They have been calling for over 2 years. Sometimes 4-6 times a day. they have approx 200+ telephone numbers that they use. The first lady I talked to told me that "this call may be recorded" My answer was "GOOD! I Hope So!"
I asked her for her number and the Account # she was calling about. The number she gave me was 2 numbers short. Eventually, a "supervisor" jumped in. I explained to the Idiot that Portfolio Recovery Services was contacted by my Lawyer 2 years ago and they were told NOT to call me. SPECIFICALLY because I had already been officially served and this case had already been filed whit what ever legal beagle Portfolio Recovery Service hired to do so. The Idiot says, "Well! Who's Your Lawyer?" My reply was, you already know who my lawyer is, it a matter of record. Look It Up In Your Computers, Check Your Own Records. I then repeated "Do NOT Call This Number Ever Again. The Idiot says "No! Send Us A Letter" Obviously too stupid to understand that they had already been contacted by my lawyer with a cease & desist letter, as in DO NOT CALL. So, they will be getting a registered return receipt letter including copies of the letters that's going to the Secretary Of State & The Attorney General of That State.
Hughey, as I mentioned in the comment right behind yours, the PRA rep was rightfully not at ease discussing a debt account with anyone who is not your wife. Technically under the FDCPA spouses can respond for each other when collectors call, but usually agencies fear a lawsuit too much to try testing that exemption.
Vague phrases such as ''important business matter'' and ''urgent personal business'' are common industry code for debt collection, meant to create a mild panic without actually triggering a privacy violation.
Massachusetts Feb 14th, 2012
I recieved a call from this number from someone named mary asking for my wife, she wasn't home,and I knew we didnt know anyone from west covina california. I offered to take a message, but all she would give up was her name and this number. I asked if I could help her, but she said it was personal. I said, a personal message from someone she doesnt know? Mary replied, how do you know I dont Know her? I said, if she knew you so would I! I then told her I probably wouldnt relay the number and thanked her for calling.
M: Your Mom described a well-trained collector accurately .... trained to intimidate, natch. There are several issues in your post which I'll address in order.
Debt collectors must answer to privacy regs within the FDCPA, hence their obfuscation when skip tracing. It's about the only consistently followed rule, as being shadowy works in their favor to make call targets anxious. PRA possibly already knows perfectly well how to reach you, but has chosen to pester your family to create undue shame and stress in the guise of seeking your locale, a permitted and oft-abused purpose for the call.
The agency which made threats of legal and police action was committing a serious violation. In general the severity of hostile behavior is in inverse proportion to a collector's ability to prove claim. If a year has not yet passed since those calls and they are adequately documented you can easily win a Federal Fair Debt suit, expenses paid by the weasly collection agency.
Collectors do not maintain a "no call" list in the sales sense, as all data is connected to individual accounts. Collectors must obey "no call" requests, but often ignore them unless they show up on paper, sent USPS Certified. Disobeying a written cease-comm is also actionable in court, making a paper trail vital.
Attorneys general and the FTC are valid complaint venues which help the publc good and get the bad actors eventually fined and shut down. But understand that you must confront collection agencies directly if your goal is to halt or punish their mistreatment of your privacy and consumer rights. Learn more at FTC-dot-gov. See also your state laws for additional support.
Someone at this number, saying her name was "Kyra", recently called my parent's house asking for me. According to my mother, a senior citizen, "Kyra" was clipped, rude and demanding. She refused to say how she knew me, or why she was calling. My mother did not give her any information except to say, correctly, that I have not lived at their address for many years. I googled the number and found this site.
I have received harassing phone calls like this in the past from another debt collection agency, claiming an outstanding debt from a hospital stay several years prior was still owed in my name. I was even threatened that I would be taken to court or jailed if the debt was not paid. I checked my records and called the hospital. There WAS no @#$%^& outstanding debt. My bills had been paid off within weeks of the stay.
These people are scum. Do not tolerate this harassment. Tell these parasites to stop calling and put you on their do not call list (they are legally required to comply). If the persist, report them immediately.
Hawke's Bay New Zealand Jan 22nd, 2011
Portfolio Recovery has somewhat of a bad reputation, as evidenced by my searching on the Internet in the last two days. While I am all for sticking it to them for unlawful practices they may have committed, I am also aware that identity theft does not just happen to people, it can happen to a company as well.
What happened to me below seems more like a scam from someone else rather than Portfolio Recovery engaging in questionable practices, so I thought I would put it here. Foxing a caller ID to give out a different number that what you are calling from is not a particularly difficult feat.
My step-father in Chicago received a call last night from a woman who gave her name as Stephanie Paige (or Page), purporting to be from Portfolio Recovery, trying to seek information on collection of a debt. She called from (800) 383-8013, but gave as a call-back number 866-909-0529
He did not give her any information, but he called me. I had cordial dealings with this company in the past when I worked to retire an old debt, now paid, so I did a little on-line research to find out what was going on.
I then made this report to the Federal Trade Commission this afternoon: A person who identified herself as Stephanie Page (or Paige), alleging to be from Portfolio Recovery contacted my step-father in Chicago on December 30, purporting to be recovering a debt. While that person called from (800) 383-8013, the number they gave to return a call was 866-909-0529
A Reverse Telephone number lookup on the Internet for the second telephone number yielded hundreds of blog posts from people fishing for all sorts of information or posting about threats or demands. After a reverse telephone number search of the first telephone number indicated that it was indeed Portfolio Recovery, today I called it to ascertain what the original call to my step-father was about.
The agent (unnamed) looked up my account on the company computer system, and told me that all she had for me was an old debt which was paid in full in 2007. The agent also told me they had no record of a call to another person about a debt collection, and that Portfolio Recovery had no record of any debt outstanding for me. FTC complaint number: 28707180
The comments in Nov. 2009 from "WW" should be required reading. The kind of punishment that person took for bogus debt is not anomalous, it's not an innocent error; it's from the standard playbook of bad collectors everywhere. I would be surprised if "WW" never filed against PRA in Federal court, as everything he cited as breaking his state's laws also violate the FDCPA.
Rhode Island Dec 06th, 2010
i recieved a call saturday and they wouldnt tell me anything not even who they were looking for
i recieved a call from this number also they wont tell me why they are calling, or who they are,, something's not right with this person
California Feb 23rd, 2010
Called but no message. Portfolio Recovery has been calling me for months based on a debt my ex-wife ran up. I have tried to push them to go to court but they refuse. The last time they did so, on a differnt Credit Card, I responded as required by law and they didn't pursue it because they know they will lose. Seems they add a new number every few months. With modern technology, I am able to forward all their numbers direct to Voice Mail (never rings), so they don't even bother leaving messages anymore. Here are all the number I have collected:
Washington Feb 16th, 2010
Portfolio Recovery Associates, Inc.
120 Corporate Boulevard
Norfolk, Virginia 23502
Any collection agency that violates the FDCPA may be sued. Consumers can find more information at http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpajump.shtm
There is much controversy over statute of limitations in all states. Even within the states, judges don't agree on the dates which really does a lot for the whole situation.
Most of the time, if you approach these bozos with a formal letter sent certified mail, return receipt requested and tell them to cease communications until they fully validate the debt, they will sell it to another bozo collector who will proceed to attempt to collect on it. When I say fully validate the debt, I mean specifically state in your letter for them to provide documents proving you actually signed a cardholder agreement or contract for the debt they are pursuing, copies of all documents they have on file pertaining to the alleged debt and authorization from the original creditor that they as a collection agency have the right to collect upon the alleged debt. Do not accept a copy of a statement as a validation of a debt, it is worthless. They will try and use this to shun you and satisfy the requirement but it does not. That is why you must specify in detail the documents (any and all) they have pertaining to the alleged debt. Yes, it's a pain but so are they and they are relentless. In some cases, if you do not challenge it, they may turn it over to an attorney within your state and attempt to file a judgment against you for the alleged debt. They can win if you do not fight it and having previous evidence that you have fought it is necessary if it does come to that point.
Know your rights as a consumer and act against those who violate them.
The following is directly from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act:
§ 809. Validation of debts
15 USC 1692g
(a) Within five days after the initial communication with a
consumer in connection with the collection of any debt,
a debt collector shall, unless the following information is
contained in the initial communication or the consumer has
paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice contain-
(1) the amount of the debt;
(2) the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;
(3) a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days
after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the
debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed
to be valid by the debt collector;
(4) a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt col-
lector in writing within the thirty-day period that the
debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt col-
lector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of
a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such
verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer
by the debt collector; and
(5) a statement that, upon the consumer’s written request
within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will
provide the consumer with the name and address of the
original creditor, if different from the current creditor.
(b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within
the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the
debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the con-
sumer requests the name and address of the original credi-
tor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt,
or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector
obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment,
or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy
of such verification or judgment, or name and address of
the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt
collector. Collection activities and communications that
do not otherwise violate this title may continue during
the 30-day period referred to in subsection (a) unless the
consumer has notified the debt collector in writing that the
debt, or any portion of the debt, is disputed or that the con-
sumer requests the name and address of the original credi-
tor. Any collection activities and communication during the
30-day period may not overshadow or be inconsistent with
the disclosure of the consumer’s right to dispute the debt or
request the name and address of the original creditor.
(c) The failure of a consumer to dispute the validity of a debt
under this section may not be construed by any court as an
admission of liability by the consumer.
(d) A communication in the form of a formal pleading in a
civil action shall not be treated as an initial communication
for purposes of subsection (a).
(e) The sending or delivery of any form or notice which
does not relate to the collection of a debt and is expressly
required by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, title V of
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, or any provision of Federal or
State law relating to notice of data security breach or priva-
cy, or any regulation prescribed under any such provision
of law, shall not be treated as an initial communication in
connection with debt collection for purposes of this sec-
Portfolio Recovery Associates contacted me in 2007 to collect a debt for a utility bill I don't owe (from apparent ID theft). The bill is from 2006 at an address I moved from back in 2004. In other words, I was not there to run up the utilities. I have been at my current residence since 2004.
I cooperated initially, thinking this would be easily cleared up--the landlord confirms we left in 2004, the deed for our house closed in 2004 and is available at the courthouse. We provided copies, and all documentation they asked for. In retrospect, my faith that a collection agency would be willing to clear up a mistake was pretty naive, but I'd never had any dealings with collection agencies before.
As it turns out, they have screamed at me, called me names, called me a deadbeat--all this is against state law: West Virginia Fair Debt Collection Practices Act § 46A-2-125, Oppression and abuse.They even told me to pay the money even though it is not my debt because it will be the only way they will leave me alone. I don't know if this is strictly against the law or not, but it probably made me madder than anything else they have done. Pay money I don't owe?!! I am far more likely to sprout wings and poo on their heads.
They have threatened to garnish my wages (I don't get wages, so this would indeed be a trick.) Also, that threat is against state law, as well: West Virginia Fair Debt Collection Practices Act § 46A-2-124.
In addition, they frequently refuse to identify themselves when they call--this is also against state law: West Virginia Fair Debt Collection Practices Act § 46A-2-127, Fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representations. They call, but won't state where they're calling from--they only give a name and number, but not a business. They insist, "It's personal!" The number, naturally, Googles as Portfolio Recovery Associates.
They have also threatened to come to my house and take things. They have threatened to sue me. And so on. Keep in mind, that all this would be very, very illegal even if I actually owed the money, which I DO NOT.
I had an attorney write a cease communication letter to them in January 2008, and they STILL continue to contact me, against state law. After that, they did stop calling until October 2009--I thought it was over-- but for some unknown reason have begun again. I have not spoken with them for this go around: they have instructions to contact my attorney, and they can do that. I don't need to be abused again.
Currently I have complaints pending at the VA BBB and with the WV state Attorney General. (I am in WV, and they are in VA.) Our attorney General in WV doesn't seem to have patience for this sort of thing, so I have hopes that this will finally be resolved for me. If this is happening to you, please contact your state Attorney General's office. It was hard to get anyone else to listen.
Ironically, their motto is "Giving debt collection a good name."
Portfolio Recovery Associates operates illegally, and they can't be forced to stop if your attorney general doesn't get reports from abused people like you. Even if you do actually owe the money they are trying to collect, there are laws they have to follow, and this outfit does NOT follow them.
Find your state's Fair Collection Statutes here:
Call your state AG!!!
West Virginia Nov 05th, 2009
hey debra i used to work for these cats all you have to do is tell them that you cannot rec calls at work and they can no longer call you there if they call you again you can sue them lots of luck take em for all they are worth
Left message & says "this is a personal call for ____________ This is Miss Harrison. please call 1-866-909-0529
She didn't say so, but I know this is probably a COLLECTION AGENCY, as I have been on hard times, and I don't know anyone in this area code. Called twice within 5 minutes.
Called my office looking for a family member. Would not say who they are nor give me any information, just left a message to call that number and that their name was Chuck.
Connecticut Jul 28th, 2009
866/ 909-0529. Called my work and left message, a Debra Evans Extension 57028, I do not know what they could be contacting me for, aske dfor the name of the company they were calling.
Never Call back a toll-free number. according to us law, the company who pays for the toll-free call has the right to know who is calling them and they are paying for... As soon as you dial their number they have a special caller-id which shows any number including blocked and unlisted phone numbers.
I called both the numbers and found out who they were. I don't owe anyone anything. Figures
Recd a call from Kim at Portfolio Recovery on my cell, during work hours. She left a number of 866-909-0529
to call her back. I don't have any outstanding debts, so why are they calling me?
CID(unknown name)woman left message saying if your not such and such "do not listen to this message futher"... HA. then she said for such and such to call 866-909-0529
ext.... the name they have is not here but repeatedly call regardless.
California Jan 24th, 2008
I received a call from one of their operators looking for someone that does not even live here. I have had the same phone number for over 20 yrs! Today I received another message asking for a callback. I decided that since they are wasting my time and money, I figured that I will call both their 800 and 866 number at least 5 times a day and hold the line open as long as possible. After hours the 800-772-1413 number will keep the line open for 3 1/2 total minutes (the 866-909-0529
# is about the same). I figure at .04-.05 cents/minute for their 800/866 lines plus the time for the attendant to delete my blank messages I am costing them at least $3.00/day in phone fees so about $90.00/month plus filling up their voice mailbox. If more people did this, they would be closed down in a few months. I am really a nice person but cannot stand Nazi tactics.
California Jan 05th, 2008
I have my phone number unlisted and somehow these scumballs were able to get my number when I called them one time when I got a pos letter from them.
Called my cell phone from 800-772-1413 and left a message for someone else in my family who doesn't use this phone to call 866-909-0529
Called my cell phone from 800-772-1413
and left a message for someone else in my family who doesn't use this phone to call 866-909-0529
Portfolio called looking for someone else. Left number to call: 1-866-909-0529, so look for that number on Caller ID too.
repeated calls/messages from collection com.-had this # for over 5 years-still start getting calls 2-6 months after telling com. that person not at #
This is the number for Portfolio Recovery Services, a debt collection company. They purchase time barred debts from creditors, and try to knuckle or force you into paying. If you say you would pay something, that's when they legally have you and can pursue a time-barred debt legally again. One to be avoided.