Portfolio Recovery Associates Debt Collection Lawsuits
Portfolio Recovery Associates brings collection lawsuits in Iowa by Adrienne Sula a collection attorney at Rausch, Sturm, Israel, Enerson & Hornick, Charles Litow or another Iowa debt collection attorney. If you received a collection call or letter, or have been sued, Contact us for a free initial consultation. If you are representing yourself trying to defend a lawsuit by Portfolio Recovery or another debt buyer, you might find our “what to do if you are sued by a debt collector” page helpful.
Portfolio Recovery is a debt buyer who purchases charged-off debt for pennies on the dollar. Accounts include defaulted credit cards and auto loans. In Iowa, Portfolio has been represented by attorney Charles Litow and by Rausch Sturm, Israel, Enerson and Hornik, by attorney Adrienne Sula. Wetsch, Abbott, Osborn, Van Vliet and Pech have also filed debt collection lawsuits for Portfolio Recovery. The Johnson Law Firm has brought several unfair debt collection actions against Portfolio and we defend Portfolio Recovery debt collection lawsuits.
If you are reading this you probably have been sued by Portfolio Recovery or you soon will be. Portfolio probably purchased your debt from a credit card bank such as Chase, Wells Fargo, or Citibank and then sent you a right to cure letter and filed a lawsuit against you or soon will.
How to Respond to a Portfolio Recovery Debt Collection Lawsuit
Debt buyers like Portfolio and Midland Funding generally do not want to litigate the debt collection lawsuits they file. Their business model depends on you ignoring the lawsuit, or attempting to defend the lawsuit by yourself, fumbling through the court system without legal representation. Despite all the “success stories” you read on the Internet, the fact is consumers representing themselves in Iowa District Court generally end up with credit damaging judgments against them for the full amount Portfolio is demanding. Most lawsuits filed by Portfolio result in judgments because the person being sued didn’t file an answer or botched the collection defense at a later stage of the district court proceeding. If you don’t file an answer to the lawsuit, Portfolio obtains a judgment against you, damaging your credit report for years. With a judgment, Portfolio can and does garnish wages and bank accounts. The Johnson Law Firm may be able to assist even at this stage, but there is not doubt it is easier to defend before a collection lawsuit gets to the bank or wage garnishment stage.
It does not have to be this way. There are almost always defenses to debt collection lawsuits, especially those filed by debt buyers. Debt buyers like Midland Funding or Portfolio Recovery receive very little information regarding an account, and frequently they cannot obtain the information they need even for their own collection lawsuits. Missing is the underlying contract or copies of any other information on the account, such as the account notes or the account statements. Collections against the wrong person are not uncommon. Sometimes the person they sued does not even owe the debt, never having had the alleged line of credit, is the victim of identity theft, or the person was nothing more than an authorized user on the account. Further, many times the purchased debt is more than five years old and the statute of limitations in Iowa has expired on the debt.
That said, you should not assume a judge will not enter a judgment on such scant evidence. It can and does happen. If you have concluded from Internet posts that all you have to do is walk into court and say “prove it,” you are in for a surprise. It is not uncommon for your first question from the judge to be “tell me why you do not owe this debt” or “did you charge goods or services on this credit card.” Even worse, in Iowa a judgment can be entered on little more than an alleged “charge off” statement that you allegedly did not object to. As if that is not bad enough, in small claims court in Iowa that statement can be faxed to the court on the day of trial, the credit card bank does not have to show up and you generally have no way to subpoena it to trial.
The Johnson Law Firm Can Probably Help If You Live in Iowa
Being sued can cause significant emotional distress, but you are far from being alone. While it is possible to act irresponsibly when it comes to credit matters–credit card banks being a good example–there are a variety of legitimate reasons people find themselves in debt. Causes I repeatedly see for defaulted debt include: loss or downsizing of a job (very common after national banks crashed the economy), illness or disability, divorce, or fraudulent or abusive lending practices. While credit card banks received billions of dollars in bailouts, that is not going to happen for you. You do not have three lobbyists for every member of Congress to solve your money problems. You would be better off to send us an e-mail or give us a call and let us help. Ray Johnson has been representing consumers for more than 25 years. The Johnson Law Firm has been doing debt collection defense in Iowa for over 10 years, and regularly defends consumers against Midland, Portfolio, Unifund and other debt buyers. Contact us today for a free consultation to review your options.
The Johnson Law Firm charges affordable flat rates, and can probably arrange a payment plan for fees or even debt settlement that fits your budget. It rarely if ever happens that our fee plus any settlement payment on the debt would be more than a judgment against you if you default on the credit card collection lawsuit.
If you do not live in Iowa and there is no Iowa connection to the debt being collected by Portfolio, go to the web site of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and see if you can find a collection defense attorney in your state.