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How to Resolve Debt With PRA Group, Inc.

Sarah Edwards | August 07, 2023

Sarah Edwards
Legal Expert
Sarah Edwards, BS

Sarah Harris is a professional researcher and writer specializing in legal content. An Emerson College alumna, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the prestigious Boston institution.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: PRA Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest debt collectors. If you receive a debt collection notice from this company, ask them to validate your debt before taking any other action. If you’ve been sued by PRA Group, SoloSuit can help you respond to the case and settle your debt before going to court.

One minute, you’re enjoying the glorious spring sunshine, and the next, you find out a collection agency is chasing you for an old debt you’ve long forgotten. A debt collection notice from PRA Group, Inc. can put a crimp in your day.

You likely want to learn how to beat PRA Group. After all, you don’t want to be the subject of debt collection letters and phone calls; you have other problems to deal with (and a life to enjoy!).

Sued by PRA Group? Use SoloSettle to settle your debts for good.

What is PRA Group?

PRA Group is a debt collection agency with headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia. It is a leading debt buyer that acquires nonperforming loans and delinquent debts from creditors, such as credit card companies, banks, and other financial institutions. PRA Group's primary business is to purchase these debts at a discounted price and then attempt to collect the full amount from the borrowers.

Formed in 1996, PRA Group has a global presence in the United States, the United Kingdom, and several other European countries. It purchases defaulted consumer debts at a low cost and tries to collect the total amount of the obligation from the original debtor.

Below is the contact information for PRA Group:

Address: 150 Corporate Blvd., Norfolk, VA 23502.
Phone number: 1-800-772-1413.

PRA Group owns Portfolio Recovery Associates

If you receive a notice from PRA Group, it will likely list Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC in the return address. PRA Group is the parent company of Portfolio Recovery Associates, which handles the administrative activity associated with collecting debts.

The address for Portfolio Recovery Associates is 120 Corporate Blvd., Norfolk, VA 23502. The phone number to reach the Portfolio Recovery Associates team is the same as for PRA Group, 1-800-772-1413.

It’s important to note that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently sued Portfolio Recovery Associates for illegal debt collection and credit reporting practices that impacted hundreds of thousands of people. A final settlement agreed to in March 2023 ordered the company to pay over $12 million in redress and a $12 million civil money penalty.

Consumer reviews of PRA Group aren’t positive

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) doesn’t have a profile for PRA Group. Instead, the company has an accredited profile under its subsidiary, Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC.

As of 2023, nearly 2,000 customers have filed complaints against Portfolio Recovery Associates. Even worse, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has received almost 25,000 complaints against Portfolio Recovery Associates. Unfortunately, the BBB limits the visibility of the complaints due to the high volume the company receives, but you can read complaints against Portfolio Recovery Associates on the CFPB website.

Most of these complaints claim that Portfolio Recovery ASsociates violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, including excessive collection calls, trying to collect fraudulent debt, or failing to validate debts upon request, and more.

The company’s responses to consumers on the BBB and CFPB websites appear indifferent and uncaring. Most of them deny the consumer’s complaints and don’t offer any solutions to alleviate the situation.

If PRA Group, or its subsidiary Portfolio Recovery Associates, has violated the FDCPA when trying to collect a debt from you, there are ways to stand up for your rights.

The FDCPA protects you from unfair debt collectors

The FDCPA is a federal law that protects consumers, like you, from harassment and abuse connected to debt collection. The FDCPA outlines specific rules and regulations that all debt collectors must follow in the US. Below is a list of FDCPA violations:

  • Harassment: Using threatening, abusive, or obscene language when communicating with the debtor.
  • False Representation: Misrepresenting the amount owed, the debt collector's identity, or the consequences of non-payment.
  • Calling at Inconvenient Times: Contacting the debtor before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. (local time) or at other times known to be inconvenient.
  • Continuous Phone Calls: Making repeated and continuous calls to the debtor with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass.
  • Failure to Verify Debt: Ignoring or refusing to respond to the debtor's written request for verification of the debt.
  • Public Disclosure: Discussing the debt with third parties (other than the debtor's spouse, attorney, or co-signer) without permission.
  • Misrepresentation of Legal Action: Threatening legal action that is not intended to be taken or cannot legally be taken.
  • Improper Communication: Communicating with the debtor after receiving a written cease and desist request.
  • False Credit Reporting: Reporting inaccurate information about the debt to credit reporting agencies.
  • Unauthorized Fees or Charges: Adding unauthorized fees, interest, or charges to the original debt amount.

If you believe that PRA Group has violated the FDCPA when trying to collect a debt from you, SoloSuit can help you stand up for your rights in court. You may also be eligible for up to $1,000 per FDCPA violation.

Respond to a collection notice from PRA Group

If you receive a collection notice from PRA Group, paying attention and keeping accurate records of any communications is critical. The CFPB’s lawsuit indicated that the company uses deceptive and misleading methods to collect debts and sometimes sues people even when an obligation is past the statute of limitations.

Your first step is to request that PRA Group validate the debt. Under the FDPCA, you have 30 days after receiving a debt collection notice to dispute the debt's validity by sending a Debt Validation Letter. Upon receipt, PRA Group must cease all collection efforts unless it can prove you owe money.

Watch the video below to learn more about the debt validation process:

If PRA Group sends you the information necessary to validate your debt, it will likely continue calling you and sending you letters until you repay the money. However, if you don’t want to receive any further communication, you can send a written request not to contact you unless the company intends to take legal action.

Resolve your debt lawsuit against PRA Group

Once PRA Group receives a request not to contact you, it might be spurred to take legal action, especially if your debt is nearing the statute of limitations. The company will weigh the cost of a lawsuit versus the amount of money you owe and the likelihood that winning a judgment will allow it to collect the money from you.

You’ll know PRA Group is suing you when you receive a Court Summons. Attached to your Summons will be a copy of PRA Group’s Complaint, which will list the amount of your debt and any other pertinent information.

Pay careful attention to the Complaint, and look for any errors you can use to defend yourself. For instance, if it has misspelled your name, listed the wrong account number, or asked for more than you owe, those are legitimate concerns you can use as a defense.

Next, you’ll want to prepare an Answer to PRA Group. An Answer outlines your defense to the debt lawsuit. List any incorrect items in PRA Group’s Complaint and any defenses you have at your disposal.

Need help drafting an Answer in a PRA Group debt lawsuit? SoloSuit's Debt Answer form can help you respond to your lawsuit in minutes.

You probably don’t relish defending yourself in court unless you have an indisputable defense to your case, like identity theft. To avoid a potential judgment that will allow PRA Group to garnish your wages, you can either repay or settle the debt before your court date.

Repaying the debt wipes your slate clean and automatically cancels the lawsuit since PRA Group has nothing to sue you for. However, you can also try settling the debt for a smaller amount if you don’t have enough cash to repay it.

Let’s consider an example.

Example: Cindy lives in West Virginia and owes Virginia Express $3,500 in credit card debt, and they plan to get their money through garnishment. Her weekly take-home pay is $800 after taxes and deductions. In the calculations, 20% of 800 is $160, while 50 times the federal hourly rate of $7.25 is $362.50. Therefore, VE can only garnish the lesser of the two, which is $160. If the order has a higher figure, Cindy can object to the garnishment or file a claim of exemption.

Example: PRA Group is suing Tara for an old medical debt with a $1,000 balance. Tara uses SoloSuit to respond to PRA Group’s Complaint with an Answer, then decides to attempt to settle the debt. She offers PRA Group $600 in a debt settlement, and it agrees to accept the money and drop her case.

Settle your debt with PRA Group

Debt collection agencies often purchase debts at a fraction of their face value, leaving room for negotiation. Start by offering a lump-sum payment that you can afford, typically at a percentage of the total debt amount. Be polite but firm during negotiations, emphasizing your willingness to resolve the matter amicably.

When you reach a settlement agreement with PRA Group Inc., request a written settlement letter detailing the agreed-upon amount and terms. This letter serves as proof of your settlement and protects you from any potential future disputes or collections on the same debt.

If a lump-sum payment is not feasible, inquire about setting up a payment plan with PRA Group Inc. Offer a reasonable monthly payment amount that aligns with your financial capabilities. Ensure that you understand the terms and confirm that they will report your account as "settled" or "paid in full" upon successful completion of the payment plan.

SoloSettle, powered by SoloSuit, is a tech-based approach to debt settlement. Our software helps you send and receive settlement offers until you reach an agreement with the collector. Once an agreement is reached, we’ll help you manage the settlement documentation and transfer your payment to the creditor or debt collector, helping you keep your financial information private and secure.

Watch the following video to learn more about how to settle your debt with PRA Group:

Resolve your debt with PRA Group

A debt lawsuit aims to win a judgment that PRA Group can use to garnish your wages or freeze your bank account. Instead of standing idly by, take action to resolve your debt as soon as possible. Ask PRA Group to validate your debt when they first contact you. Respond to a PRA Group debt lawsuit with an Answer. Settle your debt before your court date.

Resolving your debt might take some effort on your part, but it will be worth it in the end. Firstly, it puts an end to the stress and anxiety caused by persistent debt collection efforts. By negotiating a settlement or establishing a payment plan, you regain control over your financial situation. Plus, resolving your debt with PRA Group can help improve your credit score in the long run. This positive impact on your credit can open doors to better borrowing opportunities and improved financial stability.

Need help resolving a debt? Use SoloSettle to settle your debt with PRA Group, Inc.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

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