You May Not Have to Pay PRA Group Debt Collectors!
PRA Group, like all debt collectors are known for sending debt collection threats. If you can’t afford to pay them or don’t even owe them money, then this article is for you!
Complaints to the Financial Ombudsmen risen this year from 830 to 2,006, so it’s safe to say that you’re not alone.
Read on to learn what to do.
Who are PRA Group Debt Collectors?
PRA Group (UK) Limited are a UK based private limited company located in the Bromley area. They have been operating since 2001. The company is controlled by the PRA Group Incorporated which is based in the United States. It was previously registered as Aktiv Kapital (UK) Limited and continues to operate some services under this name.
The PRA Group collect for the HMRC on tax related purposes, as well as debt companies like:
- Instant Cash Loan
- and other lenders
Your best solution (if you qualify) [1 minute]
You can write off 75% of your debt with a new government scheme called Individual Voluntary Arrangement. You only qualify if your debts are over £1,700 and you have more than one debt. Answer 4 questions to see if you qualify.
Why are PRA Group Debt Collection contacting me?
The debt collection industry is booming. Debt collectors like PRA Group will purchase debt from a lender for often as little as 20% of the face value of what is owed. They then collect the money that is owed and keeping a profit when the payment is made in full.
PRA Group Debt Collection may be getting in touch with you because they have purchased debt that you owe to another lender, however, they now manage (and chase payments for) that debt.
Are PRA Group Debt Collectors legit?
PRA Group are one of the UK’s largest debt collection agencies who also operate in the United States and across Europe. They operate in the UK by acquiring debt, predominately from major banks and high street lenders. PRA Group have a turnover of around £100 million per annum and are a successful and profitable company.
Wait, is this really money that you owe?
When you are contacted by a debt collection company the first thing that you need to do is to establish where the original debt has come from and the amount that was owed to them. There is a good chance that by the time PRA Group Debt Collection come to you, there have been a number of charges, not to mention interest added to the amount that you owe. This will take it up to a much higher amount then you originally owed.
Once you know this you should write to PRA Group Debt Collection and ask them to send you a copy of your original credit agreement. If they are unable to provide you with this information, then you have no obligation to make a payment to them.
Quite the opposite in fact, you may even be able to set about claiming a refund.
Ok, so the debt is legit, what should I do?
If it is proven that you owe the money, then the simplest path to take is to simply repay the debt. If you can’t afford to repay it there and then, or you think that making future payments could have an impact on your financial future, then try speaking to PRA Group to see if you arrange a reduced repayment plan.
Could PRA Group Debet Collection really ruin my life?
Whilst you hope that they would always work on the right side of the law, it is not unusual for debt collection companies to employ tactics that could be seen as questionable. They could resort to bullying, applying pressure, making frequent phone calls.
Some people who have been chased by debt collectors have said that they have had sleepless nights after dealing with them. There are some who have said that they are scared and anxious about opening the door or answering the phone just in case it is them. In fact, debt support trust stated that as many as half of the people in the UK who have had struggles with debt have felt close to suicide. Which is a truly shocking statistic when you think that some of these issues could be caused, or made worse by a debt collection agency.
What are the regulations they need to follow?
With so many debt collection agencies out there and with some of them not employing the best methods to collect money, it comes as no surprise that the Office for Fair Trading has decided to set out a number of guidelines that debt collection businesses have to abide by. This includes PRA Group Debt Collection.
So, what do they need to do?
- They should treat any debtors fairly and never use practices that could be seen as coercive, aggressive or deceitful as well as oppressive, improper or unfair.
- They should provide clear information that is not confusing or misleading
- They should approach debtors who are finding it hard to pay with consideration towards their circumstances
- They should then take into account these circumstances and the situation when talking about making repayments
Are you having dealings with PRA Group Debt Collection? Do you think that they are not abiding by the guidelines that are part of the Office for Fair Trading? If yes then you should definitely report them to the Office for Fair Trading who can then take steps to the removal of their license.
What will they do?
They say that knowledge is power, so, if you want to try to take on and defend yourself against PRA Group Debt Collection, then you are going to want to know more about how companies just like this operate and work.
They are on a bonus
One thing to keep in mind that PRA Group Debt Collection are usually working on a bonus. Those people who call you to discuss your debt and try to make payments are working for the bare minimum that they can be paid per hour. However, their wages will be topped up daily or monthly as a part of a bonus scheme that relates to the amount of collections that they have made. This means that the person making the call is going to want to be able to collect the money in order to receive their own bonus.
They may use automated calls
Many people decide to simply ignore the calls that they receive from debt collection companies. Not only is this going to make it much harder to resolve your debt problems, but you may also find that they then employ automated call technology in order to get you to answer. This tech works by making calls to you on an automatic basis, rather than being made by an actual person. If you do happen to answer, then chances are that you are going to find that the other end of the phone line is silent.
It is important that you make a note of the frequency of the calls that are being made to you. It could be that the behavior is deemed a breach of the Office of Fair Trading guidelines and they could find themselves in trouble.
They could try bad cop and good cop
A common tactic that is often employed by debt collection is that of bad cop and good cop and surprisingly it really seems to work. The way that it works is that you will often have dealings with the company concerned where the person on the other end of the phone is rude or unempathetic. Then, when you make an enquiry or speak to a person on the phone another time, they are polite and helpful towards you, throwing you off course. This approach is designed to wear you down and get you even closer to making a payment. It can be one of the hardest of all the approaches to stand up to.
They may try to talk about your financial situation with someone else
An illegal approach to debt collection is to speak to the someone who is not the debtor about the debt. This could be a family member who answers the phone or perhaps a colleague if they answer your work number. Not only does this approach breach the laws set out by the Office of Fair Trading, but it also breaches privacy laws too.
They may lie and be deceitful
There are some debt collection agencies out there that feel that they are above the law and that they don’t have to worry about the regulations that they should adhere to. This means that they then take some rather nasty ways to get their money. They could call you pretending to be a court, they may pretend that they are a bailiff, they may even threaten you with removal of items from your home or with criminal prosecution.
You should never feel threatened and if you do then you are fully within your rights to call the police to report them.
How can I get my debt written off?
Individual Voluntary Agreements or IVAs make it possible for you to write off your debt. This is a formal agreement that you will pay the debt collectors an amount that you can afford or perhaps monthly payments, both of which will ensure that the debt is paid off over a defined period.
Debt collection companies have been asked to abide by the regulations that have been set out for them. Despite warnings from professional bodies there are some out there who are still not sitting within these laws. If you feel that you have been treated unfairly, then you may want to speak to the Financial Ombudsman.
You only qualify for the government IVA scheme if your debts are over £1,200 and you have more than one debt. Fill out a 30 second form to see if you qualify using my 5 question virtual assessment.
What do the reviews say about PRA Group Debt Collectors?
The majority of the negative reviews relate to PRA Group chasing statute barred debts that they have bought from the high street banks. In some cases, it is claimed that they have chased debts that are over ten years old in the hope that the debtors are unaware of their rights. There are also suggestions that debt collectors use intimidatory tactics when making home visits to achieve results. Unfortunately, there are no positive reviews currently available in any obvious online resource to provide balance. This reflects the nature of the PRA Group business model where they purchase portfolios of debt that the original creditor no longer wants to collect. This can either be because the value of the debt repayments is too low to be profitable or that they are unable to recover the debt using their own resources. The debt is then sold to companies like PRA Group at a significantly reduced value. PRA Group then attempt to recover as much as the debt as they can in order to make a profit on the transaction. This only works through aggressive chasing of debtors to balance out those portions of the debt portfolio that can never be recovered. This business model is very rarely going to attract a positive review.
The PRA Group Debt Recovery Contact Details
Company Name: PRA Group (UK) Limited
Other Names: PRA UK Ltd, PRA Group, Aktiv Kapital, Aktiv Kapital UK Ltd
2 The Cross
Phone: 0800 877 2772
Fax: 0845 280 1776
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Numbers they call from:
PRA Group is a trading name of PRA Group (UK) Limited which is a wholly owned subsidiary of PRA Group Europe Holding SARL.
PRA Group (UK) Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Their registration number is 718645. They are registered in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire under the name Vikki Wilkons and their principle place of business is listed as being in Bromley, Kent.
HMRC do not use PRA Group to collect debts as of 2020. If you owe money to HMRC you should not be being contacted by PRA Group.
PRA Group buy debts for as little as 10-20% of the outstanding amount and then try to recover the full amount of the debt from borrowers to make a profit.
If you ignore debt collectors at first they may send doorstep collectors. Secondly, they may apply for a County Court Judgement, which if successful would force you to pay and would show on your credit report.
PRA Group can take you to court in order to claim the money owed. If you have been taken to court you will have received a County Court Judgement letter.
You cannot go to jail for debts owed to debt collection agencies.
If you ignore a CCJ you won’t get sent to prison, however, bailiffs may be sent to your house to collect items equal to the value of the money that owe.
PRA Group cannot issue an arrest warrant or have you sent to prison. At most they can request a CCJ and if successful send bailiffs to your property to recover items to cover the debt owed.
PRA Group are not bailiffs. They could, however, request a County Court Judgement which means that the courts could send bailiffs. You would have received a lot of warning letters if this was going to happen.
PRA Group have been known to send people to your house, however, they have no legal powers so you can ignore them or tell them to go away. If you have received a County Court Judgement then the courts could instruct bailiffs to come to your house.
PRA Group cannot force entry, they have no legal powers over you. However, if you have received a County Court Judgement then the courts could instruct bailiffs to come to your house.
PRA Group won’t give up chasing you for the debt until they’ve exhausted all of their legal options. This usually means being chased for up to 6 years.
A debt can be too old to collect from you. Under the Limitation Act 1980 they have a maximum of 6 years to chase a debt. This 6 years is counted from your last payment or the last time that you acknowledged the debt.
As per the Limitation action 1980, you can be legally chased for up to 6 years from your last payment or the last time that you acknowledged the debt. If a County Court Judgment is raised against you the Limitation Act no longer applies and you can be chased indefinitely.
Debts collectors are only likely to write off your debt if they are no longer legally allowed to chase you. This is typically six years since you last made a payment or last acknowledged the debt.
PRA Group does not have a live chat feature on its website, but you can contact the company via text message. There is also a freephone telephone number or you can contact PRA Group by email or post.
The easiest way to pay PRA Group is online via a debit card. However, they also accept payment via a payment plan where regular amounts are either taken from your debit card automatically or are taken via direct debit. You can also pay by cheque, either at a Royal Bank of Scotland branch, at a Post Office, or by posting a cheque.