CFPB Seeks Order that Repeat Offender Portfolio Recovery Associates Pay More Than $24 Million (12 million to affected consumers) for Continued Illegal Debt Collection Practices.
Debt Buyer collection behemoth files lawsuits despite having insufficient documentation about the debt.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) asked the court to take action against Portfolio Recovery Associates, one of the largest debt collectors in the nation, for violating a 2015 CFPB order and engaging in other violations of law. The CFPB filed a proposed order today that, if entered by the court, would require Portfolio Recovery Associates to pay more than $12 million to consumers harmed by its illegal debt collection practices, in addition to a $12 million penalty that would be deposited into the CFPB’s victims’ relief fund.
Portfolio Recovery Associates allegedly violated the 2015 order by collecting on unsubstantiated debt, collecting on debt without providing required documentation and disclosures to consumers, suing, or threatening legal action against consumers without offering or possessing required documentation, and suing to collect on debt outside the statute of limitations.
“After getting caught red-handed in 2015, Portfolio Recovery Associates continued violating the law through intimidation, deception, and illegal debt collection tactics and lawsuits,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “CFPB orders are not suggestions, and companies cannot ignore them simply because they are large or dominant in the market.”
Portfolio Recovery Associates is a wholly owned subsidiary of publicly traded PRA Group (NASDAQ: PRAA) and is one of the largest debt collectors in the United States. The company’s principal headquarters is in Norfolk, Virginia. PRA Group’s reported net income was over $183 million in 2021.
In September 2015, the CFPB ordered Portfolio Recovery Associates to pay more than $27 million in consumer refunds and penalties for deceptive debt collection tactics.
If entered by the court, the order would require Portfolio Recovery Associates to:
- Provide redress to consumers: Portfolio Recovery Associates would pay at least $12.18 million to consumers harmed by its illegal collection practices.
- Clean up its faulty operations: The order prohibits Portfolio Recovery Associates from collecting debts unless it has access to certain documents that meet its obligation to have a reasonable basis to believe it is collecting debts that consumers actually owe.
- Fix its failures to properly respond to consumers: The order requires Portfolio Recovery Associates to improve their response when consumers report that they do not owe a debt because of fraud or identity theft. And it ensures that Portfolio Recovery Associates adequately responds to consumer disputes in a timely manner about information Portfolio Recovery Associates has furnished to consumer reporting agencies.
- Pay $12 million in penalties: Portfolio Recovery Associates would pay a $12 million penalty to the CFPB, which would be deposited into the CFPB’s victims relief fund.
Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC represents consumers and small business with difficult debt problems with Debt Settlement, Judgment Contests, Settlements, and Liens, Debt Collection Harassment, Debtor Protection, Collection Lawsuit Defense, and Bankruptcy. We offer various services to assist you in dealing with different debts.
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