PRA Group is one of the top five debt-buying companies in the United States and is publicly traded on the stock market (PRAA). The parent organization deals with non performing loans as well as asset and revenue recovery services to businesses and government clients.
Started by Steve Fredrickson and Kevin Stevenson, who have deep experience in banking, Portfolio Recovery Associates takes a consumer-centered approach to the debt market.
The company offers payment plans for debts that customers need to pay. This is unique because many debt collection agencies do not offer this kind of flexibility, which can be overwhelming to individuals who find themselves in over their heads but still wishing to chip away at past due debts.
Due to the fact that the company buys the debts from the original creditor for much less than the actual debt, there is usually an opportunity for customers to settle the debt for less than is owed. To facilitate this, it is necessary to speak with one of the company’s representatives to discuss.
The company does have an online payment system which customers can use to make payments. PRA will notify credit bureaus once the debt has been paid (whether in full or less if negotiated).
Many people have complained about the frequency of phone calls from the company, which can be numerous times a day. This is true even for customers who have already spoken to a representative in some cases.
This may be due to inefficient data collection processes, or antiquated calling software — but in any case, it is inconvenient.
A competitor in the debt collection space, Alltran, is also known for aggressive calling tactics — even threatening legal action or contacting family members to pressure customers.
Although the company is very willing to work with customers on the amount owed in some cases, in other situations, customers report that representatives are very unwilling to budge.
It almost seems that this depends on individual representatives’ personalities or preferences, which makes consistency and fairness not widespread.
Many individuals have complained that they have been contacted repeatedly for debts that are not in their name, have been paid already, or are very old and out of the statute of limitations time frame (the amount of time that a creditor is legally allowed to collect a debt).
Similar companies, like Enhanced Recovery Company, have faced similar criticism. Even Pioneer Credit Recovery, which does collections for federal, state, and local governments, has difficulty providing accurate information to customers. Always check the facts and figures personally, rather than relying on what is communicated via print or phone.