Last week’s award of over $83,240,000.00 to a Kansas City woman teaches us a lot about the debt collection industry, especially when they sue to collect a debt.
Here are 10 lessons to learn from Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA) v. Maria Mejia:
1) PRA is one of the nation’s largest debt buyers (Midland Funding and LVNV Funding are also huge);
2) PRA, like many debt collectors, would prefer to force a consumer to spend thousands of dollars in defending a lawsuit than to admit that they were wrong and dismiss the case (this happens a lot);
3) PRA made $176,500,000.00 in PROFITS in 2014;
4) Debt collectors buy accounts for pennies on the dollar and then try to collect the full amount from the consumer (they can negotiate);
5) Debt collectors almost never have the requisite documents to support their claims in court (if they filed the lawsuit, then they are the plaintiff and they bear the burden of proof so long as you dispute it);
6) A majority of debt collection lawsuits result in a default judgment against a consumer because the consumer doesn’t go to court or doesn’t know how to dispute a debt;
7) Debt collectors love to drag cases along for many months or even years to wear down their opponents in hopes they will give up and either pay the debt or miss a court date (don’t give up, fight for what is right);
8) Most consumers don’t talk to an attorney when they are sued out of fear that it will cost them money (NOTE: I offer a FREE consultation!);
9) If a violation of the FDCPA is found, the debt collector has to pay all of the consumer’s attorney fees and costs (you may never have to pay us for defending you);
10) Don’t be like most people and let a judgment be entered against you. Know your rights! Be like Maria Mejia and stand up against the abuse. Call 808-377-6778 to speak with Attorney Justin A. Brackett for free TODAY!
Read more about the $83,000,000.00 judgment here: http://kcur.org/post/jury-awards-kc-woman-83-million-debt-collection-case