Have you recently received a call from Portfolio Recovery and wondered, “Why is Portfolio Recovery calling me?” If so, you’re not alone. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC (PRA) is one of the largest debt collection companies in the U.S., and it can be unsettling to find them on your caller ID. This article aims to demystify the reasons behind their calls and help you navigate your next steps.
1. Understanding Portfolio Recovery Associates
Portfolio Recovery Associates is a debt collection agency that specializes in purchasing old debts from creditors. Once they acquire these debts, they aim to recover as much of the owed amount as possible from the debtors.
2. Why They Might Be Calling
- Old Debts: One of the primary reasons PRA might contact you is about a debt you owed in the past. This could be anything from an unpaid credit card balance to a defaulted loan. Even if your original creditor stopped contacting you, it doesn’t mean the debt has vanished.
- Misidentification: Sometimes, PRA may have outdated or incorrect information. In such cases, they might mistakenly contact someone who doesn’t owe any debt.
3. How to Handle the Call
- Stay Calm: Remember, it’s just a phone call. Keep your composure and be ready to gather information.
- Verify the Debt: Before acknowledging any debt, ask for written proof. PRA is legally obliged to provide this if you request it.
- Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which protects consumers from abusive debt collection practices.
4. Resolving the Debt
- Payment Plans: If you acknowledge the debt and can’t pay it all at once, PRA might offer you a payment plan. Ensure you get any agreement in writing.
- Debt Settlement: Sometimes, PRA may agree to settle for a lesser amount than what’s owed. Negotiating can be beneficial, but always proceed with caution and ideally with legal or financial counsel.
- Dispute the Debt: If you believe you don’t owe the debt, or the amount is incorrect, you have the right to dispute it.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long can Portfolio Recovery pursue old debts?
The statute of limitations varies by state and type of debt. However, after a certain period, they can’t legally sue to collect, but they might still attempt to collect.
2. Can I stop Portfolio Recovery from calling me?
Under the FDCPA, if you send a written request asking them to stop contacting you, they must comply, with few exceptions.
3. What if I’ve already paid the debt they’re calling about?
If you’ve already settled or paid the debt, provide them with proof of payment or settlement to get the calls to stop.
4. How does Portfolio Recovery impact my credit score?
If PRA reports your debt to credit bureaus, it can negatively affect your credit score. However, if you resolve the debt, it might positively influence your score over time.
Receiving a call from Portfolio Recovery can be daunting, but understanding the reason behind the call and knowing your rights can empower you. Whether it’s a legitimate debt or a case of misidentification, staying informed and proactive will help you navigate the situation with confidence.
Kim Hemphry is a passionate expert in the areas of Legal Matters, learning and education. She has been featured on over 50 leading Legal and education sites and is a modern thought leader in the field.