industry

AUTHOR: Steve in NY - (United States of America)

I also have a suggestion for people who may encounter and attempt to collect debt from Portfolio Recovery Associates.

Avoid personally dealing with these scum over the telephone.   The will not honor anything they say or tell you on the phone so you are only going to end up regretting it.   They want you to admit in some way shape of form that the debt is legitimate.    They will also try to get your personal information.  If you are not even the person they are looking for I would never want to give my personal information to anyone over the telephone. 

If you actually end up engaging them on the phone never agree to pay anything over the phone.  They will try to get you to give them an instant payment by either credit card or bank debit.  They are notorious for telling you they are going to process a modest or small payment and then will try to drain your account for the "full" amount they are after.   They will threaten you with anything and everything to get you to pay now - don't relent as you will regret it.

Avoid getting their calls or voice mails in the 1st place.   If you have a landline phone get one of the blocker / out of service solutions that can easily be found on the internet.  For Smartphone's there are apps that will pickup and hangup on "blacklisted" numbers.  They work very well.  This way they won't disturb you when their computers auto-dial you.

If the alleged debt has passed SOL don't even respond to items in the mail.  There is no reason to send a DV and if you do they will be inclined to send you a 1099C for the "forgiven debt."  You will then have to deal with the IRS.  If a certified letter comes you legally don't have to sign for it so I would refuse it.

If you have already done any of the above save all correspondence and make sure all future correspondence is in writing and using certified / RR Mail.  This denial and requests for legal information to verify that the alleged debt is yours and valid under  the law will be needed in court or with the IRS.   These clowns are the kings of the 1099C tactic and with the IRS your are guilty until you prove yourself innocent. 

If the alleged debt is not out of SOL and may be newer debt you are better off negotiating with the original creditor instead of PRA.  Pull your credit report to see if the alleged debt has been "charged off" by the OC and if not you may be able to settle with the OC for pennies on the dollar and many will take a payment plan, forgive interest, late charges and other fees that PRA will try to go after you for.

Regardless of any decision you make and especially if making payment arrangements make sure to get whatever "deal" you are looking for in writing.  I have helped people even negotiate as part of the settlement that the OC removes the delinquency from all of your credit reports and reports them as "paid as agreed" and "account closed by consumer."  You also want the OC to acknowledge in writing that as part of the deal that the account will be "paid in full"  The OC just wants the money and negotiating for items that cost them virtually nothing are the easiest concessions to get.  PRA will not make any of these deals and if they "say" they are willing to make one they have reneged on those deals once they get you to admit liability for the alleged debt.

Lastly - share your experience with Debt Collectors and OC's here on Ripoff Report; both successes and failures.  We all learn from each other only when we share.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion


AUTHOR: Ron - (U.S.A.)

I have a suggestion for all the people suffering from this and other credit companies harassing people, justified or not.

Call Dave Ramsey or Clark Howard. They are consumer advocates, both with radio programs that have helped many.

Their websites are: www.daveramsey.com

I hope this helps someone.
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