The PRA Group was founded as Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC in March 1996. The original LLC began in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and had only eight employees. The company received start-up capital from Angelo, Gordon and Co. and began its business of debt collecting activities shortly after forming.
The debt-buying company moved to Norfolk, Virginia and is one of the few publicly traded debt collecting companies in the United States. The company changed its name from Portfolio Recovery Associates Inc., LLC to the PRA Group in October 2014, and shortly after trademarked the company design and logo.
In 2002 the company was ranked the 10th largest debt buying company in the United States with over $1 billion of debt purchased. The company's initial public offering occurred in 2002 and it is listed on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol PRAA. The company expanded quickly after going public, and as of 2010, the PRA group was the sixth-largest debt buyer in the United States.
The company faced legal accusations in 2014 and was forced to pay a settlement for improperly collecting debt from New York consumers. In the settlement the company was forced to abandon the claims against debtors, remove charges in collection practices and to pay a fine of $300,000.