Nobody likes it when they have to deal with a lawsuit, especially if that lawsuit comes from Portfolio Recovery Associates. When you receive a lawsuit from PRA, one of the most troubling things is that you probably have no idea who they are or why are they trying to recover the debt that you don’t even recognize.
Now, the worst thing you can do in a situation like this is to ignore the debt collecting lawsuit and hope it’ll go away on its own. That never happens. If it comes to this, you will have to act on it and you will have to act on it quickly.
Today, we’re going to try and help you with that. We’re going to share a couple of tips and tricks with you so when the push comes to shove; you know what to do and how to emerge victorious from this situation. But, before we do that, let’s first take a look at who PRA is and what do they want from you?
Who Are Portfolio Recovery Associates?
Portfolio Recovery Associates, or PRA for short, is a company that buys outstanding debts from companies and then tries and collected them. So, essentially, they’re a debt collector.
Now, this isn’t something illegal, many companies exist in this line of business, but they’re certainly not pleasant to have interaction with if you could even call it that. Under US law, debt is transferable and that is what allows companies like these to freely operate and make money. They purchase the debts from credit card companies or other lenders, at a reduced cost, and then go out and try and collect the debt for themselves, naturally, at a total cost.
So, what do you do when you receive a lawsuit from PRA? Let’s find out!
1. Don’t Get In Any Contact With Them
This might sound contradictory to the “do not ignore” tip in the beginning, but we’re not advising you not to do anything about the lawsuit – we’re just saying don’t answer their calls and don’t try and contact them.
Conversing with the PRA is one of the most common mistakes people make when they’re faced with this kind of lawsuit. Most people aren’t too familiar with the process of a lawsuit such as this one, but the company that has sued you certainly is. If you try and contact them, they will most definitely try and get you to give them the money you “owe”. Well, you do owe it, but that’s beside the point.
One of the most common mistakes people make when talking to the PRA is accepting their “deals”. PRA often offers “astounding” deals to the people they sue, offering them to pay only half the debt they owe and many people fall for it. After all, you’re getting rid of half of it, right?
Wrong. That’s how they get you. There is no deal here. That is just an elaborate plot to get you to admit that you have debt with them and before you know it – you’re getting sued for the entire amount.
2. File A Response With The Court Right Away And Hire An Attorney
Just as we’ve said in the beginning, don’t ignore the lawsuit – that’s how you lose the case. Instead, as soon as you receive the lawsuit, file a response with the court. You have a 30-day deadline, but we wouldn’t wait that long. You never know how long will it take for your claim to be processed and how long will it take to schedule a hearing date, so do it right away.
If you don’t do this, PRA could be able to get a “default judgment” against you, meaning you’ll have to pay up for everything they’re suing you for and that’s precisely what you’re trying to avoid here.
Another thing to consider when dealing with a portfolio recovery lawsuit is hiring a legal representative. Although many would advise that you don’t hire an attorney, since you can probably represent yourself in this case, we wouldn’t advise you to do that. You may end up losing the case on a technicality like not filing proper paperwork or something of sorts.
That would never happen with an experienced lawyer by your side.
3. Get Your Attorney To Review The Claim
Since you’re being sued by the company that has purchased the debt from somebody else, there is always a chance of paperwork being faulty, which would result in you winning the case. According to attorneydebtfighters.com, you should always have your attorney review the claim, compare the records and the paperwork. They could very well find some inaccuracies in the records or any other piece of information that could be useful to your case. This would easily be your greatest shot at winning the lawsuit without spending a dime or settling the debt. Naturally, you’d have to pay an attorney, but that’s all there is to it.
4. Consider Your Options
If you’ve hired one, you and your attorney should sit down and discuss the best course of action. Before doing anything, it would be wise for you to consider your options. First, you have to evaluate your debt and your income. That should give you a good idea of whether you should settle or maybe file a bankruptcy claim. If you don’t have an attorney, consult with a debt resolution professional that could help you review your finances and advise the best course of action based on your situation.
5. If You Settle – Get Your Deal In Writing
The worst thing you could begin repaying the settlement before you get it in writing. Without an actual, signed document, you have nothing to protect your interests or prove that you’ve settled. Once again, if you have an attorney by your side, this shouldn’t be an issue, as they would insist that you do the same. However, if you don’t have one – always ask for an official document before you start repaying.
There you have it. Those were our five tips for properly handling a portfolio recovery lawsuit. Hopefully, you’ve got some helpful information out of this article that will help you deal with this situation in the best possible way.