You might be skeptical when being contacted by someone who says they’re from an organization called Portfolio Recovery Associates. It’s likely this is a name you’ve never heard before, and probably hope you’ll never hear again once you’ve dealt with them.
While it’s smart to be cautious about anyone who calls and says you owe them money. At least when dealing with Portfolio Recovery Associates, you’re dealing with a real agency. Portfolio Recovery Associates, also know as PRA, is a debt collection agency based in Virginia. If you owe money to someone and the bill has gone into collections, it’s possible Portfolio Recovery Associates now owns your debt.
If you’re not familiar with how debt collection works, you’ll be wise to educate yourself before engaging too much with Portfolio Recovery Associates. Information you give debt collectors can potentially be used against you later; so you really want to be on your game before spending any time on the phone with a debt collector.
In essence, Portfolio Recovery Associates—or any other debt collection agency, for that matter—purchases unpaid debts at a discount, typically just a few pennies on the dollar. They then turn around and attempt to collect the debt owed by using more aggressive tactics than those employed by the original lender, who just wanted to wipe their hands of the situation.
Be warned: Debt collectors will pursue you. If they believe they can get money from you, they will pull any levers within their reach to do so. This includes filing lawsuits, which can lead to wage garnishment. You really need to be informed, and act quickly and accurately when dealing with dent collectors. Here’s how to respond to a call from Portfolio Recovery Associates.
How Should You Respond To A Call From Portfolio Recovery Associates?
The first thing you should know is you shouldn’t take a call from Portfolio Recovery Associates if you’re not prepared for it. Ask them to call back at another time, and maybe give them a time that’s better. Not being ready for a debt collection call can lead to making costly mistakes. These are some things you need to keep in mind when talking to Portfolio Recovery Associates:
- Don’t pay anything right away – Debt collectors will use all kinds of tactics to get money out of you as soon as possible. Resist the urge to do this. For starters, you might be able to get out of paying altogether if you handle things correctly. But more importantly, any payment to a debt collection agency is accepting the debt is yours, which will then make contesting the debt far more difficult. We’ll look into that more in the next bullet points.
- Validate the debt – You want to ask PRA to validate the debt is yours within 30 days of them contacting you. You must do this within the 30-day window, so don’t delay on this. If a debt collector is unable to validate your debt, they have no legal basis to make you pay it. Validating the debt is of course a must if you think there are any inaccuracies, which isn’t an uncommon occurrence. But you should do it even if you think you owe the debt, as this can be a way for you to escape having to repay it.
- Know your state laws – Each state has its own rules for how much time must pass before a debt is no longer eligible for collection. If your debt has surpassed the statute of limitations, you won’t be on the hook to repay — unless you make a payment or otherwise acknowledge the debt as yours. This can reset the statute of limitations clock and force you to pay what otherwise would have been unnecessary.
- Negotiate with Portfolio Recovery Associates – If you’re unable to get out of having to repay your debt, it’s time to negotiate. Debt collectors want to make a profit off your account, so they’ll often be willing to make a deal or work out a repayment plan—though some can be harder to work with than others. Consumers who don’t feel up to the task of negotiating can hire a debt relief agency to represent them.
There’s nothing fun about dealing with debt in collections. However, it’s something you need to address as soon as it comes to your attention. Knowing how to handle a call from Portfolio Recovery Associates can help you get through the ordeal in better shape.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.