Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I receive a supplemental, Phase II Settlement check?

    Per the terms of the Approved Settlement Agreement, a supplemental, Phase II distribution occurred on a pro rata basis to exhaust the remaining monies in the Settlement Fund. To be eligible to receive a supplemental check, you must have received an Initial, or Phase I Settlement check, and have negotiated that check prior to its expiration date.

    If you received a supplemental, Phase II check, you were determined to have met the aforementioned criteria.

    Please deposit the check promptly. The check is only valid for 90 days from the issue date.

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  2. Why didn’t I receive a supplemental, Phase II Settlement check?

    If you did not receive a supplemental, Phase II check, you did not meet the eligibility criteria. To be eligible to receive a supplemental, Phase II check you must have received an Initial, or Phase I Settlement check, and have negotiated that check prior to its expiration date.

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  3. Can I have my supplemental, Phase II Settlement check reissued?

    All reissue requests must be sent in writing to the Claims Administrator at the address listed below. All requests must include your full name, your return address, and your signature. To request a replacement check mailed to an updated address, please include in the request your current and former mailing addresses.

    Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC v Houston
    Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 3076
    Portland, OR 97208-3076

    If the name of the Class Member on the check should be changed, please send in documentation, as applicable, according to the following checklist:

    • Name Change – If your name has changed, please provide documentation showing this to be the case, which can include documents such as a marriage certificate or court papers indicative of a name change.
    • Name Removal – In order to have a name removed from a check reissue, either have both parties on the check sign a letter and return the check, or return the check with documentation that shows that one party is unable to negotiate the check (e.g., death certificate).
    • Deceased Class Member – If the Class Member indicated on the check is deceased, please submit acceptable documentation showing that you are the beneficiary of his or her Estate. Acceptable documentation may be a death certificate, together with the pertinent portion of the Will, or Court Order/Letters Testamentary naming you as Personal Representative, Administrator, Executor, or Executrix.
    • Incapacitated Class Member – If the claimant cannot act on his or her own behalf, acceptable documentation is a Power of Attorney, or guardianship or custodial paperwork.

    We will review the letter and documentation and will contact you if more information is required.

    For reasons of security, a check reissue cannot take place until either the original check is received back by us, a mailing has been returned to us as undeliverable, or until the original stale date of the check has passed or expired. Because one of these events must occur before we can act on your request, it is generally not possible for us to provide an estimated date for the reissue to take place. We thank you for your patience.

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  4. Can I have my initial, Phase I Settlement check reissued?

    We are no longer authorized to issue replacement initial, Phase I Settlement checks. Furthermore, all of the remaining funds from non-negotiated initial, Phase I Settlement checks have been redistributed to eligible participants via a supplemental, or Phase II distribution on March 26, 2020.

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  5. Why is there a notice?

    A court authorized the Notice because you had a right to know about the Settlement of this class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the Court decided whether to give Final Approval to the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.

    The Honorable Judge Richard L. Doughton granted Final Approval to the Settlement on July 26, 2018.

    Click here to see a copy of the Notice

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  6. What is this lawsuit about?

    The Class Representative in this case alleges that Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC ("PRA") violated North Carolina debt collection law in two ways:

    1. PRA sent written notices to class members of its intent to file collection lawsuits and also filed collection lawsuits against class members without proper itemization of the amount of the debt claimed to be owed, and
    2. PRA failed to include documentation showing ownership of the debt when it filed lawsuits to collect debt. PRA disputes these allegations.

    By settling this lawsuit, PRA is not admitting that it has done anything wrong.

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  7. What is a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people, called “Class Representatives,” sue on behalf of a group of people who have similar claims. All the people in the group are called “Class Members” and are part of the “Class.” In a class action, one court decides the issues for all class members in one single case, except for those persons who choose to exclude themselves (by “opting out”) from the class. As a result, a large group of people can all get relief in one case without having to hire their own attorneys and without having to go to court.

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  8. Why is there a settlement?

    The Court did not decide the case in favor of either side. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. That way, they avoid, among other things, the risks, delays, and costs of further litigation. Class Counsel believe the Settlement is best for the Class Members. The parties have agreed to the Settlement, and Judge Richard L. Doughton granted Final Approval to the Settlement on July 26, 2018.

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  9. Who is included in the Settlement?

    The Class Members are:

    1. All people to whom Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC sent a ”Notice of Intent to File Legal Action” in North Carolina between October 1, 2009 and January 11, 2018; AND
    2. All people against whom Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC filed a lawsuit seeking collection of a debt in the North Carolina courts between October 1, 2009 and January 11, 2018.

    The Class does not include persons who meet the categories above if a judgment was entered against them in the lawsuit filed by Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC seeking collection of a debt in the North Carolina courts between October 1, 2009 and January 11, 2018 (unless Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC sent them another Notice of Intent to File Legal Action and/or initiated a separate lawsuit seeking collection of a separate debt against them that has not resulted in a judgment prior to January 11, 2018), if they have filed for or were placed in bankruptcy after October 1, 2009, or if they are deceased.

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  10. What does the Settlement provide?

    Per the terms of the approved Settlement Agreement, PRA paid $4,000,000.00 into a Settlement Fund. The Settlement Fund paid attorneys' fees and expenses approved by the Court in the amount of thirty percent of the Settlement amount, or $1.2 million. The Settlement Fund also paid case expenses. PRA agreed to pay for the administration costs of the Settlement. PRA has also agreed to dismiss all pending lawsuits against Class Members "without prejudice", which means that PRA may choose to file a new lawsuit.

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  11. What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?

    The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was April 22, 2018.

    Unless you timely excluded yourself ("opted out") from the Settlement, you are part of the Class. By staying in the Class, you gave PRA a "release" of any existing claims you may have had against it. A release means you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against PRA over any claims that arose through January 11, 2018. Class Members are not releasing any claims that arise after January 11, 2018.

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  12. How do I get out of the Settlement?

    The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was April 22, 2018.

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  13. If I did not timely exclude myself, can I sue Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC for the same thing later?

    No. Unless you timely excluded yourself, you gave up the right to sue Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC for the claims that the Settlement resolves. You must have timely excluded yourself from the Class in order to try to maintain your own lawsuit.

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  14. If I excluded myself, can I still get a payment?

    No. You are not eligible to receive a payment if you excluded yourself from the Settlement.

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  15. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

    Yes. The following are "Class Counsel" who have been appointed by Judge Doughton to represent the Class.

    Class Counsel
    Carlene McNulty
    Jason Pikler
    Emily Turner
    North Carolina Justice Center
    Raleigh, NC
    www.ncjustice.org
    Travis E. Collum
    Collum & Perry, PLLC
    Mooresville, NC
    www.collumperry.com
    Suzanne Begnoche
    Attorney at Law
    Chapel Hill, NC
    www.begnochelaw.com
    Adrian M. Lapas
    Lapas Law Offices, PLLC
    Goldsboro, NC
    www.goldsborobankruptcylawyer.com

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  16. How will the Class Counsel be paid?

    Class Counsel asked, and the Court awarded, them attorneys' fees equal to thirty percent, or $1.2 million out of the total settlement fund of $4 million.

    In addition, Class Counsel will also requested and received reimbursement of litigation-related expenses they incurred on behalf of the Class.

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  17. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?

    The deadline to object to the Settlement was April 22, 2018.

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  18. What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

    Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.

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  19. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Honorable Judge Richard L. Doughton granted Final Approval to the Settlement on July 26, 2018.

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  20. What happens if Class Members don’t cash their checks?

    Initial, Phase I Settlement checks that were not cashed by the Class Members to whom they were sent before the check expiration date were voided, and those amounts were re-distributed to those Class Members who cashed their initial, Phase I Settlement checks via a supplemental, Phase II check distribution on March 26, 2020. Any amounts remaining in the Settlement Fund after this process may be distributed as directed by the Court for purposes that will benefit the public. None of the money will go back to PRA.

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  21. How do I get more information?

    This website summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement here. This website will be updated periodically with updates about the Settlement.

    Please do not call the Judge or Clerk of Court; they cannot give you advice about this lawsuit.

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