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If you have fallen behind on payments for various debts you owe, you may have started receiving calls from an unknown number. Should this number be from Portfolio Recovery, it’s safe to assume that your delinquent debt has been sold to a collections agency. If you aren’t there yet but are worried that you might be soon, you may have a few questions. One of the most frequent questions we see is who does Portfolio Recovery collect for? Many different banks and credit unions work with debt collectors for delinquent accounts, but which ones use Portfolio Recovery? This article will cover what financial institutions use Portfolio Recovery, how they recover unpaid debt, and your options for getting out of debt. 

What is Portfolio Recovery?

Simply put, Portfolio Recovery is a publicly traded debt buyer and debt collections agency. Its business model is to purchase delinquent debt accounts from various financial institutions and then collect that debt through various avenues. Typically, the debt is purchased for a highly discounted rate (sometimes down to 10 cents per dollar). This allows them to make deals based on how much profit they can make from each repayment. This leaves us with the question: Who does Portfolio Recovery collect for? Let’s take a closer look.

Who Does Portfolio Recovery Buy Their Accounts From?

Since Portfolio Recovery purchases the accounts they collect on, they are not collecting on behalf of those other companies. However, there are specific companies that frequently sell their delinquent accounts to Portfolio Recovery. While we did thorough research to find these companies, this is by no means an exhaustive list. 

One of the most prominent financial institutions that sells their delinquent accounts to Portfolio Recovery is Synchrony Bank. While Synchrony Bank may not be as much of a household name as other banks, you surely know of their credit card options. Synchrony Bank is the backer and provider of many store-based credit cards. While there could be as many as 120 stores that use Synchrony Bank to supply credit cards, here is a list of a few most popular store cards backed by Synchrony:

  • PayPal
  • Amazon
  • Best Buy
  • Banana Republic
  • eBay
  • American Eagle
  • Walmart
  • Chevron

From furniture to groceries, to clothing and more, there are dozens of store cards that are backed by Synchrony Bank. If you have a major chain store card, it is likely that Synchrony Bank is the source of that card. Because of this, if you stop making payments on a card like that, it is likely that the account will be sold. 

Other than Synchrony Bank, there are a few other, more recognizable, banks that also sell their delinquent accounts to Portfolio Recovery. These include Capital One Banks, CCS Medical, and One Main Financial. If your account is with these companies and it goes delinquent, it is very likely that your debt will be sold to Portfolio Recovery.

How Does Portfolio Recovery Collect On Debts?

Like other debt collection agencies, Portfolio Recovery has multiple ways they pursue debts. As soon as they are in possession of the debt. They start by making contact with you. This is done in several ways. They may call you daily, email you, send you letters, or even send a representative to you in person. 

After they make contact with you, they will demand full payment on your debt. If you ignore their attempts to reach out, or you make it clear you have no intentions of making any payments, they can then file a lawsuit against you. If they file a lawsuit against you, they are attempting to recover the unpaid debt through wage garnishment. Again, if you ignore the lawsuit, you will likely have an automatic judgment against you, meaning that Portfolio Recovery will be immediately allowed to garnish your wages.

Instead, we always recommend at least answering the summons so that the judgment has to be taken through a trial. While the ultimate goal for Portfolio Recovery is a full repayment of debts, it is likely that Portfolio Recovery may be willing to work out another deal with you. So what are your options when it comes to repaying your debt? Let’s find out.

Options for Dealing With Portfolio Recovery

If Portfolio Recovery’s main goal is to make the largest profit they can, court cases and legal fees aren’t the best way to get there. Because of this, Portfolio Recovery is notoriously open to debt settlement and repayment plans. So what options are available to you? Here are just a few:

Debt Settlement

Oftentimes, they are open to negotiations for a lower repayment. If you have a lump sum that you are willing to pay immediately, you can offer the amount in return for a fully sufficient repayment. Should Portfolio Recovery accept the negotiation, then you pay them and the account will be closed. If they do not accept, they may return with a counteroffer. If the counter is something you are able to pay, take them up on the offer! Otherwise, you can counter back to them. You can usually expect anywhere from a 15-60% discount on the debt. 

Payment Plan

If you are not able to pay one lump sum, Portfolio Recovery can set you up with a payment plan. If you are willing to discuss your options with Portfolio Recovery, you can let them know what you are able to pay each month. Again, they will either accept or counter this, depending on what they are able to accept. 

Do Nothing

While this may not be the best option, sometimes it’s the only option. If you know that you are unable to intentionally make payments each month, but believe you could have some of your paycheck withheld to help pay back the debt, you could consider doing nothing. As noted earlier, this would end up with an automatic judgment against you, and very likely with wage garnishment. 

File For Bankruptcy

Finally, one option you have is to file for bankruptcy. If you are fully unable to make any payments, and couldn’t afford a garnishment of your wages, consider filing for bankruptcy. This could either absolve you of your debts or put you on a payment plan while halting any judgments against you. 


Whether you decide to negotiate a lower payment or file for bankruptcy, make sure you have a game plan on dealing with your debt. Since they have purchased your debt, they have full authority to collect on it. If you’d like to discuss your options, reach out to Ascend! We’d love to talk to you about your next steps.

Post Author: LincolnE

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