Sued by Portfolio Recovery Associates? Here's what you need to know:
Updated: Dec 31, 2019
Did you just get a letter in the mail notifying you that have or may have been sued by Portfolio Recovery Associates? Don’t know who Portfolio Recovery Associates is?
There’s a good chance you don’t recognize Portfolio Recovery Associates as one of your creditors. This is because Portfolio Recovery Associates is not a bank or an issuer of credit. Rather they are a debt buyer company that purchases “charged off” accounts from various creditors. “Charged off” means that the original creditor has given up on being repaid according to the original terms of the loan and now considers your account to be “bad debt.”
This does not mean, however, that you no longer owe the amount that has yet to be paid. Companies such as Portfolio Recover Associates purchase your “charged off” debt for less than what is owed and then try to sue you (the debtor) for the full amount, plus fees and interest.
Before they sue you, Portfolio Recovery Associates may try to collect the debt by sending you letters or calling you. It is important that you know your rights when debt collectors are coming after you for money.
Respond to the Lawsuit!
The single biggest mistake consumers make when being sued by a credit card company or a collection agency is ignore the lawsuit and hope that the creditor forgets. THIS RARELY, if ever, happens. If they’ve already spent the time and money initiating a lawsuit against you, it is VERY UNLIKELY that they will then forget to collect the money from you.
If you are sued by Portfolio Recovery Associates, you will likely receive a summons and a complaint from the lawyers representing Portfolio Recovery Associates. On the summons and complaint, there will be a date stamped on the document by which you must file a response with the court. DO NOT IGNORE the date. If you ignore the date and the court action altogether, the judge will assume the debt is yours. From there, Portfolio Recovery Associates can enter a default judgment against you which allows them to collect the amount of money they sued you for, plus interest, by garnishing your wages, placing a lien against your property, freezing the funds in your bank account, or garnishing the funds in your bank account.
Force Portfolio Recovery Associates to Prove you Owe Them Money
Often times debt buyers such as Portfolio Recovery Associates have inaccurate information and sue anyway. Especially if you have a common name or if any family members share the same or similar name, it is more of an incentive for Portfolio Recovery Associates to file the lawsuit first and then hope to figure out the accuracy after the fact. If you never make them prove it isn’t you, the judge will assume it is you and you will owe the full amount they’re asking.
Negotiate A Settlement with Portfolio Recovery Associates
If you’re interest in negotiating a settlement with Portfolio Recovery Associates after a lawsuit has been filed, it is best to reach out to a skilled Debt Relief Attorney as early as possible. Generally, once the lawsuit has been filed, it is more difficult for you as the consumer/debtor to negotiate a settlement on your own. For starters, it’s extremely difficult to get someone on the phone. Secondly, if you do get a debt collector on the phone, any offer you make to them will be on a recorded line and will alter your bargaining power in the negotiation. Lastly, an attorney will not speak with you directly. It will be a debt collector who likely is trying to make a commission on your debt and will fight to make you pay more than you should.
When you have an attorney negotiate on your behalf, your chances of negotiating a better settlement where you pay less than what you owe, is much greater. An attorney can also carefully review all of your information to make sure you aren’t paying debt that you don’t actually owe.
Call the Debt Relief Attorneys at RC Legal Group today for a free case evaluation!
858-800-2458 or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org