Who is Portfolio Recovery Associates and why are they suing me?
“Who is Portfolio Recovery Associates and why are they suing me?”
PRA (Portfolio Recovery Associates) is a debt collector (debt buyer) out of Virginia that files hundreds of collection lawsuits every month in Alabama. Let’s talk about:
- What type of suits does PRA file
- Who represents PRA
- What is the huge problem PRA has when it files cases in Alabama
- What is your biggest danger when sued by PRA
- What are your five (5) options when sued by PRA
- What happens next when you win your case at trial
What type of suits does Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA) file
Mainly old credit card debt but occasionally they will sue on old car loans. The statute of limitations is 3 years (collectors say 6 years) on credit card debt. And it is 4 years on most vehicle loans.
But 99% of the cases I have seen over many years of defending PRA lawsuits (and suing PRA in Federal Court) involve old credit card debt that PRA claims it now owns.
Who represents PRA
The multi-state law firm of Couch, Conville & Blitt represents PRA in Alabama. Another firm, Rausch Sturm, which is all over the country, files PRA cases in Alabama as well. Lately, the majority of the PRA cases have been filed by Rausch Sturm with their office in Enterprise, Alabama.
What is the huge problem Portfolio has when it files cases in Alabama
Just like any debt buyer, PRA must show that it actually owns the debt it has sued you on. If it can’t — and I’ve never seen it prove this in court — then it should lose the case against you.
You might wonder, “Why can’t it show it owns the debt if it really bought it?”
- PRA really owns the debt but it is so lazy it won’t even prove its ownership at trial. (Kind of hard to believe, right?)
- PRA really does NOT own the debt and it is trying to bluff you or get you to admit it owns the debt. (Bad if it fails, right?)
Really, we don’t care as trial is the time to prove ownership. So if PRA does not do this, that is its problem which may have consequences such as being sued in federal court.
What is your biggest danger when sued by PRA
That you do nothing.
If you don’t answer within your time limits (14 days from service if district/small claims and 30 days if circuit court), then you will have a default judgment against you.
That means PRA has won.
That it will garnish your wages or bank accounts or even have your properties seized.
So whatever you do — handle on your own or hire a lawyer — make sure an answer gets filed in time. And if you are over the time limit, file it NOW.
What are your five (5) options when sued by Portfolio
Here are your five options when sued:
- File bankruptcy — very unusual for this to be a valid option
- Fight it on your own — often a good idea
- Settle it on your own — usually not a good idea
- Hire a lawyer to fight it — this can be a good idea
- Hire a lawyer to settle it — good idea if you have a plan with your lawyer
What happens next when you win your case at trial against Portfolio Recovery Associates
If you try your case — on your own or with a lawyer — and you win, then congratulations!
This normally means all credit reporting on this debt by PRA must go away as you don’t owe a debt on this account to PRA.
And we need to look at whether PRA violated the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) by suing you when you never owed it the money. And false credit reporting up to the time of the trial and then until they delete it.
We also look to see if we can sue under Malicious Prosecution and other state law claims.
Bottom line is winning is very powerful and we should talk.
Call us at 205-879-2447 or fill out our contact form thanks!