Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Virginia, Portfolio Recovery Associates, Inc. is a publicly traded corporation that provides financial and business services, according to Forbes magazine. It purchases and controls portfolios of consumers who have defaulted on payments or gone through bankruptcy. As a debt collection agency, it focuses on identifying delinquent accounts and collecting and processing payments.
PRA also offers fee-based services, including skip tracing, vehicle positioning and revenue enhancement, explains Forbes magazine. It features collateral collection for law enforcement, auto lenders and governments. It oversees the filing of class action lawsuits on account of debt purchasers, banks and credit providers.
With seven call centers throughout the United States as of 2015, PRA states it keeps all customer accounts within the country of origin, states PRA Group. PRA partnered with Aktiv Kapital AS, an organization that acquires and services debt throughout Europe and Canada in 2014. In the prior year, Forbes magazine named PRA one of the top 25 best small companies for the second time.
In September 2015, after concluding that PRA had deliberately misled consumers, misinformed consumers of the amount of debt owed and misstated interest rates, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau mandated that Portfolio Recovery pay $19 million in customer refunds and an $8 million penalty, notes the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau. PRA can no longer sell debts to third parties and must stop collecting on over $8 million worth of debts.