Plaintiff: Debt pursuit violated federal finance and consumer protection laws

By Nicholas Malfitano | Dec 19, 2017

PHILADELPHIA – A plaintiff alleges a Virginia asset recovery group improperly pursued a debt against her and may have violated a number of regulations during that process.

Mariya Elahi of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Dec. 7 versus Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC of Norfolk, Va.

Per the litigation, throughout the previous year, Portfolio Recovery wanted to collect $1,200.03 from Elahi on a debt it alleged it was owed via assignment from Citibank/Best Buy. However, Elahi claims Portfolio Recovery misrepresented the status and legal nature of the alleged account, as there was no signed card-member agreement authorizing assignment of principal, fees or interest to defendant, and defendant lacked standing to file any lawsuit against Elahi.

“Plaintiff alleges and avers that defendant repeatedly and continuously called plaintiff telephonically, as well as unrelated third-parties, at irregular times and places, and often times failed to identify itself and inform plaintiff of her rights. Plaintiff alleges and avers that defendant sought to collect amounts comprised largely of improper fees and/or interest,” the lawsuit states.

Elahi claims that Portfolio Recovery misrepresented that it had viewed and/or possessed computerized records and hard copy documents evidencing the opening of the alleged account, when in fact defendant never produced any executed account agreement or other signed documents demonstrating the opening of any account.

Specifically, Elahi claims the affidavit of Meryl Dreano is “replete with falsehoods” pertaining to documents she reviewed, when in fact she merely reviewed a computer screen containing the minimal information allegedly produced by Citibank/Best Buy in data files, and she never reviewed any documents such as account applications, actual terms and conditions of contracts, payment histories, monthly credit card statements or charge slips. Elahi also alleged the defendant filed a lawsuit against her in connection with its collection efforts.

Elahi added that despite her dispute of the debt and a demand for a trial date, Portfolio Recovery failed to timely notify the relevant credit bureau and update the status of the alleged debt as disputed.

Despite losing the subsequent trial (and thereby having the alleged debt nullified), Elahi says Portfolio Recovery continued to report that same debt as delinquent and/or failed to timely notify the relevant credit bureau and update the status of the alleged debt as disputed, and caused her to suffer “material and ascertainable losses including, but not limited to: loss of time from work investigating the matter, time wasted attending to incessant communications, etc.”

For separate counts of violating the Fair Credit Extension Act and the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, the plaintiff is seeking compensatory damages of up to three times the actual damages sustained for violations, statutory damages of $100 for each violation of the FCEA, plus attorney’s fees, witness fees, court costs and other litigation costs, any other relief deemed appropriate by the Court.

The plaintiff is represented by Fred Davis of Davis Consumer Law Firm, in Willow Grove.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 171200922

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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