Established in 2002, Cavalry Portfolio is a large debt buyer that positions itself as caring for the consumer. The website outlines core values, prioritizing integrity, respect and communication, and links to the consumer education page of the Receivables Management Association International website. Cavalry also uses consumer-friendly language, such as calling the delinquent accounts it purchases “non-performing consumer loan portfolios” and referring to its employees as “resolution specialists”. However, it’s important to recognize that, like all debt buyers, Cavalry purchases delinquent accounts for pennies on the dollar with the goal of seeking repayment from the debtor.
If you’ve received a collection notice from Cavalry or a third-party agency it hired to pursue your payment, it is important that you understand your rights, be informed about your debt and consider seeking guidance to determine how best to respond. Your first step is to review the information in the letter to determine if it is correct — that it’s your debt, that the amount is correct, etc. Also check to see if the statute of limitations on collecting the debt has expired. The statute of limitations is the period during which legal action can be taken to recoup outstanding debt. The period varies by state, so check this chart to find your state’s time limit.
Once you’re clear about the details of the debt that the letter discusses, you can determine how to respond, including:
- If the information is incomplete, incorrect or you want to ensure Cavalry has the documentation to back up its claim, send it a request to validate the information. It is wise to send this via certified mail, return receipt requested.
- Challenge the information if it is incorrect. Send Cavalry a letter informing it of any misinformation that helps establish you are not required to pay this debt.
- If the debt is outside the statute of limitations, you are still responsible to pay it, but the collection agency cannot threaten a lawsuit. It may encourage you to make a small payment against this debt, but watch out: By doing so, you could unwittingly restart the clock on the debt and open yourself to a lawsuit. It may be wise to seek legal counsel from a consumer law attorney to determine the best way to respond; many offer a free consultation.
- If this is your debt, the information in the collection letter is correct and the debt is still within the statute of limitations, you might negotiate a settlement to pay a percentage of the balance owed. But it’s important to get the settlement agreement in writing from Cavalry. Make sure it states that once the last payment for the negotiated amount posts, the account will be considered paid in full. You can learn more about debt settlement here.
Don’t ignore the letter or lose hope.
“Cavalry tends to give more favorable outcomes [than other debt buyers] directly to consumers who call them,” said Michael Bovee, co-founder of Resolve. “I’ve found that Cavalry has largely been one of the most approachable with the most flexibility to consumers.”
One perk for those paying in full or settling with Cavalry is that about 30 days after the final payment posts, it requests that the credit bureaus remove its account from the consumer’s credit report regardless of the debt’s age. Portfolio Recovery Associates does this as well, while Midland Credit Management waits until two years after the first delinquency date. But unlike the other collectors, Midland has a generous grace period before it initially reports.
Whether you are dealing with your original creditor or a debt buyer such as Cavalry, much of the process is the same. As you consider how to handle a debt now with a new owner, you can assess your options with the help of Resolve’s online platform or Resolve experts, who are available to consult with you for free. Get started here.
Read our article “What is a Debt Buyer and Why Should I Care?” to learn more about this industry.