If you’ve been sued by Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA), then you need to do something, right now. Since you’re here, you obviously are at least attempting to do some research, which is a good thing. The next step is to consult with and then hire a consumer attorney. Please don’t make the mistake of handling a claim yourself, whether that’s negotiating a settlement or defending yourself in court. I don’t care how smart you are or what you do for a living…if you were an attorney, you likely wouldn’t be reading this. Since you are reading this, you are not an expert, period. Pick up the phone and call an expert, NOW.
We see it everyday, where people try to play lawyer because they’ve seen it on tv. How hard can it be? I’ll look on the internet and get some good answers there…. and now I’m an expert too. It’s all fun and games until they freeze your bank account. Let’s avoid all of that and talk about what you can do, or rather, what your consumer attorney can do when you’re faced with a PRA lawsuit.
Portfolio Recovery is a junk debt buyer. They are a huge, huge company that is publicly traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange. They are serious players, dealing with billions of dollars of debt each year. Our firm probably handles about a dozen PRA cases each month. Most of the lawsuits are filed in the Court of Common Pleas. This is “big boy” court. As of the date of this writing (June 2016) we rarely see them filing lawsuits at the District Justice level. In the Court of Common Pleas, there are requirements in place regarding these debt buyer lawsuits. Each county varies on what the specific requirements are, but most of them require Portfolio or the other debt buyers to include a laundry list of documents when they initially sue you. In almost every single case, the Portfolio lawsuit is lacking in this documentation. Why? Because they know that 90% of the people that they sue will not hire an attorney. Many will not even bother responding to the lawsuit, which results in a default judgment. It’s akin to putting your head in the sand… nothing bad will happen if I ignore this, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong. There’s nothing like having your bank account garnished or having the sheriff expose your personal property to a public sale.
Anyways, as the lawsuit is defective, the proper response in most cases is to file Preliminary Objections. (most of the debt collection websites on the internet advise that you file an Answer…. do not do this as you will waive many available defenses if you don’t file the proper response). The court will rule on the objections and likely force PRA to produce more documentation. If they cannot produce more, the case is over and you win. If they do produce more, then we take a look to see if its sufficient to move forward. If it isn’t sufficient, we file the objections again until the court rules that they have enough to move forward or dismisses the case.
What about settlement? We’ll help you settle if its in your best interests and that’s what you want to do. In most cases, we can obtain a very good settlement if that is the avenue that you want to take. We can always get a better settlement than you because we have power and authority. Think about it, we deal with the Portfolio attorneys on a daily basis. They know that we can beat them on most cases. Its better to take something rather than nothing, right? If you don’t have a consumer attorney, Portfolio will not fear you as you do not have any power. Frankly, they love it when you try to represent yourself. Easy pickings….
If you would like a consultation with our office, please call 412-348-8600 or send an email to email@example.com