Consumer Wins Verdict against Debt Buyer Portfolio Recovery Associates
The consumer obtained a verdict of $251,000 in compensatory damages and $82,999 in punitive damages against Portfolio Recovery Associates.
Portfolio Recovery Associates is one of the largest debt buyers in the country. A debt buyer is a company that does not lend money or issue credit, but which buys defaulted credit card debt in order to collect from and sue consumers.
The consumer filed a counterclaim against Portfolio for malicious prosecution and violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Portfolio eventually dismissed the case against the consumer. The consumer argued that the account was not hers.
Said the consumer’s lawyer, “Unfortunately, Portfolio did not take our client’s dispute seriously and our evidence showed that Portfolio had a pattern and practice for rejecting valid disputes. This verdict would never have occurred had Portfolio simply admitted its error early on and stopped its prosecution.”
If you have been contacted by a debt collector for a debt you don’t owe, or treated unfairly by a debt collector, you may have rights under a number of state and federal laws, including the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, called Chapter 93A, or the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.