An Arkansas woman is alleging in a lawsuit that debt buyer PRA Group froze her bank account to try to collect $43,200 in interest on a $6,000 judgment that was less than two months old.
Loretta Burks alleges that she did not actually owe the debt because it was a result of identity theft. PRA Group, in a new pleading in a related case, has countered that problems resulted from a computer error and that no harm came to Burks as a result, according to Burks’ attorney Kathy Cruz. The computer problem has been corrected. Courthouse News Service first reported about the lawsuit. Burks claims that PRA Group deprived her of due process. She filed the lawsuit last week, one year after PRA Group allegedly tried to collect $50,023 from her bank account. "It is unconscionable and outrageous that defendant is attempting to collect $43,265.82 in interest on a judgment of $6,016.07 taken less than 60 days prior to the writ of garnishment being issued that only allow post-judgment interest at a rate of 5%" the complaint states. According to a court document in the garnishment proceedings against Burks, PRA Group did not disclose to the court that Burks was an identity theft victim. The company instead sough continuances for two years before pursuing the garnishment action, the motion for a new trial states. Burks seeks punitive damages for violations of state and federal fair debt collection laws, deceptive trade, fraud and RICO violations. PRA Group officials were not immediately available for comment.