Portfolio Recovery Associates Inc., whose main business is buying and collecting overdue consumer debts, is trying its hand at chasing down another kind of obligation: money owed under class-action settlements.

The Norfolk, Va., company said Monday it had purchased 62% of Claims Compensation Bureau, which, according to Portfolio Recovery's chairman, president and chief executive, Steven D. Fredrickson, "pioneered the field of class-action settlement recoveries and payment processing."

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