Portfolio Recovery buys ‘bad debts.’ If you defaulted on a credit card or other consumer debt, your creditor likely charged it off after attempting to collect the debt for 90 to 120 days past its due date.
When creditors aren’t successful, they sell the debt to collection agencies like Portfolio Recovery. Most collection agencies report the debt to the credit bureaus, so you have a collection on your credit report and that’s not good.
If you see Portfolio Recovery on your credit report, use the tips below to remove it.
Communicate in Writing Only
Your first step to remove Portfolio Recovery from your credit report is to ask for all communication to be in writing.
There’s no record of verbal communication. This makes it harder to make Portfolio Recovery hold up to their end of the bargain if they agree to something.
Even if their first communication is over the phone, politely ask them to send you everything in writing. You’ll do the same – communicate only via written letters.
Validate the Debt
You’ll take a few steps when trying to remove Portfolio Recovery from your credit report. The first step is making the validate the debt.
You must do this within 30 days of them contacting you for the first time. Chances are that some of the information transferred over from your original creditor didn’t make it or Portfolio Recovery misconstrued it.
Use this to your advantage. Ask Portfolio Recover to validate all aspects of the debt including:
- Account number
- Name(s) on the account
- Account balance
- Original loan or credit card balance amount
- Payment dates
- Proof that Portfolio Recovery can do business in your state
If PR can’t verify some or all of the above, they must remove the listing from your credit report. You can make sure this happens by disputing the debt (see below).
Pay for Delete
If PR validates the debt, you have to pay it, but you can still get things to go in your favor. Offer to pay a negotiated amount and in exchange PR deletes the record from your credit report.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate the amount you pay. PR bought it for much less than the balance so don’t let them think they can’t work with you – they can.
If they agree to this, get it in writing. Do not pay them and don’t provide your bank account information until you have proof in writing that they’ll delete the record from your credit report.
Once you have proof, pay them by check only – don’t share your bank account information.
Dispute the Debt
If you don’t want to pay the debt or don’t think the information is right, dispute it. This takes a little more work and patience.
Many people hire a credit repair agency to do this for them because of the work and patience involved.
You may dispute any part of the debt you think isn’t accurate. Credit repair agencies know even the smallest details to look for when disputing the debt. Something as small as an incorrect name or mistyped account number can get the debt deleted.
You can dispute debts yourself too if you don’t want to deal with professionals. You’ll have to write your dispute to TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian, but with enough due diligence, you can turn collections around too.
Monitor your Credit
If you remove Portfolio Recovery from your credit report, follow up. They may agree to delete it, but they don’t always do it.
Pull your free credit reports and verify they removed the collection. If they didn’t file another dispute with the appropriate credit bureau. It may take a few tries, but don’t give up.
Don’t Leave Portfolio Recovery on your Credit Report
Don’t assume the collection will fall off or the statute of limitations will help you. If you owe the money, the debt will stay on your credit report and hurt your credit score until you fix it.
If you don’t owe the debt or don’t agree with the amount, work with a professional credit repair agency to dispute and fix it. If you owe it, figure out how to best settle up on the debt, and work in a way to delete the account from your credit report or the collection could drag your credit score down for a couple of years if you aren’t careful.