It can be stressful dealing with debt collection agencies, especially if you're worried about resolving credit issues. Understand that you have rights in this process and do not need to let the pressure get to you. There are a series of steps you can take to solve your credit issue and get Portfolio Recovery removed from your credit report.
Portfolio Recovery is a debt collection agency that has been doing business since 1996. Their job is to collect from consumers with credit card debts, medical debts, and personal loans. They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and operate in all 50 states. With that being said – they have received over a thousand complaints in the past three years from consumers regarding their collection tactics.
These complaints range from harassment to claims that the company reports inaccurate information to credit bureaus. The company has resolved each complaint, which allows them to keep their high score from BBB.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that protects consumers' rights regarding credit reports. More specifically, the law requires credit reporting agencies to maintain accurate and current credit reports – it also gives consumers the right to file a dispute if they find inaccurate or incomplete information on their report.
If any information appears to be incorrect, consumers can file disputes with the debt collector, the credit reporting agency, or both. Some common mistakes to look out for on your credit report include:
You can obtain an official credit report from the major credit reporting agencies, such as Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. You can also utilize mobile apps such as Credit Karma to monitor your credit, but if you are dealing with Portfolio Recovery or another debt collector – it's best to request your report from one of the main reporting agencies. Review your report and identify the accounts that are in collections.
If you happen to find an error, remember that you are protected under the FCRA, and can file a dispute with the reporting agency, Portfolio Recovery, or both. Document all correspondence and send your letters via certified mail. You can also file a complaint against the company if you believe they are engaging in abusive collection tactics. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects consumers from debt collection companies engaging in such tactics.
You have the right to request verification of your debt with Portfolio Recovery. If they provide the verification with the amount owed and the name of the original creditor, and you determine the information is accurate – it’s time to take the steps to pay it off. You can negotiate a settlement or payment plan with Portfolio Recovery.
If you have the ability to pay off the remaining debt, you can request a "Pay for Delete" agreement – get it in writing. The “pay for delete” agreement means that Portfolio Recovery must remove the account from your credit report as long as you pay the debt in full.
If you have a significant portion of the debt available to pay, but not the entire amount, it is still possible the company would agree to a pay for delete agreement for that amount. Once again, be sure to get everything in writing including the exact amount that will be paid, and the company’s agreement to remove the account from your report.
Another option you can negotiate is a payment plan in which you pay a certain amount each month until the entire balance is paid off. Before you begin negotiating any form of payoff agreement, you need to fully assess your financial situation and be honest about what you can afford to pay.
You don’t want to agree to a high monthly payment that you might have to miss sometimes, as missed payments can negatively impact your credit further.
It is important to monitor your credit report. Once the debt has been paid and the agreement has been fulfilled, follow up to ensure that the account has been removed from your report. If the account remains – file a dispute in writing and attach proof that the debt has already been resolved.
You should be making a note of each communication for your records – phone calls, emails, and letters from the company. This will keep you organized as you maneuver your situation with Portfolio Recovery, and will be especially useful if you do need to file a complaint against the company.
Debts outside of the statute of limitations are no longer collectible. Make sure to check your state's specific statute of limitations – the law varies from state to state. If the debt does indeed fall outside of the statute of limitations – do not pay anything. Making even one small payment on the debt will reset the debt, making it collectible again.
It’s common for debt collectors to try to convince people into paying or starting a payment plan even when the debt is technically no longer collectible.
If collection agents are insisting that you pay right away, stay calm. You should not make any promises or commitments to pay until you have thoroughly reviewed your options. Investigate the debt and ensure that it is valid – without errors. Once you have done that, the best way to proceed is by negotiating a payoff plan or settlement with Portfolio Recovery.
Following these tips will allow you to have a better handle on your situation with Portfolio Recovery. Remember to assert your rights – always make sure you review and understand your options before making any agreements to pay.
If you're still having a tough time with the debt collection process with Portfolio Recovery, or need assistance removing negative marks on your credit report, feel free to reach out to us. We offer a free case review for potential clients. Our experts will listen to your experience, assess your case, and provide guidance on how to best proceed with your specific situation.
We know it can be daunting to be on the receiving end of frequent calls from debt collection agencies like Portfolio Recovery. The good news is that you have rights as a consumer and there are steps you can take if you'd like to get them removed from your credit report. Remember to stay organized and aware of your rights – seek help from an expert if you need some guidance.