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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55453
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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I received two letters in the mail from attorneys offering

Customer Question

I received two letters in the mail from attorneys offering to defend me in my lawsuit with a company called Portfolio Recovery Associates. I have not yet been contacted by them but one of the letters has a case number XXXXX it (referring to me as the defendent) - I went to the Harris County website and entered the case number XXXXX nothing comes up. I have read that collection agencies like this one can sue you and if you don't respond, they can garnish your checking account. I also read that if you call them and verify information in their files, you re-start the statute of limitations on the debt. I don't know what to do. I have been on vacation and got back yesterday to find a note from what appears to be a process server. What should my next step be - get a lawyer? or call the place?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 4 years ago.

Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. You can call them, but do not send them any money. Calling them and/or verifying anything does nothing to extend the statute of limitations. What you don't want to do is to either pay them one dime or sign anything that would constitute a new agreement. Either of those actions will re-start the statute of limitations, but nothing else will. Also, make sure you don't let any collection agency intimidate you into doing anything. They all lie and misrepresent the facts, including lawsuits and criminal prosecution and the status of the statute of limitations. If you are served with a summons you are being sued, then contact a lawyer to evaluate your options, but otherwise do nothing at the direction of the collection agency. If they continue to pester you, a recipient of such contact from a collection agency would
want to send them a certified, return receipt requested letter explaining the
recipient does not owe this debt or cannot pay this debt and demand they immediately cease and desist
all further efforts to contact the recipient and/or anyone else to collect this
debt. The recipient would inform them
that any efforts to do otherwise will constitute a violation of the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act and that each
and every violation would be reported to the Federal Trade Commission. Each
violation carries at least a $1,000 fine, so this should be the end of the

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