The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved Portfolio Recovery Associates — Fraudulent Debt Collection
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
Portfolio Recovery Associates contacted me in 2007 to collect a debt for a utility bill I don't owe (from apparent ID theft). The bill is from 2006 at an address I moved from back in 2004. In other words, I was not there to run up the utilities. I have been at my current residence since 2004.
I cooperated initially, thinking this would be easily cleared up--the landlord confirms we left in 2004, the deed for our house closed in 2004 and is available at the courthouse. We provided copies, and all documentation they asked for. In retrospect, my faith that a collection agency would be willing to clear up a mistake was pretty naive, but I'd never had any dealings with collection agencies before.
As it turns out, they have screamed at me, called me names, called me a deadbeat--all this is against state law: West Virginia Fair Debt Collection Practices Act § 46A-2-125, Oppression and abuse.They even told me to pay the money even though it is not my debt because it will be the only way they will leave me alone. I don't know if this is strictly against the law or not, but it probably made me madder than anything else they have done. Pay money I don't owe?!! I am far more likely to sprout wings and poo on their heads.
They have threatened to garnish my wages (I don't get wages, so this would indeed be a trick.) Also, that threat is against state law, as well: West Virginia Fair Debt Collection Practices Act § 46A-2-124.
In addition, they frequently refuse to identify themselves when they call--this is also against state law: West Virginia Fair Debt Collection Practices Act § 46A-2-127, Fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representations. They call, but won't state where they're calling from--they only give a name and number, but not a business. They insist, "It's personal!" The number, naturally, Googles as Portfolio Recovery Associates.
They have also threatened to come to my house and take things. They have threatened to sue me. And so on. Keep in mind, that all this would be very, very illegal even if I actually owed the money, which I DO NOT.
I had an attorney write a cease communication letter to them in January 2008, and they STILL continue to contact me, against state law. After that, they did stop calling until October 2009--I thought it was over-- but for some unknown reason have begun again. I have not spoken with them for this go around: they have instructions to contact my attorney, and they can do that. I don't need to be abused again.
Currently I have complaints pending at the VA BBB and with the WV state Attorney General. (I am in WV, and they are in VA.) Our attorney General in WV doesn't seem to have patience for this sort of thing, so I have hopes that this will finally be resolved for me. If this is happening to you, please contact your state Attorney General's office. It was hard to get anyone else to listen.
Ironically, their motto is "Giving debt collection a good name."
Portfolio Recovery Associates operates illegally, and they can't be forced to stop if your attorney general doesn't get reports from abused people like you. Even if you do actually owe the money they are trying to collect, there are laws they have to follow, and this outfit does NOT follow them.
Find your state's Fair Collection Statutes here:
Call your state AG!!!