Plaintiff Tracy Bourma filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana in May 2016 against Portfolio Recovery Associates and Experian Information Solutions Inc. The complaint alleges violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Additionally, the plaintiff alleges in the complaint that the companies reported false information on her credit report. The information regarding her credit account was disputed via letter in February 2016. The inaccurate information has and continues to negatively impact the plaintiff’s credit rating and financial well-being.
Portfolio Recovery Associates is a debt purchaser/buyer and collector headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. It acts as one of the nation’s largest buyers of defaulted loans, credit card accounts, car loans, and other debts, which it purchases from creditors at a substantial discount to the face value of the debts. After purchasing these debts, it attempts to collect them. According to the Better Business Bureau, 1318 consumer complaints have been filed within the last three years against Portfolio, with 474 of being filed in the past year.
A notable New York case against Portfolio ended in 2014 when the company signed an Assurance of Discontinuance with the Office of the Attorney General for the State of New York. The company allegedly violated several state and federal laws including the New York Executive Law, New York General Business Law, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. According to the Assurance, Portfolio was to pay a civil monetary penalty of $300,000 to the State of New York and would not sue the consumers to collect on time-barred debt. Additionally, it was to include the following information in any written debt-collection communication with consumers: (1) the name of the original creditor; (2) the last four numbers of the original creditor’s account; and (3) the date of the consumer’s last payment of the debt.
In the Louisiana case, the plaintiff is seeking a trial by jury and compensation for actual damages, punitive damages, costs of the action, attorney’s fees, and such other and further relief as may be found by the court to be necessary, just, and proper.